POOL: Reigning champs to have major say in title race

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DEFENDING champions Spot-On Low-C are set to have a big say in the destiny of the HUCKNALL EPA POOL LEAGUE title — even though they themselves can no longer retain it.

In the latest round of matches, the top two sides, Empire A and Royal British Legion A, both returned to winning ways.

That left just one point separating them, with two matches to play. And both had still to face Low-C, who were only a further three points behind in third spot.

Leaders Empire A (leg-difference plus-90) are due to tackle the 2011 champs on the last night of the season.

Empire A’s most recent triumph ended the championship hopes of inter-club rivals, Empire Muppets, who have enjoyed such a superb debut season in the league.

After Robbie Roylance had lost the first leg to Mick Palmer, the tabletoppers took command to win 6-2, with their victors including Geoff Taylor, Craig Johnstone, Mick Fowkes and the pairings of Taylor and Steve Wood and Johnstone and Dave Wainwright.

Legion A bounced back from two surprise defeats to lick Sherwood Ranger 6-2, despite trailing 2-1 at one stage. Rich Devine, Martin Bremner, Nidge Orton, Tom Burton, Glynn Devine and the pairing of Nidge Orton and Ryan Orton got the title challengers back on track.

Low-C made sure they went into their final two fixtures in top form by hammering bottom-of-the-table Chequers Inn A 7-1. Ryan Norris, Dean Britton and Simon Moralee were all successful on singles and pairs before Ben Sansom and Martin Boston wrapped up the rout.

The week’s remaining three fixtures resulted in a victory for Harrier, who felled Yew Tree 7-1, and 4-4 draws between Bestwood Village Social Club and Chequers Inn B and Liberal Club and Royal British Legion B.

Bestwood threw away a 4-1 lead, while Liberal stormed back from 3-1 down to lead 4-3 before losing the last leg.

THE LEAGUE’S individual rankings table has a clear leader again in Geoff Taylor (Empire A), who boasts 160 points after a record of 22 wins from 25 matches.

Teammate Steve Wood lies second on 155, alongside Tim McShane, of Legion A. Two other Legion A players, Nigel Burton and Martin Bremner, share fourth spot with 140 points.