An incredible top-of-the-table clash that ended in an 8-0 whitewash delayed the crowning of the HUCKNALL EPA POOL LEAGUE champions until the last night of the season this week.
Leaders Royal British Legion B went into the match against defending an unbeaten record this term that spanned 18 matches. And they needed just one point to wrap up the title.
But instead they were demolished by second-placed Station B to leave both sides on tenterhooks going into the final fixtures of the campaign.
Legion B still headed the table, but only by one point and with a far inferior leg-difference (plus-34 to plus-58) to their rivals.
What’s more, two other teams were also just a point behind the top dogs -- Park Tavern (plus-42) and Empire A (plus-36) in a what promised to be a thrilling climax.
Station B were in spectacular form for the big showdown, relentlessly refusing Legion B a look-in on any of the eight legs.
In the singles contests, Dave Butler beat Wayne Cartledge, Andrea Green defeat Geoff Taylor, Simon Thompson beat Dean Dymock, Roger Green defeated Dave Stacey-King, Danny Butler beat John Toulson with an eight-ball clearance and Paul Heath defeated Pete Gardener.
In the pairs contests, Taylor and Mark Hardstaff fell to Danny Butler and Thompsoin, while Dymock and Malc Grocock succumbed to Ian Wikeley and Paul Hibbard.
Park Tavern were without a match, but Empire A stayed in contention with a 5-3 victory away to Liberal Club.
The game was finely balanced at 2-2 and 3-3. But then wins on the last two legs by Craig Johnstone and Steve Wood clinched it for the visitors -- after earlier successes from Phil Dalmedo, Tony Dobb and the inspired pairing of Mick Fowkes and Robbie Roylance.
At the foot of the table, the bottom two sides, Green Dragon and The Chequers, fought out a 4-4 draw, although the home side were kicking themselves after throwing away a 3-0 lead.
Jim Campbell and Chris Green were the Chequers’ heroes after taking the last two legs. Their earlier winners had been Chris Reedman and Phoenix Payne.
It was also all-square at 4-4 in the match between Bestwood Village Social Club and Harrier H2O, who led 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 before surrendering the final frame because of a shortage of players.
The night’s remaining clash resulted in a rare win for Yew Tree, who disposed of The Dragon 5-3 thanks to success on the last three legs from Jake Rodgers, captain Karl Jones and the pairing of Lee Burton and James Hardstaff, which followed a singles/pairs double by Dion Nangle.
IN the league’s individual rankings table, four players are now tied for top spot on 108 points and an 81% strike rate.
They are Dean Dymock (Legion B), Bill Hardy (Liberal), Dave Butler (Station B) and Adam Fowkes (Harrier H2O).
Five points behind on 103 are Legion B’s Malc Grocock and Liberal’s Bill Clark.
And they are followed by four players on 101 -- Empire duo Steve Wood and Tony Dobb, The Dragon’s Shane Wood and Park Tavern hotshot Billy Wood.