The Blyth Valley Pool Association (BVPA) saw a mixture of highs and lows in the last week.
On the downside a team had to be evicted from the league and all the fixtures and the relevant results expunged.
On a positive note, the BVPA November Open saw more than 365 frames played over two days in a great spirit and sporting manner, without the need of referees.
To top all this off, the two Blyth pool leagues, the BVPA and BDPL, played an inter-league game in memory of Keith Hall with all monies raised going to the Alzheimer’s Society.
Irish B 6 Sports B 6
With a host of teams in mid-table separated by a few points, the chance is there for teams to stick in some big results and get major movement up the table. But Irish B and Sports B could not be separated after 12 frames and the match ended in a 6-6 draw. Irish B maintain seventh place with 75 points whilst the Sports B drop a place to tenth with 68 points.
Comrades B 6 Seahorse B 6
In a battle of two of the top six teams, this match swayed back and forth with Comrades B taking a 3-0 lead only for Seahorse B to take the next five frames. Comrades took two of the last three to seal the draw. Man of the match honours went to Nathan Irving with a 100 per cent record from three frames and two eight--ball clearances, Mark Lillico also took two wins on the night and Richard Glass produced a sparkling eight-ball clearance in his first game back in nine months. Comrades B are now third with 99 points, whilst Seahorse B move up a place to fifth with 79 points.
Seahorse A 9 Sun B 3
In a contest full of close games, the home team showed their class by taking the match away from Sun B who had fought back to be 4-3 down after the first seven frames. Man of the match was Gordon Foster returning to form with two class performances in his singles wins. Seahorse talisman John Welsh also was on winning form helping his team secure the victory. Sun B remain bottom with 27 points while Seahorse are top of a group of three teams on 68 points, holding eighth place due to their higher win tally, but have also played a game more.
South Beach 4 Side Club 8
Another see-saw game saw South Beach taking the first set of singles, but Side Club were having none of it and produced a perfect second set of singles 5-0 to take a 6-4 lead into the Scotch doubles, which they won. Side Club’s Trevor Chadwick rolled back his sleeves and the years producing a perfect hat-trick of wins on the night to complete a memorable comeback. Team-mate David Hewitson’s brace of points also helped Side Club to victory. South Beach remain in 15th with 36 points whilst Side Club stay ninth place with 68 points.
Sports A 7 Sports D 5
Sports A secured their first win of the season with a hard fought derby victory over Sports D. Team captain led the way taking three wins on the night and the man of the match accolades. Lisa Marie Wray also added to the Sports A’s tally with two from three. Sports D captain Phil Welch won both his singles. Both maintain position with Sports A in 14th with 43 points and the D team hold 11th with 58 points.
Sports C 11 Comrades A 1
Sports C continued their good run of results which has now seen them on the same points as Irish A. Sports C had eight-ball clearances from Alan Parker and Neil Taylor, while Comrades pairing of Brian Ord and Neil Logan took the first of the Scotch doubles to get themselves on the score sheet. Man of the match performances were from the aforementioned Parker and Taylor with a hat-trick of wins apiece. Comrades team dropped three places to 11th with 65 points.
Sun A 4 Irish A 8
Sun A gave the BVPA leaders a bit of a scare taking four points with Mark McCann, Glenn Brookes, John George Armstrong and Chris Hall each winning a point each for the hosts. Men of the match performances from Chris Gill and Jason Ritson with a hat-trick of wins for Irish A, who remain top with 104 points and a better win ratio than Sports C. Sun A are still having their best season ever in the BVPA despite dropping a place to sixth with 78 points on the table.
The £10 a man BVPA November Open Single Tournament started on six tables at three venues with the top 16 players from the groups playing a straight knockout the following day.
The semi-finals saw Matt Brannan beat team-mate Chris Gill in the first semi whilst Paul Riley took the second against Jason Ritson.
In a top quality final Riley just edged out Brannan.
The winner’s prize money was £150, the runner-up £100 and the two semi-finalists each won £50 each.
The Keith Hall Inter-League Cup saw a tight schedule of games being played at the Sports Club as soon as the open event was completed.
Two teams from each league played a best of 44 frames singles competition. On the top floor the BVPA A team played the BDPL’s Premier League team.
The BVPA A team took the first set 8-3, the second set was much closer with the BVPA edging it 6-5, the next two also went to the BVPA 7-4
Star men for BVPA were Kevin Barker with four from four, Kevin McGarry with three from three, Paul Riley with three from four, Alan Parker three from four, Neil Taylor three from four, Ray Irving three from four and Chris O’Neill with three from four.
The BDPL’s top player was Steven Smith with three wins from four frames, with good support from Ian Clark, Ian Turner, Andrew Bell and Jamie McDonald. But the biggest cheer went to Samantha Robinson when she sank the black to beat John Welsh.
On two tables downstairs at the venue, the BVPA B team played the BDPL’s First Division team.
The first six frames were shared only for the BDPL to win the last three of the set to take it 6-5.
The BDPL improved in the next two sets, taking them both 7-4 to open up a 20-13.
The BVPA team did rally to take the last 7-4, but it was all in vain as the BDPL secured a 25-19 victory.
Stars for the BDPL were Sarah Sharples and David Dodds with three wins from four games, and Terry Broome with a 100 per cent return from three frames. Team captain Dean Dobson took two frames, as did his vice-captain Lee Stephenson.
Lots of non playing league members came to support their teams and made this the best ever pool event in Blyth Valley history.
With each team winning one match apiece, the result went to how many frames won and the BVPA edged this 46-42.
Biggest winner on the night though was the Alzheimer’s Society, who will collect a cheque for the £553 raised from the event at Blyth Sports Club on December 16.