By Mick Buckland
The David Wain Insurance Premier Division is led at Christmas by Ivanhoe A. They have blown away nearly all of their recent opponents and last week was no exception as they handed out a 7-1 beating on their own tables to Swad Cons A. It was always going to be a tough ask for the Cons as they were without Andy Grainger for the first time this season. Mark Hadley managed to take a frame off Daniel Blunn but Lee Wood caught Andy Marriott in fine form as he knocked in runs of 31,35 and 54 for a comfortable win. Ant Moore beat Paul Slater and James Hastie defeated stand in Jim Wright to complete the rout. The result leaves Ivanhoe 4 points clear whilst drops Swad Cons back to the foot of the table.
Burton Cons A are in second and remain unbeaten at the halfway point. Last week they went to Spot On B and came away with hard fought 5-3 win. Simon Tarrant opened up well for the Spots beating Stuart Roberts and on the other table Jon Swift squared the match with a 2-0 win over Steve Lane. This was a very tight affair and Swift knocked in a tremendous black in the second to seal the victory with Lane probably deserving of a half. Mike Buckland didn’t miss much as he got past Lee Cooke whilst on the table Loz Kennerson played well including a 34 as he took a frame from John Shilton.
Belmont A are in third and last week beat Rolleston A away to keep up their challenge at the top. Josh Gebbie and Rob Chambers were winners on the night for the Servicemen, whilst Ian Archer was held 1-1 by Ant Rushton in a high quality match, which included a 32 for Ant and a 43 for Ian. Mark Press scored the home team’s other point as he held John Chambers. Rolleston will hope to keep Ant in the country to help them slipping into the relegation zone whilst Belmont are just seven points off the top, which can be erased in a week.
There was some fantastic snooker played at RBL Alrewas between the club’s A side and SDSC B. Tom Smith played well to beat Adam Harrison but man of the night would be Harry Farrell as he rolled a lovely 78 in during his win over the home team captain Karl Hancox. John Richardson was in fine form as he knocked a good 30 in but this only won him one frame against Ben Davies, who held on for a draw. Lee Louch was another man hitting the heights as he smashed a great 63 in during his win over Rich Hinks. Despite losing 3 of their last 4, SDSC B are in fifth and Alrewas are steadily moving themselves away from the bottom end.
The Tutbury Institute derby went the way of the B team by a 5-3 scoreline. Daz Lester drew with Steve Hathaway and the Mabbutts, Dave and Chris, drew with Bill Stewart and Wayne Pereira respectively. This meant the victory of Alan Davies over Steve Mabbutt was worth 3 points and means the B team are ahead of the A at Christmas.
At the halfway point of the League season, the top 4 sides look like the title will be fought out between them so the results in the matches between them will be crucial. the other 9 sides are all within 12 points of bottom spot so a bad run of results would be disastrous so all to play for in January.
The PJM Fascias Division One table is led by Tutbury C at Christmas. They have opened up a ten point lead at the top after beating Ivanhoe C 6-2 last week. Steve Burrows and Steve Butler were the men in form last week as they both scored victories. Wayne Smith drew with Gaz Dolman as did Tom Lucas with Jerry Cook. The result leave the Tutters 15 points clear of a promotion spot whilst the Ashby boys have not won in seven and are now just one point above the drop-zone.
In second are Ivanhoe B who were without a fixture last week and in third, also without a game, are Spot On C.
In fourth and missing the chance to leap frog into the promotion positions are Newhall A who were on the wrong end of a 6-2 scoreline in their match against Woodville A, who are beginning to make a move themselves. Mark Satchwell and Wayne Brewin were on song as usual for Woodville, whilst a rare appearance from Fran McInulty took a frame off Martin Hicks. John Chambers played nicely to nick one off Adam McInulty to completer the scoring. Newhall are only one frame from a promotion spot whilst Woodville, after a slow start are within four.
