Irish A had a bye two weeks before the festive break and lost their spot at the top of the BVPA Superleague table to two different teams in two weeks.
Sports C were first to replace the Irish A at the top, then Comrades B took over after Sports C had their bye in the last week of the year’s fixtures.
At the top of the table with 117 points are Comrades B after back to back 9-3 victories against Sun B and Sports A. Comrades B have their bye in the first fixtures of the new year, so the lead will change again in the most competitive BVPA season so far.
Three points behind on 114 points are Irish A after a 10-2 win over the South Beach. Irish trio Chris Gill, Matt Brannan and Johnny Wilson all had 100 per cent records from their three games. Gill edged the man of the match award with an eight-ball clearance after a dry break. Irish A’s next game will be a top four clash with Bedlington Station.
On 110 points in third are Sports C after a 6-6 derby draw against the improving Sports B team.
Bedlington Station in fourth on 104 points are still well placed and also have a game in hand over the leaders. Station had a good 10-2 away win at the Side Club and then backed it up with a 10-2 derby win against the The Wharton. Men of the match in the derby win were Andrew Robertson, Ayton Stewart, Albert Ridley and Kevin Little with a hat-trick of wins apiece.
Seahorse B continue their fine run of form and maintain fifth place with 95 points after a 9-3 home victory over Sports A and a top six clash with Sun A which they edged 7-5. Seahorse had led 4-1 after the first five singles only for Sun A to stage a comeback helped by Chris Hall with three from three, Michael Grieves, two from three and David Wilson coming out of retirement and getting Hall his hat-trick at the end.
Despite the defeat,Sun A are in a respectable sixth place with 95 points. In their other game they played out a remarkable 6-6 draw with Sports D. Sun A had open up a 5-0 lead only for Sports D to chip away at them and a draw was a fair result.
Sports B are in seventh with 82 points following the draw with their C team and an 8-4 away win at Seahorse A. Seahorse talisman John Welsh won his only frame, but three from three from Paul Gibson. An eight-ball clearance from David Brown following a dry break was the highlight of the game for Seahorse A.
The last team in the top half of the table are Irish B with 80 points in eighth place, despite a 7-5 home defeat against Newsham Side Club.
In ninth and tenth are Seahorse A and Comrades A. With both teams having 79 points, win ratio is keeping Seahorse A higher placed. The pre-Christmas match between the two was close with Seahorse A just edging it 7-5. Comrades A’s other match was a 9-3 victory over Sun B. With work commitments, Sun could only field four players and BVPA rules stop teams from cancelling games. Sun put up a brave performance but Comrades A’s quality saw them through. Sun B team-mates Nathan Murther and Andy Johnson won all Sun B’s points, Stephen Foggett with an eight-ball clearance from a dry break provided the highlight of the match for Comrades.
Side Club lost positions in the run-up to the halfway stage and are now in 11th place with 77 points whilst in 12th place with 64 points are Sports D who have been enjoying a resurgence in form in recent months.
Sports A have improved their league position and are now 13th with 57 points. The remaining teams are The Wharton Arms, 14th place with 56 points, South Beach, 15th with 48 points, and Sun B, 16th place with 33 points.
It has been a sad season for pool in Blyth, firstly with the loss of the BVPA’s Keith Hall and former BDPL chairman John Lewis in 2014, and now in 2015 with the sad news that Bobby Brown, former BDPL long serving treasurer, has passed away.
All members of the local pool communities’ thoughts and condolences are with their friends and families.