NCMT Market Drayton's Stag win Neil Clark Memorial Trophy


For immediate release
Thursday, April 17th, 2014


· Railway Tavern win 2014 Neil Clark Consolation Shield

NEWPORT (Shropshire): Market Drayton’s Stag beat defending champions and Newport Pool League leaders LSC at the Tavern in a tie-break seventh frame to win the 2014 Neil Clark Memorial Trophy at a raucous Royal Navy Club on Wednesday night.

The final was always going to be long winded with first playing second from the league and the Drayton side snatched the lead when George Allen benefited from a John Williams foul to make it 0-1. Two in-offs by defending Newport and Market Drayton Open champion Ricky Leese was always going to end badly and Paul Cartledge took full advantage to level the match.

Mick Manning and Greg Heathcote tipped and tapped for several minutes to try and find the answer to the chess conundrum, but it was Manning who came out on top and put to Drayton side into the lead.

Neil Dale and Ant Heathcote met in a Newport Open final at the Navy Club a couple of years ago and that match finished at 01.30 in the morning. On the evidence of the fourth frame, a repetition was on the cards, but Dale was forced to move his yellow over the black pocket and it gave Heathcote a chance. It was all the Newport cue needed to level the match at 2-2.

Leese and Dale teamed up in rack five to dispose of Paul Trevor and Ant Heathcote in another grueller that tipped the hour hand passed midnight and it was only right that the stalemate stormed passed the witching hour after Greg Heathcote had made a useful clearance alongside Cartledge and against Manning and Allen to make it 3-3.

Cartledge and Allen were chosen to play the tie-break frame and the Telford cue got off to a good start. But Allen is a canny player and a series of snookers resulted in two shots to the Drayton player and he held his nerve to seal a plucky clearance to win the Neil Clark Memorial Trophy for the Stag for the first time.

“I honestly thought we would win,” said Allen. “No disrespect, they are a good side and we have to play them in another final in Market Drayton, but I always thought we deserved the win.”

The Railway Tavern played Shakespeare A in the earlier Neil Clark Consolation Shield final and that was a fitting warm-up for the main event.

Greg Quinn is playing some useful pool at the moment and he breezed past an out-of-sorts Andy Potter to put the Tavern into the lead. The match between Adam Stone and Andy Wakefield could have gone either way, but a mistake by Wakefield let Stone in to make a good clearance and the Tavern were 2-0 up.

Stu Morrey failed to deliver off the break against Neil Perkins and the Shake player took full advantage to snatch the initiative. But it took Perkins three attempts to seal the rack and make the score 2-1.

Jack Dicken and Ross-Richards Jones made several mistakes in a scrappy fourth frame, but a costly in-off by Jones gifted Dicken two shots and the Tavern cue sealed the frame to make it 3-1.

Andy Phelan and Wakefield played well in rack five to put the pressure on Dicken and Jason Lloyd and Phelan took full advantage of a slight opportunity to seal two stunning doubles to make it 3-2.

Dave Bristow and Quinn lined up against Perkins and Jones in rack six and the Tavern duo held the early initiative. The match was settled in their favour when a hapless Jones laid up short attempting a straightforward snooker and Quinn held his nerve to seal the frame and the win.

The awards were presented by Barry Clark, the father of double Newport Pool League winner Neil Clark, who passed away in 2006.

League matches resume as usual on Wednesday, April 23rd with the matches that were originally intended to be played on Wednesday night.

Neil Clark Memorial Trophy – final:

Stag Market Drayton v LSC at the Tavern, 4-3

Neil Clark Consolation Shield – final:

Shakespeare A v Railway Tavern 2-4


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






Date issued: 17/04/2014

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