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Week 9 write up, 1st Division -

Only one place to start, Bretherton A have won a game…!! At last, the newly promoted side can now breathe a bit more easily after turning over the visiting Churchtown Cons A 5-1 and put them in closer order to the rest of the table. It started well as John Snape scored well against James Shaw for a 72-33 win with Grant Mackenzie edging past Les Prescott on the final black 59-52. The result, and first win, was made official after the middle pairings of Callum Mackenzie and Dave Cottam both won with a bit too spare over Dave Harwood and Craig Rice so going 4-0 up and now cruising. The last two frames could have gone to either team as Ron Dickinson took Mick Coxon to a black ball finish 54-51, as Trevor Wetton eventually got the better of Jim Holden on the final colours to claim a 5th frame win on the night. Bretherton face a trip to Birkdale Cons next with the Con club facing a tough task of Fleetwood Hesketh A.

And Fleetwood Hesketh A will face their next opponents 4 points clear at the top of the table after turning over Tarleton D 5-1 with the usual top performance from Gareth Hibbott once again. Fleetwood tend to play well at Tarleton and especially Gareth who in the recent years has scored some big beaks. This time it was one of 92, a new Division Break Target, but it could have matched some of his recent efforts had managed to get the past red. Oh well, maybe next time… No scorecard as of yet so unfortunately nothing else to report on the match…

Argyle LTC came out on top in the Battle of the One Table sides beating the visiting S & B boys 5-1 maintaining their distance to Fleetwood Hesketh in the table. A guest appearance from Andy O’Hara helped get things off a good start when beating Mark McDonald 72-54 as John Holmes once again dominated from the front running out a 50 point winner over Paul Parker. This win for John leaves him out as the leading player in the division so far this season, 7 from 7, keep it up pal, they’re all coming after you now…!! Danni Jassi found his old from against Russ Thornley with Mario Brothers long lost cousin, Dave Palmer beating Ste Cooper with a bit to spare, 73-35. But that would be the only highlight for the visitors as both Ste Forshaw and Paddy Tyndall mopped up the final frames and secure Argyle their 3rd 5-1 victory this year. Paddy excelling once again making a solid break of 79 against Dave Green. Southport Cons A is the next match up for Argyle as S & B play host to Tarleton D.

Well, the welcome was warm, it usually is from the Birkdale Cons A lads, but that homely hospitality didn’t stretch too far in the opening frames as the home side ran out to a 2-0 lead over Tarleton A with scrappy wins for both Phil Fitzgerald & Tony Roberts. Phil made his usual 20 break for good measure, his 462nd in recent times, something he doesn’t like to brag about, much…!! The highlight frame of the night was the one between Paul Shawcross and Chris Hoare with some exceptional safety play in both the setting of the snookers and getting out of them with Chris eventually coming out a 66-36 winner. Of the other middle frame on the night, Les Sullivan & Marcus Jackson won’t mind me saying this, Les won. Three one up, Mark ’No Not Phil’ Horan thrashed a couple of balls down to beat Andy Bolton 55-23 with Tarleton’s Paul Cuerden getting the better of Ronnie Brooks to ultimately see the Con club take the tie 4-2 on the night. Next for Birkdale is Bretherton A while Tarleton play host to Banks A.

Banks A went down 4-2 losers to the visiting Southport Cons A side leaving the home side winless from their last 4 matches, for Southport, their first away win of the season. Maybe it was just one of those nights for Banks who lost all four of the opening frames of the night, with not one player from the home side passing 30 points in their frame. Southport’s Mike Langford came out a 70-26 winner over Al Sutton, Ian Bates saw off Billy Cummings by 40 points, Matty Pollock shut down Mark Rollins to just 16 points in his 66-16 victory with Andy Ward getting one over John Prescott and so put his team up 4-nil. Banks did have one reprieve on the night as the Con club only came with 5 players so it was left to Martin Sephton to try and gain something extra, which he did when beating Norma Lee 53-14.

