Still all to play for as title chase tightens

Thursday 8th March 2018 4:00 pm
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Ivybridge B skipper Mark Colmer made a crucial break of 36 ()

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It is heading right down to the wire in the race for the Totnes and District Snooker League division one title this season.

The top two, Ivybridge A and Dartmouth, enjoyed a round off this week, which gave the chasing pack a chance to close the gap in what was also a match sure to shape the outcome of the title race.

Regal, who started the round in third place, entertained Ivybridge B, who were fourth. In an extremely closely fought contest it was the visitors who crucially picked up the thich end of the wedge, winning 4-2.

Steve Pound had given the hosts an early lead by clinching the first frame on the final black, before Ivy skipper Mark Colmer replied nicely with a break of 36 to take the second frame.

Mark Tomlinson battled his way to take the third frame and put Ivy in front, before Pound claimed his second win of the night to draw Regal level.

Mark Hembry then got in on the action by easing to the fifth frame before Colmer produced a gritty performace to win on the final black of the night to seal the victory and his second frame of the night.

The result means that Regal really do face an uphill challenge now if they are going to contest the honours this season, where as Ivybridge B are now very much in the hunt, crucially with a game in hand on those around them at the top.

Fifth-placed Woodlands travelled to sixth-placed Modbury, with neither side really having much to play for other than pride. It was a good quality match, however, with Woodlands coming out on top 4-2.

Steve Cairns comfortably took the opening frame for the visitors before Modbury front man Mike Collins swiftly responded with a superb break of 40 to take frame two.

Woodlands skipper Adrian Rendle then took the third frame in bizarre circumstances. His opponent was seven in front with just the black remaining, having just fluked the pink, and when the black went in it appeared as though the frame was over.

However, the white went round the angles and dropped in, therefore levelling the frame with a resulting re-spotted black. After a brief exchange, Rendle then fluked the black to take the frame, much to his opponent’s dismay.

That paved the way for Colin Drury to put Woodlands 3-1 up before Collins once again hit back with another fine contribution of 37 to take his second of the night.

Steve Cairns wasn’t to be outdone, though, and strolled to the final frame to win his second of the night with an excellent break of 36, and in doing so he claimed the match for Woodlands.

The final tie of the round pitted the bottom two sides, Mill B and Halwell B, against one another. Halwell travelled to Mill knowing that a big win was their only realistic chance of avoiding the drop this season.

Halwell got off to a great start, Charlie Kneil battled hard to take the opening frame and it looked like the great recovery might have started.

Mill skipper Roy Stevens was having none of it though and fought hard to take the second frame and level the match. Terry Moore then put Mill in front and the match was now becoming more about damage limitation from Halwell’s perspective.

Luke Beard didn’t help Halwell’s cause when he put in a superb performance with a break of 31 to put Mill 3-1 up, luckily Kneil was on hand to stem the tide and claw one back to make it 3-2 with his second victory of the night.

The final frame had it all to play for. Halwell skipper Colin Finch stepped up to the plate admirably and took the final frame ensuring it finished honours even, although in truth Mill will be far happier with the result than Halwell who remain seven points adrift, albeit still with a game in hand.

Owing to two late results this week there was only one match in Division Two this time and there are no prizes for guessing that it was another win for Totnes.

Hosting improving side Mill A, Totnes looked to continue their 100 per cent winning record and duly delivered.

Wes Abercrombie set the tone for the evening with a break of 25 to take the opening frame.

There soon followed a further four frames for the leaders as captain Jamie Palmer won both of his frames either side of a win for Nathan Finch and a second for Abercrombie.

A quick look at the stats this season though will tell you that newcomer Steve Inch is making a name for himself with a string of impressive results this season, and it was no surprise when he took the final frame of the night to salvage some pride for his Mill side.

The final score was 5-1 to Totnes who now sit a staggering 34 points clear of their closest rivals while Mill remain in fifth spot.

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