POOL: Leaders knocked off top by own B team!

THE SCRAP for the HUCKNALL EPA POOL LEAGUE title took an amazing turn when the leaders were beaten by their own B team!

Royal British Legion A headed the table by two points after suffering only one defeat in 22 matches.

But they slipped to a shock 5-3 reverse against mid-table Royal British Legion B and duly surrendered top spot on leg-difference (plus-86 to plus-82) to Empire A with three matches to play.

The top dogs got off to the worst possible start when Ryan Orton lost the opening leg to Dave Stacey-King and then Tim McShane was beaten by John Toulson on leg two.

They fought back to level in the hands of Rich Devine and Nigel Burton, who won the first pairs leg, and also Martin Bremner.

But they soon trailed 4-2 as Dean Dymock disposed of Nidge Orton and joined up with Malc Grocock to see off Bremner and Nidge Orton.

And although Nigel Burton cut the deficit with a win over Grocock, Legion B sealed their triumph on the last leg when Stu Platts beat Gaz Woodfield.

Empire A’s match also went to the last leg — but a victory for Dave Wainwright wrapped up a 5-3 success at home to Chequers Inn B.

Earlier Robbie Roylance had lost the first leg before a sizzling effort by Steve Wood, who won on singles and pairs (with Geoff Taylor) and also completed an eight-ball clearance.

Mick Fowkes and the pairing of Wainwright and Craig Johnstone were the home team’s other victors.

Empire A and Legion A lead the table by three points from reigning champions Spot-On Low-C and league newcomers Empire Muppets, both of whom recorded 5-3 wins away from home.

Low-C were always comfortable once they had recovered from a first-leg loss for Colin Draycott at the hands of Dave Holmes against Green Dragon. Tim Hudson, Ryan Norris, Simon Thompson and the pairings of Simon Moralee and Hudson and Norris and Thompson eased them home.

Muppets’ hero at Chequers Inn A was Joe Etherington, who registered an eight-ball clearance before taking the decisive final leg against Lee Allington. Up to then, the home team had belied their bottom-of-the-table status with a fine performance.

The week’s remaining two fixtures resulted in a 5-3 victory for Liberal Club at home to Yew Tree and a 4-4 draw between Bestwood Village Social Club and Station Hotel (Hucknall) B.

Liberal led 4-1 at one stage, while Bestwood threw away advantages of 2-1 and 3-2 before rescuing a point on the last leg.

THE JOINT leaders of the league’s individual rankings table are Geoff Taylor (Empire A) and Tim McShane (Legion A), who have 146 points thanks to 20 wins from 23 matches.