By Mick Buckland
In the space of two weeks, it’s been all change at the top of the David Wain Insurance Premier Division. Last week the top two met in Ashby, where Ivanhoe A beat Burton Cons A 5-3 in a high quality match. First up Mick Simpkins for the Cons drew with Ian Rennocks whilst on the other table Andy Marriott was in imperious form, knocking in runs of 77, 53, 39 and 31 as he put Jon Swift to the sword. Jon Fletcher then potted very well for the Cons to square the match up, including a nice run of 35 against Ant Moore. It was all down to Dan Blunn versus Mike Buckland. Mike knocked in a cracking long red but then missed a half ball black and from there Dan smashed in a superb 80 and if it hadn’t been for not quite getting on the green, it would have been the season’s first century. In the second, Mike got in front mainly thanks to a good 32 and kept in front all the way down to the brown, which he should have knocked in but didn’t and Daniel cleared with the aid of a very accurate positional shot to get on the blue and complete the win for the home side.
Belmont A kept their challenge going with a 7-1 home win over Spot On A. John Chambers kept up his record of break building with another effort of 44 as he dispatched Nige Tomlinson 2-0. Andy Speirs, for the Spots, kept the visitors interest as he drew with Rich Goldby but there were wins for both Rob Chambers and Mark Sherratt in the second half to secure the win, with Mark having two runs of 33. Belmont since have gone on to win their re-arranged match in hand against Tutbury B 6-2 to now lead the table by a point at Christmas and remain the only unbeaten side.
Belmont B went to Swad Cons and came away with four points as all 4 matches were drawn. Paul Slater and Graham Bailey shared theirs with Graham for Belmont having the evening’s highest contribution of 35. Andy Grainger and Arron Vaughan, making a rare appearance also shared before half time. In the second half Simon Orpwood had a nice 30 as he drew with Josh Gebbie before the scoring was completed with another half between Ant Rushton and Mark Satchwell.
The season’s first 8-0 whitewash came from a perhaps unlikely source in SDSC A., as they destroyed Tutbury B without reply. Top scoring for them yet again was Harry Farrell who included a lovely 46 on the way to beating Andy Thompson in a match that could have gone either way. Adam Harrison simply out-potted Bill Stewart as did Ben Davies against Daz Lester, also making a rare appearance. Alan Davies for the Tutters had no luck in running and also went down to Henry Tomas.
Burton Cons B showed that they will be in the shake up after Christmas after beating Tutbury C 6-2. There were wins for John Shilton, who had a nice 41, Darren Coady and Troy Randle, whilst a rusty Dave Shipton was beaten by Steve Butler , for the Tutters, who had an evening’s high run of 52. Tutbury A pulled themselves away from the relegation zone after triumphing over Newhall A 6-2 at home. John Brentnall and Carl Glover halved in the first half before Steve Mabbutt included a 32 on the way to beating Nick Walker to put the home side 3-1 up. In the second half , Martin Hicks for Newhall had a run of 34 but was only able to draw with Dave Mabbutt and the scoring was completed by Chris Mabbutt who defeated Martin Hurdman 2-0.
Ivanhoe C lead the way at Christmas in the PJM Fascias Division One. Wins for Gaz Dolman and Mick Kirk saw them on their way against Stapenhill A , away at The Institute. The fifth frame and thereby winning the extra winners’ point was scored by Steve Cockeram in his draw with the home side’s Andy Gretton. Chris Sheldrake, for the Institute won his against Graham Measures for a 5-3 scoreline to the visitors.
The C team came out on top in the Alrewas derby in what was an edgy but high quality match. Loz Kennerson was always ahead of Alrewas B’s Adam Walton in both frames. Kennerson winning both at a relative canter. Carl Poulton for the B team shared the frames with Steve Butterworth. He took the first with an excellent 52 break and looked like he was going to take the second too but Butterworth potted tough long brown, blue and pink to take the draw.Simon Tarrant was in excellent form against Micky Morris not giving his B team opponent any real opportunities. He took a lot of excellent pots with good position and sealed both frames with a bit to spare .Alrewas B’s Ian Hiley took both frames against Steve Lane. The first at a canter but Lane fought back in the second to take it close but Hiley took it at the death.
Spot On B went to Swad Snooker Centre and came away 5-3 winners, beating the club’s C team. Tony Clements was the visitors’ star man as he put in assured show to beat Andy Bloor. The other three matches were halved-David Wain with John Hardy, Brian Bloor with Trevor Heath and Garton Bloor with Steve Gaunt.
Rolleston A find themselves in one of the promotion places at Christmas, partly due to the 7-1 thumping they handed out last week to Ivanhoe B. There were wins for Bobby Cliff, Joe Docksey and Mark Press whilst in form Tom Bassett was held to a 1-1 draw by Stu Tagg.
Burton Cons C kept themselves in with a chance of making a promotion challenge in January after beating Rolleston B 6-2. Greg Read, with a 32 and Ian Shrive a 29, were in fine form as they both secured comfortable victories whilst another win for Simon Shilton over Rob Tubey saw the home side through. In return. it was Rob Sanders who kept the score respectable by beating Vince Draper.
Matt Tewkesbury and Dave Watson won their games comfortably for Ivanhoe D , who avoided defeat for only the third time this season against Stapenhill B. Nathan Blood was well in the first frame against The Institute’s Rob Kent, although Rob ran away with the second, whilst Greg Britton had too much class on the night for the home side’s Tom Freeman.
It is promising to be a tremendous tussle for promotion in the Newton Fallowell Division Two after Christmas as four teams appear to have pulled clear of the others. Swad Cons C lead the way but were held 4-4 by Spot On E who remain unbeaten themselves but currently outside the top three. The Cons’ Sean Fern and Jordan Watts both halved before half time in their matches against James Bailey and Dave Goldsmith of the Spots. Jared Cronje had the division’s high break for the week with a lovely 46 as he was in charge against Marvin Walker to put the Cons in with a chance of the win but Luke Allsopp rolled in a nice 28 to defeat the home side’s Colin Cope and to leave things all square.
There was another of those rare draws where all four matches were halved in the game between Tutbury D and Belmont C. Colin Bell, Dave Brady ,Paul Atterbury and Ian Day all won one of two against Terry Bosworth, Graeme Drayton, Brain Cutting and Dave Press respectively.
Stapenhill C won for only the second time this term as Tim Knopik starred by having a nice 30 in his win over Colin Wood of Rolleston C. The other three matches were shared-Neil Bourne with Aaron Doyle, Colin Britton with Neil Cheadle and Paul Stewart with Steve Atkin.
Nick Harcombe was man of the match for SDSC D as he rolled a good 32 in during his win over Billy Bob Brooks of Woodville A. Also winning were Bob McInulty over Daz “The Potter” Scott and Ray Bancroft over Tony “The Snail” Coleman. It was Pat “The Model” Ryan who kept Woodville’s spirits high as he defeated Chris Craddock.
Woodville B and Swad Cons B drew 4-4 in a match that could have gone either way. In the first half, there were wins for Gaz Ward for The Cons and Jim Marcer for Woodville. After the break, it was much tighter as both games were drawn-Denis Moore with Bob Birch and Mark Gallagher with Jon Petcher.
Charlie Groves had the night off for Belmont D as Burton Cons C were only able to field three players. Jim Jennings was in fine form to get the match back all square for The Cons as he included a good 25 on the way to defeating Ian Gibson. Tom Holland and Al Munnien were not to be separated and neither were Matty Groves and Greg Hall as the match was tied at 4-4.