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Week 21 write up –

1st Division –
Top played bottom last week when Fleetwood Hesketh A took on Bretherton A with the title chasing Hesketh mob coming out on top 4-2 moving one point clear in the table, crucially a game in hand. Always great to go 2-0 up which is exactly what happened after Martin Brown, helped with a break of 31, beat Dave Cottam 72-55, Stuart Evans too strong for Jim Holden beating him comfortably 73-35. Gareth Hibbott got his usual 50 start handicap to contend with but soon racked up 98 points against Kevin Wigley though Dean Oliver couldn’t get back the 10 points start given to Grant Mackenzie going down 64-37 to his opponent. Ste Crane made it unlucky win number 13 for the season when beating Gordon Russell 78-46 while Callum Mackenzie matched his brother’s efforts in defeating Danny Murphy 53-12, Callum’s first win for 2020.

The Argyle LTC lads suffered a 4-2 defeat to the hands of the visiting Tarleton A team to put a big dent in their dreams to retain the 1st division title they so deservedly won last year. Fact, Jon Holmes goes on first he wins. Wrong…!! Rob Iddon took the prized scalp of Mr J. Holmes, his first loss at home this season, in the opening frame 65-51, sinking the final pink to do so though Danny Jassi responded with a close call 56-43 win over Colin Boston. Brian Jarrett was shaken, and probably stirred, after Andy Bolton beat him on the final black 59-58 with Chris Hoare increasing the visitors lead to 3-1 when seeing off Ste Forshaw by 40 points in the end. Ste Cooper has lost his last three frames by 9pts, 2pts and now 5 points as Marcus Jackson took the final black in a 65-60 win as Paddy Tyndall stopped it from being a total rout on the night when coming out a 79-50 winner over Paul Cuerden. It leaves the Tennis club boys needing a bit of help in the coming fixtures if they want retain their 1st division title, a challenge they will most certainly accept…

Banks A played out a 3-3 draw with the visiting Birkdale Cons A team with plenty of action going on throughout the night for all concerned. Al Sutton got revenge on Tony Roberts after losing to him in the last fixture to beat him 62-34 as Phil Fitzy simply out shone Billy Cummings, running out an impressive 100-46 winner. The ‘King of the Twenty breaks’ would have enjoyed the rest of the snooker on the night as Alan Johnson’s 23 break against Ricky Webb helped him to a 67-39 win, John Prescott’s 23 break got outdone by Ronnie Brooks, who made breaks of 27 & 24 in cruising to a 77-52 victory. Mark Rollins got the best break of the night when compiling one of 31 against Mick Wardle but it was Mick’s break of 24 that got him to the 63-38 victory. Martin Sephton made it three from three versus Birkdale players this season when defeating Les Sullivan 63-39 to go with his wins over Phil Fitzy and Ronnie Brooks to end it 3 a-piece on the night.

The Churchtown Cons A lads, usually fighting among the bottom 4 in the division, consolidated their lofty 4th place position in the league last week after completing a 4-2 win over the visiting S & B team. Craig Rice started things off with a solid 70-27 win over James Payne, followed up when Les Prescott put Dave Palmers fire out on the final black for a 53-41 victory. James Shaw got back to winning ways after seeing off Russ Thornley 54-21, though Ed Coote managed to sink the final black against Dave Harwood to leave it 3-1 Churchtown with two to play. Mick Coxon made it two consecutive black ball victories when beating Paul Parker 67-60, though Trevor Wetton couldn’t stop Dave Green running out a 54-13 winner and get a second point on the night for the Cricketers.

Tarleton D got back to winning ways last week when turning over the Southport Cons A team 4-2, their first win in four, good prep for this week’s Tarleton Derby match up. Neil Ormerod suffered at the hands of Matty Pollock, going down 26-70 to the Con club player with Connor Ormerod thumping Andy Ward 56-8 for a 1-1 start. The Tarleton pair of Kyle Prescott & John Greenwood then swung the match towards the home side when both won their frames, Kyle 44-27 over Ian Bates, John on the final black 63-57 against Nobby Lee. Despite making a break of 32 in his frame, Dan Foley went down to Paul Crabtree jnr on the final black 69-62 as Drake Crook got the better of Dale Roberts 47-62, to give his side a valuable point towards staying in the top division.

