Pool league leaders drop first point in inter-club thriller

THRILLING battle between the two Royal British Legion teams
THRILLING battle between the two Royal British Legion teams

The last surviving 100% record of the new season bit the dust when the top two teams in the HUCKNALL EPA POOL LEAGUE came face to face.

After six successive victories, leaders Royal British Legion A were held to a 4-4 draw by their inter-club rivals, second-placed Royal British Legion B, leaving both teams with their unbeaten records intact.

In a thrilling match, Legion B led 1-0 and 2-1, courtesy of Joe Etherington and the electric pairing of Dean Dymock and Malc Grocock, but then they trailed 3-2 after A team wins for Curly Johnstone and Mick Fowkes.

Back came the B team with a second pairs success -- this time from Etherington and Geoff Taylor. But they fell 4-3 down when Steve Wood defeated Dave Stacey-King, so all rested on the last leg, which Grocock won against Dave Wainwright to deny the A team another victory.

The pair are clear of the chasing pack, who are now headed by defending champions Station Hotel B after they dented Yew Tree’s bright start to the season with a 5-3 triumph. Success on singles and pairs by veteran Rog Green helped ease Station B into a 3-0 lead and although Dean North and Dion Nangle pulled two legs back, the home side settled it with victories for Dave Burton and Paddy McShane on pairs and Dave Butler on singles.

At the foot of the table, Green Dragon celebrated their first point of the season after six losses on the bounce. However, they did throw away a 3-0 lead at home to H2O, who grabbed a 4-4 draw with Martin Saxton’s win on the last leg.

The night’s remaining three fixtures resulted in victories for Station Hotel A, Empire and Liberal Club.

Station A were always in control at Bestwood Village Social Club, who crashed 6-2 after wins for Rob Mitchell, Josh Hibbard, Paul Hibbard, Phil Buck and the pairings of Buck and Paul Heath and Mitchell and Paul Hibbard.

Empire fought back from 3-2 down to shade Chequers 5-3, with James Bettridge and Joe Hammond the heroes on the last two legs.

And Liberal inflicted a 5-3 defeat on The Dragon, who fought back from 4-0 down to 4-3 before losing the final leg to Ray Oldham.

RESULTS in the First Round of the league’s Knockout Cup were: The Dragon 4 Liberal Club 3, Chequers 4 Yew Tree 3, Station Hotel B 3 Royal British Legion A 4, H2O 4 Bestwood Village Social Club 3, Empire 4 Green Dragon 3 and Royal British Legion B 4 Station Hotel A 2.