2nd Division –

Our Lady’s came away from playing The Railway A team with only a 3-3 draw but the result was good enough for them to stay top of the division and pull further away due to other results. The opening frames were shared when Mark Tomlin took out a black ball finish over Ged Aindow 47-43 as Mark Winkley levelled things up when beating Callum Taylor 53-41. The middle frames were also shared as Billy Evans brought up win number 5 for the season against Luke Marshall and Michael Houghton replied with a solid 66-25 win over Captain Paul Taylor. Two-two going into the last couple of frames and the draw was probably the bet with both sides have drawing more than they have won so far this year. But it was the Formby pair of Alan Parker and Danny Mycek who broke that record when beating the Railways Ally Iddon and Gary Flynn, Danny now racking up his 6th win of a productive season so far.

The reason Our Lady’s extended their lead to 5 points now in part was down to the shock 4-2 defeat of the Tarleton B team to Churchtown Cons B, the Con clubs first league win of the season…!! Things got off to the usual start for Ian Gautrey seeing off Paul Connor 75-50 as Neil Rigden lost out on the final black 59-63 to Dave Pritchard, Dave’s first win of the season too. Another close frame came about when Mark Kitchen put one over Ray Forshaw 57-53, while Jason Swarbrick brought up win number 6 from for the season when seeing off Colin Tennant 66-45. But it proved to be third time lucky for the Con club in the end, this being their third home match of the season so far, as John Smith rolled back the years to beat John Gautrey 66-45, Johns first win in the league since February 2018, and only his third frame played since the previous February of 2018. On a roll then John…!! Gary Hudson securing the win when beating Andy Marsden on the final colours 56-42. Churchtown face another home match this week when they welcome Fleetwood Hesketh C while Tarleton have the Railwaymen’s A team on their sights next.

Tarleton C claimed their biggest win of the season so far when thumping Scarisbrick A 5-1, seeing them move up to 4th in the table, while the loss for the Bullens Lane lads saw them take up residency at the foot of the table some 12 points off top spot now. Shaun Fisher got the ball rolling for Tarleton with a very impressive 99-41 victory over Chris Starkie as Mark Sowerby got the better Pete Burns, Just mind, on the final black 60-56. After that it was plain sailing for Tarleton with wins for Dean Bond and Andy Johnson, with Andy still be found out in the league, unbeaten from his 7 played. Phil Keep ran away from Graham Ball in the end, coming out a comfortable 80-46 winner with Jimmy Jones sneaking past, that’s if Jimmy could sneak past mind, Ron Calder by the narrowest of 3 point margin 53-50. Railway B is the next stop for Tarleton C with Scarisbrick hoping to get back to winning ways against Birkdale D lads.

That match for Birkdale D can’t come quickly enough for them after they suffered the same treatment Scarisbrick got, going down to a 5-1 thumping, on the road at Fleetwood Hesketh C. In a match where posting a frame score of 66 got you the win, it was the Marshside lads who struck first as Danny Clegg won 66-48 against Mark Abbott with Alan Harley matching it in a 66-18 win over Steve McClusky. Just to be different Paul Rogers scored 68 points for his 40 point victory over Chris Alker with Ian Lindsay topping the scoring charts when beating Tony Brookfield 74-37. Three one up and that first league win within touching distance for the home side, Andy Reynolds secured the win when he beat Alec Davies 66-27. Not to be out done with the 66 point victory score line, John Delahunty beat Dave Brown 66 points to four.

3rd division –

The Birkdale Cons B team snatched a 3-3 draw from the visiting Fleetwood Hesketh B team and in doing so left the Marshsiders still awaiting their first league victory of the season. That first league win would have looked good to the visiting side after going 2-0 up with wins for Mark Beaver & Phil Marrow, Mark all be it on the final black 59-51, but they all count. Brian Kimberly got the better of Keith Minshall 54-33 but Terry Gowland couldn’t get past Geoff Tyas, going down by 25 points in the end, 53-28. It left the current division leaders staring down their first defeat of the season and so they had to pull out all the stops to get something out of the match. Step forward the 2019 Senior Champion John Stringfellow and the teams star player this year David Robinson to bring the game to a grand finale with both players closing out their frames with a bit to spare and so grab a very unlikely 3 points from the match. Fleetwood will be hoping to get that win soon, hopefully against Bretherton B next week. While Birkdale, 1ST in the division, take on Churchtown Cons C who sit 3rd in the table only 3 points behind.

