Leading two teams flex their title muscles

CUEMASTER -- Tim McShane, who won on singles and pairs for title-chasing Royal British Legion A.
CUEMASTER -- Tim McShane, who won on singles and pairs for title-chasing Royal British Legion A.

As the title race began to to hot up in the HUCKNALL EPA POOL LEAGUE, the top two teams flexed their muscles in the last round of matches.

Both leaders Spot-On Low-C and second-placed Royal British Legion A ground out 5-3 victories in potentially difficult fixtures.

And now it’s all to play for with six weeks of the campaign remaining.

......Only three points separate the big guns, but Low-C seem determined to fend off all-comers on the evidence of their hard-fought success at home to fifth-placed Empire A.

An eight-ball clearance by Danny Butler got them off to a flyer on the opening leg -- before Robbie Roylance responded in kind with an eight-baller against Dean Britton on the second leg.

Britton recovered to partner Ryan Norris to victory on the first pairs leg before Simon Thompson made it 3-1 by defeating Mick Fowkes.

Empire refused to buckle, with Craig Johnstone taking leg five thanks to victory over Geoff Taylor.

But Low-C sealed the points when Thompson and Danny Draycott landed the second pairs leg and Norris gave his side an unassailable lead.

Legion A also launched their match, away to Liberal Club, with an eight-ball clearance, achieved by Rich Devine.

And they proved unstoppable early on, surging into a 4-0 advantage, courtesy of Ryan Orton and Tim McShane, who not only triumphed on singles but also teamed up to take the first pairs leg.

Plucky Liberal battled back to reduce the deficit to 4-3, thanks to Steve Clark, Ray Oldham and Will Clark. But Legion A nerves were calmed by success on the final frame by Neil Orton.

In the week’s other two matches, The Dragon leapt into fourth place in the table after a 6-2 romp at Bestwood Village Social Club, while Yew Tree defeated Station Hotel (Hucknall) B by the same scoreline.

Dragon lost the first leg but then won the next six, with Shane Wood successful on singles and pairs to help him restore his place at the top of the league’s individual rankings table. He is four points clear of Tony Dobb (Empire) and Ryan Norris (Low-C).

Yew Tree led 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 before taking command of their fixture. Among their winners were Lee Burton, Rich Hyslop and the pairings of Burton and Karl Jones and Hyslop and Dion Nangle.