2nd Division –
Our Lady’s, the one-time 4 point leaders of the division see themselves now sat in 6th position in the table after going down 4-2 to Tarleton C, who now sit second in the table. Nothing between the opening pairs of players as Dean Bond took the final black in a 57-53 win over Alan Houghton only for Mark Winkley to get their won black ball finish win when beating Shaun Fisher 58-55. Danny Mycek produced some of his best form this season when beating Pete Burns making breaks of 26 & 22 in doing so as Phil Keep made it win number 10 on the season when seeing off Luke Marshall on the final colours. Andy Johnson got back to winning ways when beating Michael Houghton 76-41, breaks of 35 & 25 meaning his recent lack of wins was firmly put behind him along with Jimmy Jones securing the win on the night when posting a 69-31 victory over Ged Aindow. It’s Derby Day for Tarleton C next week when they match up against Tarleton B while Our Lady’s, only two points off Tarleton C in second place play host to Birkdale Cons D.

Railway B fell to their 5th defeat of the season when the Birkdale Cons D team beat them 4-2, though had a bit of luck here and there it could have been them celebrating a good win. The opening pair for Birkdale of Steve McClusky & Tony Brookfield got things rolling along nicely when they both won with a bit to spare over Andy Linaker & Phil Kitchen. But no sooner had the Con club gone 2-0 up it was 2-2 when Martin Wood beat Mark Abbott 50-16, Ste Cobb a 63-14 winner over John Delahunty making a 23 break for good measure. But with the league table so congested at the moment, 2nd to7th covered by three points, winning the close games is going to be key come the end of the season for all teams and Birkdale had their share in this match. Chris Alker managed to beat Denis Woodward on the final colours 59-45 with Alec Davies taking the final black against Anthony White in a 59-57 win.

Scarisbrick A suffered their first defeat in the league since the middle of December last year when Fleetwood Hesketh C turned them over 4-2, in a match full of quality and potting prowess. First up, Andy Rae had to score 93 points in his frame in order to see off John Mullard 93-77, Ian Tinsley beating Dave Brown 63-20 for an even 1-1 start. Chris Starkie scored his highest return of the season so far in beating Andy Reynolds 72-46 with Norman Hallsworth going down to a debut making Barry Adlington on the final black 58-51. The match might have been evenly poised at two a-piece but the frame between Ian Lindsay and Ron Calder was anything but as the three time Lucas winner ran up a century of points to secure a huge 100-52 points victory coupled up with a Paul Rogers 55-30 win over Graham Ball.

Railway A got back on track last week when thumping Churchtown Cons B 5-1 to register only their second home win of the season out of their previous eight played. If home is where the heart is then this Pre-Valentines match up for Railway lads must have been the right tonic for their potting boots as Paul Taylor ran out a big 83-33 winner over Gary Hudson making breaks of 31 & 24 in doing so along with Stephen Metcalfe, a 62-42 winner over Dave Pritchard. Two nil soon became 4-0 as Mark Tomlin served it up to Mark Kitchen beating him 57-28, Billy Evans doing what Billy Evans dos, ‘pots, drinks, smiles, shakes hands’, this time to Lawrence Richards beating him 86-46 helped along with a break of 24 for good measure. The Railways biggest home win for many a time now was completed when Ally Iddon edged out Colin Tennant 69-58 though the full house clean sweep six was thwarted when Paul Connor racked up 94 points against Gary Flynn meaning the Con club side took something home with them on the night.

3rd Division –
With just the four rounds of fixtures left in the 3rd division the Scarisbrick C team might just be starting to feel the pressure as the only came away from playing Fleetwood Hesketh D with a 3-3 draw. The night got off to a flyer for the visitors as Denis Glover took full advantage of his handicap start over Andy Bridge to eventually beat him 106-43 ably supported by Martin Cusack’s 50-30 win over John Gearie. Dave Martindale got to winning ways when beating Howard Lawrence 53-27 though Chris Devlin made a 27 break on his way to racking up 91 points against Neil Rimmer and a 3-1 score line to the wannabe champs. But Fleetwood, who might still have a say in the final placings yet, fought back to claim a good 3-3 draw with wins for Larry Scholes over Peter Fenwick and Bob Ashcroft over Dan Lawrence. Fleetwood might need a few favours to get in to the top two positions, but they have an outside chance. For Scarisbrick, they have the title destiny in their hands, what could possibly go wrong…!!