Belmont B scored yet another draw last week-this time against Burton Cons C. Mick Morris was their star man as he rolled in a nice 36 on the way to his win over Ian Shrive. Returning the favour for The Cons was Greg Read who played well to beat Graham Bailey. Bill Davidson did well to take a frame off in form Zaheer Hussein whilst Shaun Gebbie drew with Tom Egginton. This was Belmont’s 8th draw in 11 games and leaves them within striking distance of a promotion push, whilst The Cons are in the relegation spots despite having won 5 of their 11 games.
Stapenhill A eased their relegation fears with a 6-2 win at Tutbury D. Steve Ford and Chris Sheldrake were on target with wins whilst Dave Shenton and Andy Gretton both halved their games against Colin Bell and Jeff Siddalls respectively. Back to back wins have pulled Stapenhill 5 points clear of the drop whilst Tutbury have only won twice and are 8 points from safety.
In the Newton Fallowell Division Two, Stapenhill B rounded off the forst half of their season with a resounding 7-1 against Woodville C- a result that leaves them top of the pile at Christmas. Mark Gallagher had the highest break of the night of 24 in the one point the Woodville boys got in his draw with Tim Knopik. Otherwise it was plain sailing for The Institute with wins for Greg Britton, Colin Britton and Simon Piechowicz.
The inter club derby between The Snookerettes of Spot On D and Spot On E went in favour of the lads with a 7-1 scoreline. Only Marie Bridges was able to stem the flow as she scored a draw with Jordan Watts. Winners for the E team were Adam Edwards, Brad Williams and Jared Cronje, who knocked a cracking 50 in to leave the D winless at halfway and The E 11 points within the promotion positions.
A high quality match was played out as The Woodville B Worriers inflicted a first defeat of the season on SDSC D. The result could have gone either way with Woodville winning 2 of the 3 black ball games. David Wain unluckily went in off the black in his first against Billy Bob Brooks but Brooks left the black over the yellow bag for Wain to gain a deserved draw in the second. Another worthy draw was between Pat Ryan and Brian Bloor -both players playing well in the frames they won-Pat the first and Brian the second. Tony Coleman won both frames against Garton Bloor, the first fairly comfortably but Garton snookered himself behind the black when on the blue after a cracking brown. He didn’t escape and TC potted the blue and pink for the win. Match of the night was between Andy Bloor and Alan Orpwood. Andy Potted well to win the first but a superb clearance from Alan halved the game after a tremendous thin cut on the black in the second.
A very close battle was fought between Ivanhoe D and Rolleston C with the Ashby boys coming out on top 5-3 after a fine last frame win by Tony Tredger to secure a draw against John Ward. Neil Cheadle also drew with Brian Lowrie whilst also halving were Steve Atkin and Adam Briggs. Dave Watson was the man to make the difference on the night as he beat Graham Fisher.
Ian Protheroe scored Burton Cons D’s only victory of the night as they went down 5-3 at home to Belmont C. Dave Press and Matt Keay were on form for The Servicemen whilst the game between Jim Jennings and Terry Bosworth was shared.
Belmont D rounded off their first half of the season with a 7-1 defeat at home to Rolleston B. Only Matt Groves scored for Belmont in his draw with Lionel Lewis. Elsewhere for Rolleston, there were wins for Rob Sanders, Rob Tubey and Kev Norris. This is back to back wins for The Rollers and a good start to the second half of the season could mean a concerted push for promotion. 11 defeats from 12 for Belmont but this does not stop the lads from enjoying their snooker whatever and good luck for a win in the second half.
Top of the averages at Christmas is Andy Marriott in the Premier followed closely by Rob Chambers-Andy also has the highest break with a 79. In Division One, Wayne Brewin is top of the averages, followed by Jason Pickering-Wayne is also top of the High Breaks list with a 51. In Division Two Andy Tomlinson is top with Alan Orpwood in second, whilst Andy Bloor is top of the breaks with a 53.
To date, there have been 247 players play league snooker with a total of 169 breaks over 30, 111 of which have been in the Premier Division. Best wishes from The Committee to all of you and your families and good luck for the second half of the season.