The Ballymoney pool league kicked off this week (Thursday) at The Vintage Cafe/Racks pool club. Eight teams kicked off the new season with fresh hope and aspirations of success for the new season.
Last year’s front runners Rack ‘n’ Rollers and Dervock Destroyers got off to convincing wins against 8 Ball Egos and Kellys Inn respectively.
The Wheekers and new boys Roy’s Rovers also got off to winning starts against the dangerous Foyleview and slow starters respecrively.
Rack ‘n’ Rollers 9-1 8 Ball egos
Last years champions started off the new season with a convincing win against the revamped 8 Ball Egos. Lyam McDermott got the champions off to a good start winning 2-0 against Andy White. Lyam clinched a tight 1st frame with the help of 2 shots after an in off from Andy. The 2nd frame ended in a different manor with Andy potting the black during the frame handing McDermott his 1st win of the season. Colin Porter levelled the scores with a 2-1 win against an out of sorts Marty Quigg with the help of an in off by Marty on the black. Mark Graham made his league debut against one of the leagues top players in Ryan Craig in the 3rd match. Both players exchanged early blows before Mark missed a crucial yellow to leave Ryan a tricky black which he made look easy. Ryan sealed the win with an impressice break and finish. Noel McDermott gave the champions a bit of breathing space with an accomplished 2-0 win against the young league debutant Frankie McFetridge. The last game of the session was contested between veteran Nigel Craig and the ever improving Colin porter. The players shared the first 2 frames with Porter having a nice finish in the 2nd frame. Craig almost put the game to rest but missed the black for the break and finish however porter was unable to capitalize and Craig sealed the win to complete a 4-1 win in the ist session. Marty Quigg kicked off the 2nd session like a man with a point to prove with a convincing 2-0 win against young McFetridge. Andy White showed he could be a strong addition to the leaugue pushing the evergreen Nigel Craig to a deciding frame. Craig needed all his experience to come through a 2-1 winner. Colin Porter had the responsibility of keeping his team in with a chance of claiming a point against the charismatic Noel McDermott. Colin held his nerve to win a nail biting 1st frame with some good play. McDermott pulled it back to 1-1 with a classy 7 ball finish. Porter was the first to slip up in final frame and McDermott made him pay to give the champions an unassailable 3-0 lead in 2nd session. Craig v Graham was the next match up with the young but experienced Graig taking the match 2-0 to make it 8-1. Lyam McDermott anchored Rack ‘n’ Rollers home with an assured 2-0 win to seal an impressive 9-1 opening win.
The Wheekers 8-2 Slow Starters
This was an impressive win for the experienced Wheekers team against the young slow starters. First up for The Wheekers was the ever reliable Gareth McMaster against the ever improving Richard Williams. McMaster showed he means business this season with an emphatic 2-0 win to get his team up and running. Up Next was two attacking players in Jimmy lewis and the ever intriguing Paul Brady. Brady took the 1st frame only to see the vastly improved Lewis rally and seal a good comback with a 2-1 win and give is team two match lead. Tommy Henry continued the good start for The Tweekers by taking out a tidy clearance to go up 1-0 against Ryan Adair. In the 2nd frame Henry showed he can also mix it up coming out on top in a very tight tactical frame. Next up was William Simpson against Andy irwin. It was Simpsons first appearance in the league but he was soon down 1-0 against the unpredictable Irwin. Simpson showed he was up for the fight though taking out a good finish in 2nd frame doubling his last two colours and dispatching the black. Simpson Probably should have sealed a debut win but missed his attempt at a finish and Irwin stepped in to punish him. Willy McConaghie came through 2-1 in a nip and tuck affair against Ryan Adair in the final match of the session to give The guarantee The Tweekers a point. Tommy Henry recovered well from going 1-0 to win 2-1againt Williams and show why he has become a force to be reckoned with in the league. Adair showed the Slow Starters were up for the fight by taking the first frame against McMaster. However McMaster was more than up for the challenge and came back to win 2-1 with an 8 ball clearance in the deciding frame. Steven Kane came through for a very hard fought victory against Paul Brady to get the win on his first appearance for The Tweekers. Not for the first time in this match the Slow Starters surrendered a 1-0 lead. This time it was Willy McConaghie fighting back from one down to win against Andy Irwin. Richard Williams added some respect to the scoreline when he ran out a 2-1 winner against Alistair Jamieson in the final match.
