NCMT Collins keeps his cool to claim Neil Clark Memorial Trophy


For immediate release
Wednesday, June 1st, 2011


NEWPORT (Shropshire): Landlord Mick Collins kept his cool in a tense sudden-death tie-break frame to earn the King’s Head a thrilling 4-3 victory over a distraught Sutherland Arms in a night of drama for the Neil Clark Memorial Trophy at the Royal Navy Club on Wednesday night.

The Tibberton side had raced into a 2-0 lead, when Matt Mansell and Tom Fisken managed to oust Graham Tigwell and Collins in the first of the singles matches. But the Chetwynd End side outlined their league title pedigree with an amazing comeback. Ian Perry was firing on all cylinders to dismiss Jack Hooper and Irene Whittington secured a stunning clearance against Wayne Dodd to lift the roof in the packed Bellman’s Yard venue.

Fisken and Colin Smith began well in the fifth frame and looked set to beat Whittington and Collins to make the score 2-3 to the Tibberton side, but Smith cruelly potted his colour and cannoned the black into the corner pocket at the same time to swing the tie in the King’s Head’s favour.

Mansell and Dodd dug deep in the sixth frame against Tigwell and Perry and Dodd held his cool to pot his remaining three balls and force the match into the dreaded tiebreak frame.

Up stepped Collins and Mansell to decide the outcome at the hospitable Royal Navy Club and both began brightly, with Mansell getting to within two yellows of the finishing line in double quick time. Collins, the defending Carling Newport Open Champion, laid a canny snooker and capitalised on the subsequent two shots to pot his remaining reds and seal the black with his second visit to claim the prestigious Neil Clark Memorial Trophy for the King’s Head side.

The third-place play-off also went to a tiebreak frame and the Navigation at Gnosall managed to sneak through against the Railway Tavern to claim the trophy. Russ Porter beat Steve Whitlock to set the Newport team on their way, but Geoff Arrowsmith and Jamie Cheal made it 2-1 to the Staffordshire side with wins over Greg Quinn and Adam Stone. Stu Morrey managed to level the scores in a close frame against Alan Smart.

Porter and Quinn prevailed against Arrowsmith and Smart in frame five, but the Gnosall side rallied and Whitlock and Cheal managed to level the match at 3-3 and force the tiebreak. With one players nominated by each captain, Porter fouled on the break to give Whitlock a great start and there was no way back for the Newport player after an indifferent couple of visits. Whitlock duly sealed the frame and third place for the Navigation.

Barry Clark, the father of the late Neil Clark - a regular player on the Newport Pool League circuit throughout the 1990s who lost his battle against cancer in October 2006 - presented the awards. Barry and Ann Clark also made a charitable donation to the Newport Cottage Care Centre through tournament organiser Neil Perkins.

2011 Neil Clark Memorial Trophy - results

3rd place play-off
Railway Tavern v Navigation Gnosall, 3-4
Sutherland Arms Tibberton v King’s Head A, 3-4


For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Tel: 07831 123153




Date issued: 01/06/2011

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