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Week 10 write up, 1st Division -

Fleetwood Hesketh A might still be sitting pretty at the top of the table but must feel that they dropped points in the title race after only drawing 3-3 with the visiting Churchtown Cons A lads. Martin Brown & Dean Oliver got things off smartly rushing out to a 2-0 lead, Martin coming up just short of 100 points in his frame against Craig Rice. Gareth did what Gareth does, breaks of 50 & 48 in his demolition job of Dave Harwood as James Shaw beat Danny Murphy 85-21 to make sure they would come away with something from the match. But the Con club side did more than just hold on to their one point, they took the remaining two frames to claim a good 3 points as Trevor Wetton saw off Captain Ste Crane by over 40points with Mick Coxon holding off the intentions of Mike Roberts to come out a 56-41 winner.

When your title rivals drop points you better step in and that’s what Argyle LTC did when thumping Southport Cons A 5-1 cutting the deficit back to just the two points now. Things started off ok for the Bath Street side as Nobby Lee beat Andy O’Hara 78-41 as Danny Jassi replied by beating Andy Ward by just over forty points. The ever dependable Paddy Tyndall made short work of Ian Bates beating him 79-57 with Ste Forshaw getting the better of Ian Bates 68-33 helped along by a break of 27 in his frame. Frame of the night came between Matty Pollock and John Holmes with both players scoring well in their frame, Matty a break of 24, John breaks of 22 & 27 helping him to a 71-66 black ball victory. Ste Cooper saw off Ian Higgins with plenty to spare as Argyle posted their 7th win and 5th 5-1 victory score line.

Three wins on the bounce now for the Birkdale Cons A team, this one a 4-2 win over Bretherton A team, which keeps the 2018 champions still in the hunt for more title glory. Paul Shawcross got the Birkdale ball moving when he beat Dave Cottam 56-35 as Jim Richards won his first match of the season when taking on Tony Roberts to square things up one-a-piece. The middle frames went the way of the home side as Mark Horan ran in breaks of 24 & 23 to see off Grant Mackenzie as Ricky Webb crashed through the century mark when stuffing Ron Dickinson by 108 points to 58. Brethertons first win of the season last week must have seemed a year ago as Les Sullivan put Gordon Russell through the mill a bit coming out a comfortable 40 point winner but the visiting side did manage to take two points back with them as Callum Mackenzie beat Ronnie Brooks on the final colours. It doesn’t let up for Bretherton next week as they play host to the league leaders, with Birkdale welcoming Banks to the Con club.

S & B cc played out a 3-3 draw with the visiting Tarleton D team, which on reflection could have been better seeing that the Tarleton team have yet to add another league win to their sole win back in week three. Paul Parker saw off Arnie Sothern 69-55 with Dale Roberts hitting back when defeating Barney Newton by 30 points. Tony Milner beat the Bearded Wonder Kyle Prescott on the final colours, leaving Kyle still winless so far this season, as John Greenwood continued his good from when beating Russ Thornley to make it 2-a-piece. Captain Dave Palmer made sure the team would not lose after taking the 5th frame 72-30 over Neil Ormerod but Dave Green went down a 30-72 loser to the young pretender Connor Ormerod. The Cricket lads take on Churchtown next as Tarleton travel to Bath Street to play the Southport Cons.

Tarleton A v Banks A – No scorecard yet

2nd Division –

A 4-2 victory for Tarleton B over the Railway A lads saw them return to the top of the table, but it could have been a different story had the visitors been a bit more ruthless in their potting. Paul Taylor managed to fend off Ray Forshaw’s efforts to take a scrappy frame 66-40 while Callum Taylor will still be wondering how he lost to Tarleton’s top stick Ian Gautrey going down by the single point 74-73. Callum pounced on Ian’s early mistakes and was value for his 40 point lead with only a handful of reds left on. But that winning line, so close in his mind was a mile away in reality with chance after chance presenting itself to kill the frame off but he just couldn’t do it. Ian eventually took the frame on the final black this after Callum had first digs at it. Never mind Callum, keep it up… Jason Swarbrick was in 7th heaven after seeing off Mark Tomlin 74-44 with Billy Evans out potting Andy Marsden to see a 2-2 score line with the final pairings to go. All four of the remaining players had their chances but in the end Ste Gautrey snook past Ali Iddon on the final black 61-56 with John Gautrey getting the better of Gary Flynn and give the home side their 4th league win of the season.

The big movers in the division where Tarleton C who came away from playing the Railway B team with an impressive 5-1 victory to put them in to third place in the table. It helped that Tarleton nicked both of the opening frames on the final colours, Dean Bond on the final black 54-59 against Phil Kitchen, Phil Keep 42-56 over Andy Linaker. The middle frames were dominated by the visitors with Shaun Fisher helping himself to a century of points helped along with breaks of 33 & 27, with Paul Crabtree seeing off Ray Higton by 20 points. Four-nil up, and with the possibility of recording their second 6-0 whitewash of the season, Tarleton’s Andy Johnson brought up win number 8 against Ste Cobb 38-52, Ste’s first match of the season, and a welcome sight it is to see him back. Phil Gaskell averted total embarrassment when beating David Forshaw 62-36. Still, not much damage done with the division so tight, with ten points separating top to bottom.

And sitting bottom of the table are Scarisbrick A this after they lost out 4-2 to the visiting Birkdale Cons D team who recorded their first win for a month now. Johnny ‘Boy’ Mullard’s summer transfer from Birkdale Cons to Scarisbrick seems to be paying off with another good win to hi name, this time outplaying John Delahunty for a 74-30 win. Mark Abbott levelled things up when beating Ian Tinsley, moving Mark top of his team’s rankings in doing so on 5 wins now. Steve McCluskey & Alec Davies put the visitors in prime position for the win when both winning their frames, 3-1 up and win number three on the cards. The win duly came when Chris Alker came out on top in a high scoring affair 77-51 against Mark Sowerby as Ron Calder saw off the challenge of Tony Brookfield to save a bit of grace come the final ball.

