HEADLINESSPARTANS ARE ROCK SOLID ~ PIRATES & CASTLE KEEP IN TOUCH ~ BEARS UP TO 5th ~ NO JOY FOR EITHER TROJANS
Spartans 10-4 Rockers
Teddy Bears 10-4 Whitehead Trojans
Alpha 4-10 Pirates
Castle 11-3 MSC Trojans
Monkstown 9-5 Barbarians
Valkyries 4-10 Scorpions
Greenisland 9-5 Eastway
Greenisland 8-6 Eastway. Grenisland hosted Eastway and as previous results show there isn't much between these two teams. The hosts got off to a great start with wins for S.Lennon and G.Burns, but M.Greer pulled one back for Eastway. The next 4 frames were shared, A.Harris and H.Warwick for Greenisland and L.McCord and T.Larmour for the visitors, to give Greenisland a slender 4-3 interval lead. Eastway won 2 out of the next 3, courtesy of G.Orr and M.Greer again. With A.Harris winning for the home side the match now stood at 5-5 and looked as if it would go all the way. But an unpredictable 4 frame final burst with wins from R.Croft, D.Baird, A.Harrison and W.Morrison ensured that the 3 points on offer would stay in the Greenislad Club. Best on the night were A.Harris (Greenisland) on 3/3 and M.Greer (Eastway) on 2/2/
Castle 11-3 MSC Trojans. With two of the joint top 4 teams playing each other, Castle wanted to capitalise and make a statement about their title ambitions. But they got off to their now obligatory shaky start even though a sublime 8 ball clearance by A.Toner from a D. Montgomery dry break put them 1-0 up. The visitors equalised despite J.Murdock hanging his last yellow. It looked simple for T.McCorry to increase the home advantage but he hung his penultimate red to let Murdock back in for a sitter. The away side then took the lead when A.McMeekin took the chance that was presented to him. Castle levelled vwhen D.Irwin played a fantastic shot to get on his last ball in a tight frame and M.Wilson restored the home lead with a great long black at the end of a tactical frame. In the 6th J.Meredith took advantage of a cushion foul to increase the lead to 4-2. In the final frame of the first half R.McMaw showed why he is current European Wheelchair Champion with some great shooting, culminating with a great cut on the black to give his Captain Rab Brown hope for the second period. But Castle came out with new vigour after Manager Derek Whiteside's team talk with one of the quickest second halves in memory. Meredith started the ball rolling with a break and dish before Toner made it 6-3 with another 8 ball clearance. Irwin then juggled the black for another break and dish but A.Mackey unsuccessfully tried to lay a snooker to leave Irwin a tap in.Next it was C.Howard turn to rip out an 8 ball clearance followed by a somewhat fortuitous win for Irwin. Wilson and Toner completed the rout with 2 super 8 ball clearances to Castle a 7-0 second half scoreline. Summing up it was a game of 2 halves, with MSC Trojans showing how much they have improved and pushing Castle all the way in the first half. The second however, was all Castle. A big performance with some breathtaking pool from a team who look ready now to push on with a serious challenge for the title. A big test awaits them next week with a visit to Roy McMurtrys high flying Pirates.
Monkstown 9-5 Barbarians. The first half started off close. H.Regan put the visitors ahead with a good finish, but alas this would be the only time the Barbarians would lead in the match. G.Russell and R.Henderson put Monkstown ahead at 2-1 before the in form H.Regan levelled the match again. The tit for tat continued with P.Charles edging the hosts ahead and visitors Captain M.Lowry equalising once again. Much to the relief off Monkstown Captain S.Greenberg her team then reeled off 4 in a row courtesy of Russell, R.Henderson, Charles and Greenberg herself. M.Porter put a temporary halt to Monkstowns charge but the destination of the 3 points was soon decide with a P.Henderson win. Russell with his hat trick made it 9-4 to the hosts but J.Regan took the last for the Barbarians with the help of a prematurely potted black.
Spartans 10-4 Rockers. Never in Manager Tommy Maguire's wildest dreams could he have predicted this result against the Champions. He and his assistant R.Hawkins took a gamble by using only 5 players on the night rather than spreading it out thinly between 8 or 9. And how those players repaid him with Spartans best performance for a long while. E.Martin started the ball rolling with an unlikely clearance before E.McDowell broke and dished against his old mentor Darren Whiteside. S.McWhirter finished superbly against R.Butler as the hosts raced into a 3-0 lead. W.Lewis stemmed the tide with a superb 8 ball clearance, but E.Martin finished well again against an unlucky Whiteside who got a kick on his final colour. Back came The Rockers with scintillating Pool, Arbuthnot broke and dished against K.English and P.Harris straight onto the table after arriving late broke and dished against McWhirter. Spartans now led 4-3 and with the 7 frames in the first half only lasting about 35 minutes the standard of Pool spoke for itself. After the break, the first half was always going to be a hard act to follow. First up McDowell took advantage of an unlucky in off from Lewis, to restore the home sides 2 frame advantage, and in frame 9 K.English got his revenge on Arbuthnot with the finest of nicks on a long black in the corner pocket. In the next when N.McKelvey making his debut was unlucky when going for his finish Rockers stand in Captain R.Butler laid a few great snookers before finishing off the frame. What a frame the 11th was between McDowell and Harris. The advantage swung one way, then the other about 8 times before a relieved McDowell finished when Harris juggled the black from a long shot down the rail. 7-4 to the hosts and the guarantee of at least a point. But Spartan confidence was high and it was fitting that new boy McKelvey ensured all 3 points would stay in Whitehead, when he took out a pinpoint 8 ball clearance against Lewis. E. Martin with a faultless 7 ball clearance and a McWhirter win sent Spartans to the top of the League table, albeit on frame difference only. Tops for Spartans were deadly duo McDowell and Martin both on 3/3.