NCMT Stag and Shakespeare A confirm league and cup doubles
2014/2015 NEWPORT & DISTRICT POOL LEAGUE
For immediate release
Thursday, July 9th, 2015
STAG AND SHAKESPEARE A CLINCH LEAGUE AND CUP DOUBLES
NEWPORT (Shropshire): Market Drayton’s Stag and Shakespeare A claimed league and cup doubles on a thrilling final night of the Newport & District Pool League at the Royal Navy Club.
The Stag faced their closest league rivals, LSC at the Tav, and the league runners-up made a superb start, with Ray Talbot undoing George Allen to make it 0-1. Mick Manning cleared well to level against Greg Heathcote and LSC should have been 1-2 up when Andy Lewis potted the black against Neil Dale with two yellows remaining on the table, only to see the white drop in the pocket and gift the frame to the Stag.
Kyle Smith won a crucial fourth rack against Ant Heathcote to give the Maret Drayton side a 3-1 lead heading into the doubles frames and Allen cleared well alongside Dale to seal the Neil Clark Memorial Trophy for a second successive year. Beaten LSC at the Tav also won the Dennis Holland memorial shield, awarded to the league runners-up.
Shakespeare A faced Pheasant B in the Neil Clark Consolation shield final and the match developed into a two and a half hour thriller. Scott Smith got the better of Russ Woodhouse in a tense opener to put the Pheasant into the lead. Neil Perkins looked as though he had levelled in another tight frame, when he potted a tight black into the corner against Mike Jones, but the white dropped into the middle pocket and the Pheasant were 0-2 up.
Luke Jones played well in the third rack to undo Dean Smith to put the Pheasant within one frame of the title and Adam Bailey had to dig deep to fend off a stubborn Craig Hutchinson to give the Shakespeare a lifeline at 1-3. Mike and Luke Jones had chances in the first of the doubles frames to seal the match, but Gary Lewis and Woodhouse hung in and Woodhouse eventually potted a tricky black to make it 2-3.
Bailey and Tom Vernon held their nerve in the sixth to keep Jack Jones and Smith away from the black and Bailey seized one opening to level the match and force a tie-break final frame. Both captains opted for Bailey and Smith to play and the rack was nip and tuck for over 20 minutes with positional play the priority.
Perhaps Smith became a little impatient and he created one opening for Bailey. It took the Shakespeare player two opportunities to take advantage, but he managed to take out his final three reds to seal the match with a gentle tap of the black into the middle pocket.
Young Alex Davidson was also awarded the Desert England Trophy for the ‘most improved’ player of the season.
Dean Smith donated a trophy for the winner of the league statistics. The Stag’s George Allen claimed this after winning 32 of his 34 singles matches. Next season a permanent Gary Bolton Memorial Shield will be introduced for this in memory of a popular league player who lost his brave battle against cancer earlier this year.
The two finals brought the Newport & District Pool League season to a close. A capacity 18 teams will be back in action from Wednesday, October 21st.
Neil Clark Memorial Trophy final:
LSC at the Tavern v Stag Market Drayton, 1-4
Neil Clark Consolation Shield final:
Pheasant B v Shakespeare A, 3-4
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Tel: 07831 123153