POOL: Empire duo close the gap

A BLANK date for unbeaten leaders Royal British Legion A gave their chasing duo the ideal chance to make up lost ground at the top of the HUCKNALL EPA POOL LEAGUE.

And neither second-placed Empire A, nor third-placed Empire Muppets, wasted the opportunity, pulling off important victories.

Mind you, Empire A only just squeezed home 5-3 after an almighty scare at plucky Green Dragon, who led 2-0, thanks to wins from Matt Plenty and Darryll Holmes, and then 3-1.

The shellshocked visitors drew level in the hands of Geoff Taylor and the partnership of Dave Wainwright and Craig Johnstone before snatching the points with further wins on the last two singles legs by deadly duo Johnstone and Wainwright.

Empire Muppets enjoyed a much smoother passage at home to Harrier. They were pegged back to 2-2 at one stage before easing to a 6-2 win, with three players — Joe Etherington, Michael Holmes-Parker and Dave Rhodes — successful on both singles and pairs.

The top three in the table have now pulled at least five points clear of the rest, who are headed by defending champions Spot-On Low-C.

The Spot side recovered from their heavy defeat against Empire A the previous week by beating Liberal Club 6-2 thanks to wins on singles by Dean Brittain, Simon Moralee, Colin Draycott and Dave Carroll and on pairs by Brittain and Ben Samson and Draycott and Moralee.

The week’s other three fixtures resulted in 5-3 victories for Royal British Legion B and Yew Tree, plus a 4-4 draw between Sherwood Ranger and Bestwood Village Social Club.

Legion B battled back from 2-1 and 3-2 down to defeat Station Hotel (Hucknall) B, courtesy of Dean Dymock and Malc Grocock, who took the last three legs between them.

Yew Tree almost threw away a 4-1 lead at Chequers Inn B before bagging the last leg in the nick of time.

And the clash between the league’s two village teams finished all-square after a fightback from 3-1 down to lead 4-3 by Ravenshead’s Sherwood Ranger. Karl Mayes was beaten on the final leg.

EMPIRE A star Geoff Taylor continues to head the league’s individual rankings table with 14 wins from 15 games, giving him 100 points.

Seven points behind is Martin Bremner (Legion A) with 13 wins from 14, and then come three players on 90 points with 12 victories from 15 — Shane Wood (Chequers B), Robbie Roylance (Empire A) and Steve Wood (Empire A).

Behind them come Tim McShane on 88 points (12 wins from 14 games) and his Legion A teammate Nigel Burton, who has 83 points thanks to 11 wins from 14 games.

The next duo on the list are Joe Etherington (Empire Muppets) and Dean Brittain (Low-C) with 81 points (11 wins from 13), followed by Keith Harrison (Empire Muppets) and the Legion B duo, Dean Dymock and Malc Grocock, who all have 80 points (ten wins from 15).