NPL Valiant Audco sink the Boat in cup thriller
2007-2008 NEWPORT & DISTRICT POOL LEAGUE
For immediate release
Thursday, February 7th, 2008
VALIANT AUDCO SINK THE BOAT IN CUP THRILLER
NEWPORT (Shropshire): Six teams were in Newport Pool League Cup action for the Neil Clark Memorial Trophy, with the high-flying Shakespeare benefiting from a bye to take them into a tantalising semi-final clash with Lilleshall Sports Centre at the King’s Head on Tuesday, April 8th. Audco will face Sutherland Muxton at the same venue the following night, after both sides had very different passages into the last four.
The pick of the ties was a juicy encounter between Audco and the Boat Gnosall. The away side made a rampant start at Bellman’s Yard, despite Audco fielding two Newport Open champions and a full strength side.
Nigel Sandbrook got the visitors off to a winning start with a surprise win over Paul Trevor, the Audco star still in dreamland after taking a 56 break in a league snooker match against the Literary Institute two nights before. Dave Rogers made it 2-0 to the Boat with a nervy win over Jack Jones, but Audco sent for the big guns and Andy Lycett pegged the score back to 2-1 with a win over Neil Holmes.
Defending Newport Open champion Colin Pink made his first appearance of the season to level the scores with a win over Dave Lakin, but Lakin and Holmes rocked the home contingent with a superb win in the first doubles match against Lycett and Tom Sayce.
Rogers and Sandbrook were on top against Pink and Anthony Heathcote in what could have been the clinching frame for the visitors, but the Gnosall pair missed two chances to seal the match and could only watch as Pink slotted the black at the second attempt to force a tie-break frame.
Lycett started strongly in the clincher and the contest was settled in Audco’s favour when Rogers nudged an Audco ball into a corner pocket during a useful break and Lycett made no mistake at the next visit.
League strugglers New Inn hosted Lilleshall Sports Centre, as both teams dug in to stake a claim on the first ever Neil Clark Memorial Trophy. It was a sub-par match that the visitors sealed in the fifth frame.
Neil Perkins struggled on the slow table to eventually oust Shaun Borrett and Greg Heathcote put ‘Bezza’s Boys’ two up with a quick-fire win over Jim Steventon. Mike Stevens pegged the score back to 2-1 with a win over Ben Longstaff and the New Inn had a chance to level the match when Craig Hartland put himself in a good position against Nick Clewley in frame four. The youngster’s safety play let him down though and Clewley sealed the game to put Lilleshall into a 3-1 lead. A scrappy first doubles frame between Tim Hartland/Jim Steventon and Heathcote/Longstaff could have gone either way, but the New Inn suffered from one too many poor positional shots and a nervy Longstaff sealed the match-winning black.
Stevens and Craig Hartland gave respectability to the score with a straightforward win in frame six against an out-of-sorts Neil ‘Hurricane’ Hazeley and LSC skipper Dave Price.
The Navy Club hosted the Sutherland Muxton in the last of the quarter-finals, but the match developed into a one-sided affair with the visitors booking their semi-final place with a 6-0 away win. Charlie Hayward and Keith Warrington got the visitors off to winning starts against Dennis Holland and Mark Rowley and Luke Hayward and Dave Worrall sealed the match with singles’ wins over Jez Price and Gerry Nunn. It was a similar story in the doubles, as the Telford side made up for three recent league defeats with a clean sweep of the frames.
The Newport Pool League Cup final for the Neil Clark Memorial Trophy will now take place at the Navy Club on Wednesday, May 7th at 20.30hrs.
2008 Neil Clark Memorial Trophy – semi-final draw
Shakespeare v Lilleshall Sports Centre
Tuesday, April 8th at the King’s Head
Audco v Sutherland Muxton
Wednesday, April 9th at the King’s Head
For further information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Tel: 07831 123153