Monday, 19 December 2011


LAST SEASON's A Division champions PJ'z No 1 of Ripley are back in familiar territory after a 4-1 win at nearest challengers Bolehill Institute No 1 took them to the head of the table outright.
The two sides went into the match deadlocked on 26pts each and it turned out to be an action packed night with plenty of twists and turns.

The home side had the best possible start when Ricki Slack edged out Andrew Gratton 64-51 in the opening frame. Andrew didn't enjoy the best of fortunes this time around and looked out of it when requiring two snookers with blue, pink and black remaining.

But he laid two absolute corkers which gained the required points and now needed the last three balls to force an unlikely win.

After a safety exchange, Ricki was left with an awkward shot on the blue and in trying to stun the cue ball for safety, the object ball flew twice across the table and into a baulk pocket to settle the issue in bizarre style.

Frame two saw Ripley's Ben Monk knock in an early 28 but Simon Zoppi fought back well  in potting green to pink, leaving him 7 in front with just the black on. Ben sunk it with a long pot to force the re-spot but left Simon first chance with a mid range pot into a baulk pocket.

Unfortunately for him, he overcut the black and worse still, the cue ball ended up in the middle pocket, leaving matters all square at 1-1.

The third frame was again nip and tuck with Colin Marchington and John Smith exchanging steady scoring, the best of which was Colin's effort of 20, before the frame again went Ripley's way, this time on the final pink courtesy of a thin clip from John with the rest.

Lee Whatton's break of 30 was decisive in frame four as he defeated Andrew Brough 57-21 to make it 3-1.

And in the final pairs, Ricki and James Rowland scored 21 and 22 breaks respectively before Ricki found that Lady Luck had deserted him on this occasion, potting the brown and then going in-off into the middle when looking set for the clearance.

Ben then potted brown but ended up snookered on the blue, and once again it was a tale of the unexpected at the end as he hit it full ball and knocked it straight into the middle pocket to leave the visitors 16 up with only 13 on the table and that brought down the curtain on an excellent nights snooker played in a fine spirit.

Result (re-arranged match): Bolehill Institute No 1 1, PJ'z Club Ripley No 1 4.

A Division                         P      W      L      Pts
PJ'z Club Ripley No 1        8       7        1      30
Bolehill Institute No 1          8       6        2      27
Bolehill Institute No 2          8       4        4      21
Edgefold Club Matlock        6       4       2      18
Belper Strutt Club No 1      8        3       5      17
Matlock Club                       7        2       5      12
Leading breaks: B Monk 71, A Gratton 60.
Leading wins: A Gratton, K Robertson and B Monk 7.

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