Dervock Destroyers 8-2 Kellys inn
Last years runners up Dervock Destroyers got their season up and running against new comers Kellys Inn. Dervock talisman Tommy Morrow was first up against Adrain O’kane. The first game got very bogged down after Morrow missed early chance. O’kane kept himself togethor to go up 1-0. Morrow levelled the match with good finish. The deciding frame was very tactical with O’kane eventually winning after Morrow missed tricky final colour. Gordon Stratton won a tight opening game to go 1-0 up agaist Gavin Patton in the second match. Patton levelled the match with good finish in frame two. Both players had chances in final frame before Stratton missed a black along the top rail. Stratton was still big favourite but Patton produced the shot of the night to pot his second last colour and develop his other colour and finish the game in style. The next match was a scrappy affair with Gareth Johnston and Bill Mullan both missing pots and both struggling to get any rythm. Johnston eventually ran out a 2-1 winner. Aidy Thompson made his debut for the Destroyers in the next match against another new comer Gordy Annett. The first frame was quite tactical before Thompson tried to take advantage of a half chance but left himself a very hard black which he missed and Annett stepped in to finish. Thompson almost took the game to a decider but missed a simple black after pottong a great final red to leave Annett a routine finish. Dervock captain Christopher Mulholland was last up for his team against the unknown Mark Doherty. Both players missed early chances before mulholland pulled off an outrageous double on his final colour and landed perfect on the black to go up 1-0. Mulholland made it 2-0 with a clinical break and finish in the 2nd frame to guarantee Dervock a point. Patton won the first match in the 2nd session beating Annett 2-0 in tidy fashion. Morrow made it two in a row for Dervock with an 8 ball clearance in frame 1 and srappy win in frame two against Stratton. Bill Mullan was cursing his luck after potting his last colour and black on same shot to give mulholland an unexpected 1-0 lead. This proved costly as Mulholland took the match 2-0. In match 9 Thompson showed the type of ability which prompted Dervock to nap him up for this season. He showed real grit to win frame one and real class to win frame 2 against Annett. Johnston took on the role of anchor man with relative ease to guide his team to a 8-2 win in the final match.
Foyleview 3-7 Roy’s Rovers
Roy’s Rovers produced the performance of the night to win on their league debut against the potential packed Foyleview. Tommy White made a winning return to competitive pool with a win over Mark Cochrane after a very long absence from the game. White took a tight first frame but Cochrane levelled the scores with a hard fought win in frame two. White won the deciding frame with a big slice of luck after fluking a ball resulting in him winning the match. Team captain Gregory feeney made it 2-0 with two good finishes against Chris Rankin. Ricky Clyde steadied the ship for Roy’s Rovers coming out on top against the very dangerous Niall Cassidy with a 2-1 win. Scott Neeson showed Foyleview were up for the fight with a good 2-0 over Jordan Craig showing some classy play along the way. With the scores evenly poised at 2-2 it was Stanley Miller against Ricky Clyde. Both players were below their best and shared the opening frames. Miller had chance to guarantee his team a point but was wasteful in the deciding frame and Clyde got over the line to win. Cochrane got Foyleview off to a flying start in match six with a comfortable 2-0 win against Clyde. White made it two from two on his pool return with a very cagey performance against the very attacking Feeney to level the scores in the 2nd session. Rankin got himself off the mark for the night with a 2-1 win against cassidy and showed he could be a good asset for Roy’s Rovers. White was dominant in the penultimate match and never lookeed in any danger of losing against Neeson running out a comfortable 2-0 winner and securing full points for Roy’s Rovers. Jordan Craig completed the win with an impressive 2-0 win over the unpredictable Miller. Roy’s Rovers could be a team to be reckoned with this season. After this result and with two strong players still to come into the team then surely a high finish is well within their reach.