A late scare that surrendered their long, unbeaten record has failed to prevent triumphant Royal British Legion A clinching the HUCKNALL EPA POOL LEAGUE title.
Legion A, who have led the table for most of the season, suffered their first defeat in 20 matches when crashing 6-2 to The Dragon. But they recovered quickly, and a 6-2 success at home to Chequers left them with an unassailable advantage of four points with one round of matches to play.
After losing the opening leg, they won the next six in the hands of Mick Fowkes, Dave Wainwright, Michael Holmes-Parker and Steve Wood on singles and Wainwright and Fowkes and Wood and Curly Johnstone on pairs.
The runners-up spot was sealed by the champions’ inter-club rivals, Royal British Legion B, after they won 6-2 at H2O while the only team who could catch them, last season’s title-holders, Station Hotel B, became the latest big name to be spiked by The Dragon.
Legion B were in irresistible form as they swept into a 5-0 lead thanks to Colin Draycott, Mark Hardstaff, Dave Stacey-King, Joe Etherington and the pairing of Draycott and Etherington.
Station B led 1-0, 3-2 and 4-3, courtesy of Andrea Green, PJ Singh, Danny Butler and Dave Butler. But plucky Dragon kept fighting back and earned a share of the spoils through Cliff Thompson, the pairings of Thompson and Arthur Galloway and Shane Wood and Steve Nicholls, and then, on the last leg, Galloway, who beat Paddy McShane.
The night’s remaining three fixtures resulted in wins for Station Hotel A and Yew Tree, plus a 4-4 draw between Bestwood Village Social Club and Liberal Club.
Station A won 5-3 to make it 18 defeats in 21 matches for bottom-of-the-0able Green Dragon. Paul Hibbard was successful on singles and pairs.
Yew Tree swept past Spot-On Club (formerly Empire) to the tune of 6-2, with Gary Lester, Wayne Betteridge and Ian Wikeley all doubling up on singles and pairs.
Next-to-bottom Bestwood teed up only their third win of the season when leading 3-2 and 4-3 thanks to Alan Allsopp, Dave Horan, Dillon Robinson and Michael Bull. But Liberal staged a fightback led by Bill Hardy, who was victorious on singles and pairs.
THE league’s individual rankings table looks set to be won by Station B’s Danny Butler, who has 132 points and a 90% strike rate after 18 wins from 21 matches.
Sharing second place with 127 points and an 86% strike rate are his brother, Dave Butler, also of Station B, and Curly Johnstone, of Legion A.