The Birkdale Cons B team through a warning shot across to Scarisbrick after they handed out a 5-1 thumping to Southport Cons B to leave them four points back with the game in hand. Despite going 2-0 up it wasn’t all plain sailing as Peter Wilding only beat Craig Thomas by 12 points, 65-53, with John Stringfellow claiming the young scalp of Harry Pollock on the final colours 52-43. John Warnick won his first frame in four to see off Peter Jackson 76-66 though Michael Ralph did manage to get one back when beating Tina Rothwell 55-20. With the Captain away, the mice did play, as Geoff Tyas beat John Blackhurst on the final colours 63-47 along with David Robinson’s 72-38 win over George Knight to secure their fourth 5-1 win of the season. Bigger tests to come for Birkdale but they are in a great position to strike should the chance present itself.

Whisper it quietly but Fleetwood Hesketh B are one of the form teams of the division at the moment sitting unbeaten in five, their latest result a 3-3 draw with the Churchtown Cons C team. Even though the Con club seem to have lost their mojo they are still right in the middle of the title hunt but it’s only one win in five now for the C team. Fleetwood took the initiative from the get go after wins came for Lawrence Renshaw and Terry Gowland over Adam Rothwell and Malcolm Green. Churchtown Fought back to level it up in the middle frames as Brian Sheil beat Phil Marrow 58-44 doubled up with Peter Parkinson beating Ian Brownhill by over 20 points 67-45. Churchtown’s Tony Baldwin took the frame away from Mick Orme when beating him 79 points to 33 leaving it down to Fleetwood’s Brian Kimberly to bring up win number four on the bounce when beating Joe Perberdy on the final black 47-39. First versus second next for the Con club as they take on Scarisbrick at Bullens lane with Fleetwood hoping to stay unbeaten when playing host to third placed Birkdale B.

A ‘Black Ball Bonanza’ was the order of the day last week when Bretherton B played out a 3-3 draw with the visiting Banks B team, with no less than four frames being decided on the final black ball…!! Giving 20 start to Phil Iddon, Lee Holmes made a nice break of 32 towards clinching the frame 79-74 with less drama needed for Simon Moulton as he saw off Andy Hardisty 52-28 and a 1-1 start. Despite his 14 wins so far this season Ed Moulton lost out to Graham Melvin 55-41, Ed’s 5th frame this year settled on the final pink or black, with Bob Burns giving the Banks Boys a 3-1 lead when beating Alan Venables 61-57 and the third black ball finish on the night. Nev Marsden had no worries when beating Young Sam Coakley 61-39 though the black ball drama had one more story to tell, this one going the way of Ste Fiddler when he beat Ricky Roberts 58-51 to leave honours shared on the night 3 a-piece.

Railway C fell to their third defeat on the trot after losing 4-2 to the visiting Churchtown Cons D team, who themselves finding a win for the first time in their last three played. The opening frames saw some high scoring finishes with Max Riley managing to get past Trevor Ford 71-62, Dave Quinn 71-50 over Dave Brown. Bob Fairclough went down 65-23 to Mike Pickles as Billy Pye produced his best effort for a while now when potting his way to an 88-54 win over Nigel Thornton, making a healthy 30 break for his efforts. The Railways Jake Wheeler nicked the final black in this frame against Tony Wakefield for a 52-49 victory though Guy Riley couldn’t stop Steve Mentha from making it 4 wins on the night when losing out 51-22 to the Con club player.

Two wins on the bounce now for Scarisbrick B, the latest a 5-1 thumping of the visiting Birkdale C team, a result which sees them close the gap on the rest, hopefully seeing them miss out on the wooden spoon come the end of the season. Birkdale’s John Melvin took another kicking from a Scarisbrick player this year as Ian Lowery beat the Con club player 79-29 to go with his 80-47 defeat to Wayne Cooper earlier in the year. Wayne this time saves his potting arm and John McGee running out a 60-47 winner and a 2-0 start to the home side. Mick Hodge & Matt Lowery continued with the home onslaught Mick beat Ted Coghlan 58-39, Matt a 64-38 winner over Sean McDerby. When Peter Simpson beat Paul Rimmer it meant the Scarisbrick player was the first in his team to 10 wins for the season but John Hardisty couldn’t add to his win column or claim the full house 6-0 result after Paul Murphy managed to take the final black 65-58 for a face saving 5-1 thrashing.

I wish you all good luck for the new season, and lets hope for some close battles and tight finishes in this the Southport Leagues 75th year of competition.

Chris Gill - Gen Sec