Like buses they come along in pairs as Churchtown Cons B doubled up on last week’s first league win of the season with another 4-2 win this time against the visiting Fleetwood Hesketh C team. Paul Connor got things going for the home team with a comfortable 60-19 win over Paul Rogers with Andy Reynolds beating Dave Pritchard on the final black 57-50. Gary Hudson managed to keep Ian Lindsay at arms-length for a 68-49 win as Mark Kitchen edged out Dave Brown in a very scrappy frame 32-21 to put the Con club 3-1 up. Churchtown’s John Smith secured his second win of the season, this time a classic day light robbery win, when beating Dave Mills on the final black 32-31. They all count don’t they…!! Danny Clegg did manage to salvage a second point on the night for Fleetwood when he beat Colin Tennant 47-22, Danny’s third win on the bounce now.

3rd Division –

We have a new leader at the head of affairs in the 3rd division, all be it on team wins, as Scarisbrick C turned over the visiting Churchtown Cons D team 4 frames to 2. The home side got off to a flyer taking both of the opening frames, handsomely as well, with big wins for Dennis Glover impressing in his 88-34 won over Trevor Ford, with David Williams getting the better of Billy Pye 66-27. New-boy to the team, Chris Devlin, managed to beat Dave Quinn 66-40 as Tony Wakefield got one back for the Cons Club when beating David Oakes by just the 10 points 51-41. The usual 3-3 draw for Churchtown was quashed when Howard Lawrence beat Russ Walsh on the final colours 57-45, this coming after Steve Mentha had beaten young Dan Lawrence 60-34, Steve’s 4th win on the bounce now.Birkdale B have slipped to 2nd place in the league after going down 4-2 losers to the Churchtown Cons C lads, renewing their fight to get back in the hunt for the 3rd division title. Birkdale’s John Stringfellow continued his recent good form when beating Tony Baldwin 82-40 as Peter Parkinson squared things back up when beating Peter Wilding by nearly 30 points. The two sides stayed side by side after the middle frames played out, both won on the final black, and both by the same 44 to 38 score line. Churchtown’s Adam Rothwell beat John Warnick with David Robinson getting one back for Birkdale when beating Malcolm Green. But it was the home side who struck the final blows, taking the last pairings with good wins for Brian Sheil & Nathan Browne to secure their teams 5th win and just the one point off the lead.

Completing the tight head of affairs at the top of the division we see Bretherton B, just the two point’s back, thanks to a 4-2 victory over Fleetwood Hesketh B. The opening frames were spilt between the side as Ian Brownhill outplayed Kevin Wigley, running out a 71-32 winner, as Phil Iddon got one back for the visitors when beating Mark Beaver by 30 points. Again, the sides couldn’t be split after the middle frames finished, Fleetwood’s Phil Marrow securing a home win, Edwin Moulton gaining one back for Bretherton. But the match turned the way of the visiting Edge O’leet lads when Simon Moulton brought up win number six so far this season against Brian Kimberley and Stephen Fiddler getting the better of Mick Orme, only just mind, 64-61 on the final black.

Banks B lost a bit of ground on the top 4 in the league when only managing to draw 3-a-piece with The Railway C team, who seem to be making a habit of drawing their matches recently, this the third drawn match on the bounce now for the Railwaymen. Big Bad Bob Fairclough made it 5 wins on the bounce when turning over Andy Hardisty 89 points to 58, with Max Riley securing a 75-51 victory over Lee Holmes to give their side a very good 2-0 lead straight from the off. This, however, didn’t last long as Banks replied with two wins themselves, Graham Melvin beating Nigel Thornton and Chris Aughton getting the better of Dave Brown by some 40 points. Two a-piece, all to play for, the Railway men unfortunately had to concede one of the frames to only having 5 men but Guy managed to edge out Johnny Boy Marquiss 57-46 and so see the match end level board, 3 a-piece.

Third division sides in name they might be, but Birkdale Cons C and Fleetwood Hesketh D sides both boast a couple of players who, not so long ago plied their potting prowess in the higher echelons of the 1st division. Point in case in the opening frames of the night as Birkdale’s John Melvin lost out to Andy Bridge by just the 3 points, 57-60, and Neil Rimmer only just managing to get past John McGee on the final black, a 43-38 winner. All three of them, once over, played for a 1st division title winning side. Oh how the mighty have fallen…?? Only joking lads, glad to see that you’re still around…!! Phil Green went down to Chris Ashcroft 20-57 with Paul Rimmer managing to get past Larry Scholes on the final black to get Birkdale on the score sheet 3-1 down. Ray Wood beat Dave Martindale 61-31 to give the home side a glimmer of hope of snatching a draw but Bob Ashcroft had other ideas running out a comfortable 65-38 winner over Paul Murphy.

Both Southport Cons B and Scarisbrick B have struggled to win many so far this season, only 3 wins between them out of 18 played, so it was no surprise that they would play out a 3-3 draw when the met up last week. The visitors might have thought the win was within their grasp after shooting out to a 2-0 lead when Steve Rowell and Matt Lowery doubled up, both winning on the final colours in close run frames. Wayne Cooper’s great form continued once again when he racked up 102 points against Michael Ralph, the Scarisbrick players best return so far this season. But the resistance started for the Con club when Peter Yates held off Ian Lowery for a narrow 64-54 victory, 3-1 down with the last two to play. The comeback was made complete when Bath Streets John Barton & Craig Thomas got the better of Mick Hodge and John Hardisty to avoid the defeat and see a share of the spoils.

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