By Mick Buckland
In the first round of league fixtures since the Christmas break, it was Belmont A who made the biggest move in the David Wain Insurance Premier Division by thumping Swad Snooker Centre A 7-1 on their own patch. Steve Ayre was the only man able to stem the tide as he took a frame off Josh Gebbie. John and Rob Chambers both scored two as did Mark Sherratt in a rare appearance for the Belmont boys.
This brings Belmont within 3 points of the top after Ivanhoe A were held 4-4 away at Spot On B. Simon Tarrant was the star man for the Spots with runs of 38 and 31 in his win over James Hastie. Loz Kennerson was also in fine form as be beat Daniel Blunn. In reply Andy Marriott was as solid as ever as he included a 41 and a 33 in his win whilst Ant Moore knocked a ridiculous black in to win his second frame against Lee Cooke to seal the draw.
In second spot are Burton Cons A, just two behind the leaders after they scraped past Tutbury A in a match that had several frames that could have gone either way. At the turn it looked plain sailing for the Cons as they opened up a 4-0 lead. John Shilton beat John Brentnall but only after Shilton overturned a 37 point deficit in the second. Graham Stevens beat Steve Hathaway including breaks of 46 and 39 but Steve kept in the match and it was tighter than it might have looked. Chris Mabbutt then beat Jon Swift in a scrappy match-Chris just about doing enough, especially at the end of the second. Mike Buckland somehow managed to take the first frame off Dave Mabbutt having required two snookers and getting them. Dave missing round the back of the blue for the first when it didn’t look like there was enough room and then missing the pink for the second and trundling straight into the green bag leaving the pink and black at Buckland’s mercy. Mabbutt responded by taking the second with a nice clearance after, rather like the first, all the balls got tied up awkwardly.
Burton Cons B kept in the title race with a 6-2 win over Tutbury B. Simon Smith was in excellent form as he comfortably beat Jan Pawlazcyk including a good 44 which might have been more. Matt Milnes included a 37 on the way to defeating Bill Stewart with a solid performance. Stuart Roberts knocked in a 31 but this was only good enough for one frame versus Daz Lester whilst The Tutters’ Alan Davies took a frame from Owen Jones.
There is now 24 points between 4th and 5th but it’s SDSC B who claim that position after returning to winning ways beating Swad Cons A 5-3. Adam Harrison was too strong on the night for Paul Slater whilst Mark Hadley and Henry Tomas shared two tight frames. Harry Farrell continued his fine form rolling a lovely 50 in against James Wright as well as other significant contributions. Andy Grainger, for The Cons, beat Ben Davies, who will count himself unlucky after missing a go at the black. Swad Cons are still bottom but have 39 points, making it 3 a match and they have a realistic chance of escaping relegation.
The two sides third and fourth bottom played out what might have been predicted-a tight 4-4 draw. Mark Press scored a win for Rolleston A whilst Nigel Tomlinson did similar in reply for Spot On A. The Rollers Rich O’Dell halved his match with Billy Newman whilst Tony Rushton shared his two frames with Andy Speirs.
In the PJM Fascias Division One, Tutbury C are 14 points clear after a 4-4 draw away at Stapenhill A. The Tutters produced four 25 plus breaks between them but a determined Intstitute side held on for a share of the spoils. Tom Lucas scored the only win for the league leaders whilst Barry Waller for The Institute scored a good win against an out of sorts Wayne Smith. Callum Coleman hung on to a draw against Steve Burrows who had a nice 32. Steve Butler had a 31 as well as a 25 but this only won him a single frame against Jason Spibey.
Woodville A made it three wins on the bounce with a terrific 7-1 win over Alrewas B, who are slipping closer to the wrong end of the table. Ian Hiley managed to win a frame off John Chambers but that was as good as it got for The Legionnaires. Fran McInulty rolled in a lovely 52 to now lead the high breaks table for the division in his win against James Edwards. Mark Satchwell was not at his fluent best but had too much for Adam Walton whilst Wayne Brewin scored another win against Carl Poulton, making it 22 wins from 24.
Newhall A and Belmont B who are both just in behind the promotion positions played out a 4-4 draw at The Services Club. This was Belmont’s 9th draw from 12 league fixtures. A rare appearance from Brett Craddock helped the home side on as he beat Martin Hurdman. Adam McInulty responded for Newhall with a 41 on the way to beating Zaheer Hussein. Martin Hicks for Newhall and Graham Bailey for Belmont halved their match as did Mick Morris and Carl Glover. Both sides are in with a good chance of promotion as we enter the business end of the season.
Ivanhoe C scraped passed Burton Cons C by a 5-3 scoreline. It was Steve Cockeram who made the difference as he produced a fine 40 on the path to beating Steve Castledine. The other three matches were all drawn as nothing could separate Gaz Dolman with Bill Davidson, Daz Wilson and Greg Read and then Jerry Cook and Ian Shrive. This result has pulled the Ashby boys a few points clear of the drop zone but leaves Burton Cons in it.
Having lost six league matches on the bounce, Tutbury D stopped the rot with a hard fought 4-4 result against Spot On C. Paul Atterbury was their star man as he beat Steve Gaunt, whilst John Hardy replied for The Spots, including a lovely 34 on the way to beating Dave Brady. Colin Bell shared his two with Andy Jenkins whilst Jeff Siddalls and Trevor Heath also shared.
The Newton Fallowell Division Two table is led by Stapenhill B after The Institute beat Rolleston C 6-2 away. This is 5 league wins on the spin and victories for Colin Britton, Andy Tomlinson and Greg Britton(who had a good 32) ensured they are now 5 points cleat at the top. Only Graham Fisher was able to respond for The Rollers with a win over Tim Knopik.
In second are SDSC D who were held 4-4 at home by Belmont C. It was one of those rare games where all 4 matches were halved-David Wain, Brian Bloor, Andy Rice and Garton Bloor halving with Terry Bosworth, Matt Keay, Brain Cutting and Graeme Drayton respectively.
Third spot and in good shape for promotion are Spot On E despite losing last week to Woodville C. Only captain Jared Cronje scored a win although Brad Williams managed a half against “Gentleman” Jim Marcer. For Woodville, Denis Moore and Mark Gallagher were on song to spring a surprise win.
The Snookerettes of Spot On D were unlucky to go down 5-3 at home to Rolleston B. Rob Sanders beat Olivia Peaty whilst the other three matches were halved. Marie Bridges, Kate Stirling and Yvonne Spendlove all coming off on level terms with Kev Norris, Rob Tubey and Lionel Lewis.
Swad Cons C had a fine 6-2 win against Woodville B. Gaz Ward and Bob Birch both scored doubles against Billy Bob Brooks and Patio Ryan, whilst Jon Petcher and Alan Orpwood halved as did Andy Boam with Tony Coleman.