The reason Churchtown Cons C sit third in the league is in main to the 4-2 defeat they suffered to the now 2nd placed team Scarisbrick B, again the last two players winning both of the final frames to secure the win. The night started well for the visitors as Dennis Glover and David Williams both won with a good bit to spare over Peter Parkinson & Malcolm Green, but things changed. The Con club pair of Tony Baldwin and Adam Rothwell beat Dave Oakes and Peter Fenwick to level things up, Tony making a superb break of 43 in his frame against Dave Oakes. Well played sir… But it was the final pairing for the visitors who took the plaudits when the Lawrence family combo of Howard and Dan swept past Nathan Browne and Joe Perberdy to secure 2nd spot in the table and a 6th league win of the season.

Bretherton B got back to winning ways last week when coming out 4-2 winners over the visiting Southport Cons B team, their first win for 4 matches now. Edwin Moulton got off to a flyer, running away from Craig Thomas with an impressive 89-11 win with Phil Iddon backing his team mate up with a 58-43 win over young Harry Pollock. Bretherton’s Alan Venables got back to winning ways when beating John Barton as Michael Ralph got his side on the score sheet beating Ste Fiddler on the final colours 60-52. The win for Bretherton eventually came when Simon Moulton took out John Blackhurst 55-41 though Peter Yates did manage to get the better of Neville Marsden to get a second point for his team on the night.

Banks B sit fourth in the table coming off a good 4-2 away win at Scarisbrick B with a couple of star performances coming from both sides. Matt Lowery may have taken a black ball win last week but it was his turn to suffer that fate when Lee Holmes potted the final ball to come out a 63-62 winner with Chris Powell eating Steve Powell and a 3-0 lead for Banks. The middle frames had all of the fireworks as Wayne Cooper racked up yet another fine performance with breaks of 34 & 26 to secure a 97-51 win over Ricky Roberts. And although Andy Hardisty didn’t match the breaks of Wayne in the other frame he did manage to rack up 90 points in his 90-38 win over Ian Lowery. Mick Hodge continued his scoring spree after last week’s Rickerby ton of points, only 70 this time, but enough to see of Bob Burns with Graham Melvin getting the better of Peter Simpson in the 6th frame to make it win number four for the Banks Boys.

Surprise surprise, no not a Cilla moment, just another Churchtown Cons D drawn match 3-3, their 4th on the bounce, and 5th draw from their last six league matches played. This week’s drawn opponents were Fleetwood Hesketh D, a side who had just started to put a bit of a run together being unbeaten now in their last 5 matches. Andy Bridge beat Trevor Ford in a good frame 68-50 with Dave Quinn seeing of Colin Coffey on the final colours 31-41. Churchtown then took control when taking the middle frames for a 3-1 lead but Fleetwood fought back when Larry Scholes and Neil Rimmer got the better of Tony Wakefield and Russ Walsh. The draw leaves them both in mid-table, but not out of a possible title tilt further down the line.

Railway C threw away the chance for a second league win after going 2-0 up against the Birkdale Cons C lads, missing the chance to move off the bottom of the division table. Max Riley and Dave Brown took the opening frames, Max with a 52-43 win over Phil Green, as Dave beat Paul Murphy by over 30 points in his frame. The momentum of the match then swung back to the visitors with Birkdale’s John McGee and John Melvin both winning but with the last two frames being split the match ended up level pegging 3 a-piece.

2nd division fixture update – The league match between Tarleton B & Fleetwood Hesketh C is to be played on the 11th of November.

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