Suspicious minds had been jokingly wondering what was in the beer at the Sun Inn following a massive U-turn in form, shifting from relegation candidates to title challengers in the BVPA Superleague.
Fortunately the improvement was due to team captain Davy Bradford getting a couple of new signings and trying to adopt a winning mentality with team selection.
Bradford has been quoted as saying “it was always on my mind that I wanted to give it a good go in this year’s Superleague campaign, even if that means me being a non playing captain”.
With the feel good factor of the Sun A doing well, the Newsham Side Club have been under the radar, despite putting in some solid performances and remaining unbeaten after their first four games, holding a respectable fourth place.
Irish A 11 Oddfellows Arms 1
Irish A are hoping to follow that dream of winning their first Superleague title after a comprehensive 11-1 home victory over new boys Oddfellows Arms. Irish have their own good luck charms in the form of Chris Gill and Matt Maria Brannan, who were on top form again, securing a hat-trick of wins apiece. They were ably supported by Gary Spooner, Johnny Wilson and captain Jason Ritson with two wins each from the singles. Irish A are the only team in the BVPA with a 100 per cent winning record, averaging nine points per match. They remain on top with 45 points while Oddfellows dropped four places to 10th with 28 points.
Comrades B 9 Seahorse A 3
Comrades B moved up a place to second on 40 points following a solid 9-3 victory over Seahorse A. The opening set was a close affair with Comrades just edging it 3-2. The two frames Seahorse won were both the result of eight-ball clearances, the first a break and dish from David Brown and the second from Chris Taylor against the seemingly unbeatable Kevin McGarry. Seahorse took the first frame of the second set and it looked like a fairytale result was on the cards. But Comrades won 6 consecutive frames including a quick-fire break and dish from John Laird. Seahorse A remain 11tth on 28 points.
Seahorse B 8 Comrades A 4
The was a night of pool at the Seahorse with Comrades A taking a 3-0 lead over Seahorse A before they shared the next two frames, which had the Comrades 4-1 in front. Seahorse slowly but surely took control and won seven frames in a row, Man of the match performance from Seahorse A’s Mark Lillico with a hat-trick of wins saw them move up three places to seventh on 31 points. Comrades A maintain 12th place with 25 points.
South Beach 7 Sun B 5
Both teams produced their best performances of the season in a close match in which home advantage helped South Beach earn a 7-5 victory, which sees them move up a place to 15th on 15 points. Sun B also climb a place to 14th with 11 points. A topless jig from Andrew Rogers following his man of the match performance with three wins on the night is the celebration ritual at the South Beach.
Sports A 1 Sports C 11
Sports A are way down at the bottom of the Superleague following a heavy home defeat against Sports C team. Lisa Wray took their solitary point with a good clearance in the fourth frame. Sports C trio Alan Parker, Paul Riley and Gary Wilson all had 100 per cent records with a hat-trick of wins each. Neil Taylor was also 100 per cent successful from his two singles. A quick-fire break and dish from Wilson in the last singles was then followed by a scotch doubles break and dish from Riley and Parker. Sports C moved up two places to fifth on 37 points while Sports A drop two to 17th on nine points. Man of the match was Riley.
Sports D 6 Sports B 6
There has been little sign of beginners luck in Sports D’s first season in the BVPA Superleague. After opening up 4-1 lead after the first set of singles and taking the opening frame in the second, it looked like they were almost certain to take their first victory. But the introduction of substitute Graham Nicholson proved to be the catalyst of a comeback for Sports B, who took three of the next four frames to trail 6-4 going into the doubles. Alas it was to be double trouble for the D team as the B team took them both to earn a deserved draw. The B team move up two places to sixth with 32 points while the D team remain 13th with 25 points.
Sun A 5 Irish B 7
Sun A’s winning start to the season is over. A 4-1 deficit from the singles proved to be too much of a head start to claw back, and despite a confidence boosting 3-2 second set scoreline, they needed to win both doubles to secure a draw. It was not to be as the teams split the doubles for Irish to take the match 7-5. Man of the match was Sun’s Mark McCann with another three-point haul. Irish B moved up a place to eighth with 31 points, whilst Sun A slip to third with 39 points.
Wharton 4 Side Club 8
Newsham Side Club have been quietly taking care of business in the BVPA. A hard fought 8-4 win at newcomers Wharton Arms sees them remain unbeaten after five games in fourth place with 39 points. Wharton are in 14th place with 19 points and only some hard luck has denied them their first victory of their campaign.
Bedlington Station had a bye this week and with other teams gaining points, they dropped four places to ninth on 28 points.
The BVPA’s November Open Singles competition will see 36 of the areas players taking part. Anyone wishing to see some top quality pool in the round robin preliminary event should visit the Seahorse, Comrades and Sports Club on Saturday, November 29, with matches starting at noon.
The last 16 straight knockout will take place at Sports Club on Sunday, November 30.
After the match’s are finished the BVPA hope to stage an inter-league competition utilising the four tables available at the venue.
All monies raised will be donated to an Alzheimer’s charity in memory of Keith Hall.