Four finals nights for pool leagues

The Blyth & District Pool League’s season came to a close with four finals nights and an inter-league charity match played over three weeks.

The first of the finals saw a fantastic three-a-side at the Waterloo Blyth between High Street and Services A.

Ryan Wigham took the first frame for High Street before David Antwiss won the second after a re-rack to level the scores, which ignited Services as they raced into a 4-1 lead following two fantastic wins by Ian Wilkinson and another by Antwiss.

With High Street staring down the barrel of defeat they rallied. Mark Smith pulling the score back to 4-2 with a good clearance before Wigham won a hard-fought frame against Wilkinson to make it 4-3.

Kevin Coe looked to have done enough to take the final to a decider but unfortunately ran out of position on the black and ultimately rattled the ball over the top pocket, leaving Derek Hibbert to clinch the game and the win for Services A.

Next up were the doubles knockout finals at Services, with a superb set up for the games.

The semi-final draw pitted M Wannop and B Siddle from New Hartley against T Gill and V Palmer from Percy Arms, leaving an all North Blyth tie in the other semi as P Corbett and D Oliver against P McKeurtan and P Hedley.

Gill and Palmer raced into a 3-0 lead before a determined fightback saw Siddle and Wannop level it 3-3.

With the game going to a decider, Palmer held his nerve to clear the board and clinch the win to progress to the finals.

The all North Blyth semi-final was a close run game as well. McKeurtan and Hedley took an early lead before some superb play from Corbett and Oliver put them ahead.

McKeurtan and Hedley still had chances and lost a frame due to fouling on the black while Corbett and Oliver then took the final frame to win the game.

IN the final, Corbett and Oliver took the first frame before immediately being pegged back to 1-1.

A more tactical frame then ensued, which was eventually won by Corbett and Oliver, and Corbett then broke off and cleared the board with an excellent knock putting them 3-1 ahead.

Palmer then responded with a fantastic clearance of his own to peg the tie back to 3-2. Both pairings had chances in the sixth frame, but eventually it fell to Oliver who put away a tidy finish to win the final 4-2 for the North Blyth pairing.

On Saturday there was a tremendous day of pool at the Services for the BDPL Champion of Champions event.

A 32-person knockout was held with all rounds being best of five frames for the opening rounds.

The final four were fittingly all former champions within BDPL, two previous singles winners in Ian Turner and Steven Brown, previous doubles winner Neal Blatchford and last year’s Champion of Champions winner Phil Welch.

In the semi-finals Brown put in a commanding performance with some quality pool and beat Blatchford 4-0.

Turner went ahead 2-0 against Welsh and missed a black to go 3-0 before Welsh battled back to ultimately even the scores 2-2.

Turner went ahead 3-2, and despite being pegged back, he won the decider.

In the best of seven frames final, Brown produced some excellent pool to run out 4-0 winner.

Sunday saw the return match between the BDPL and BVPA Thursday night leagues.

This time it was the BDPL’s turn to stage the event and it was played in honour of former BDPL treasure Bob Brown with all monies raised going to Macmillan Cancer.

United Services Club in Blyth was the venue with a four-table set in one room, ensuring a great atmosphere. In total 88 frames were played with the BDPL’s premier team playing the BVPA’s A team and the BDPL’s first division team taking on the BVPA B team.

In the first match the BVPA A team won the first set 6-5 then opened up a big gap taking the next 9-2.

The BDPL premier team narrowly lost the third 6-5 and the final set was also won by the BVPA team 7-4 to seal a 28-16 victory. Star men were Alan Parker and Gary Wilson, who had 100 per cent records from their three frames. Kevin McGarry, John Laird, Paul Riley, John Laird, Julian Slater Mark McCann and Raying Irving all won three from four on the day.

Paul Bottoms was the BDPL’s star man with three wins from four games. Steven Palgrove, Mark Smith, Michael Golightly and Samantha Robinson all won two frames.

The second match was a more one-sided affair with the BVPA B team taking the first set 10-1. The BDPL lost the second set 6-5 after a good comeback. The BVPA took the third 8-3 to put them on the brink of victory and a 7-4 final set completed a 31-13 victory for the BVPA B team.

Lee Cook and Anthony Marshall were the BVPA’s star players, winning all four of their matches. Able support came from Syeven Spears, Chris Oneill, Darren Fletcher, Darren Gurney, team captain Phil Welch, and Kevin Barker with a hat-trick of wins apiece.

John Hinson was the BDPL man of the match, winning three from four frames. S O’Neill, Tinka Hinson and David Dodds won a brace of points for the BDPL.

The event raised over £520 for Macmillan Cancer, which was the biggest winner on the day. Both leagues thanked all the people who turned up to make the event a success, with more thanks to the people who donated money and also prizes for the raffles

The BDPL season was completed recently with the singles finals night at Services Club.

The semi-finals draw pitted Ryan Wigham against Peter Corbett and an all New Hartley affair between Steven Palgrave and Martin Wannop.

Corbett produced an outstanding display to clinch the win in his semi against Wigham 4-1.

It was a much more tactical game between both New Hartley players which ultimately led to the game going down to a deciding frame, during which Palgrave had the chance to win but failed to pot the black, and Wannop ended up clinching the final frame and the final spot.

The final between Corbett and Wannop was a real tooth and nail affair. Wannop had the chance to take a 3-0 lead but missed a red ball to set the score at 2-1. However, Wannop responded with a superb break and dish to make it 3-1.

Corbett battled back and the game ultimately ended up level at 4-4. In a nervy deciding frame the initial chance seemed to be with Wannop before an unfortunate foul allowed Corbett in to clear and take the victory and secure the singles title.

This crowned a fantastic year for Corbett in winning the singles, doubles and player of the year trophy, as well as his pool team North Blyth winning the first division title.