Ballymoney Pool League
There were two matches played in the Ballymoney Pool League last week. The standout fixture on the night was between Rack ‘n’ Rollers and Dervock Destroyers. Rack ‘n’ Rollers have won the league the last two seasons with Dervock being very close runner-ups on both occasions.
Last season’s league went all the way to a final play-off which shows just how evenly matched these teams are. However, last week Dervock looked like a team who meant business from the start and raced into a 5-0 lead before securing a convincing 7-3 win against their fiercest rivals.
In the other match on the night league challengers The Wheekers were also convincing winners as they won 8-2 against bottom team 8 Ball Egos. This puts the Wheekers into second place with Foyleview having two games in hand on them.
Rack ‘n’ Rollers v Dervock Destroyers
The top-of-the-table clash started off with Chris Rankin edging the first with a composed black to give Rack ‘n’ Rollers the lead. Andy Park then rattled off two classy finishes on the spin to put Dervock into a 1-0 lead. Gareth Johnston put Dervock into a 2-0 lead as he put in a stylish performance to hand Marty Quigg only his third defeat of the season. Tommy Morrow extended Dervock’s lead in the next as he capitalised on a couple of mistakes from Ryan Craig to give Dervock a 3-0 lead.
The fourth match of the night was a top-class encounter as Dervock captain Chris Mulholland took on Noel McDermott. McDermott did well to edge a tactical first frame in which he looked to be trailing for most of the frame.
However the Dervock captain was in inspired form in the next two frames as a break and finish in frame two was swiftly followed by a very classy 8-ball clearance from a McDermott dry break in frame three.
In the final match of the sesssion newcomer Conor McDonnell was hoping to make his mark but Ricky Clyde obviously hadn’t read the script with a cheeky swerve shot down the cushion to pot his penultimate colour and leave himself perfect on the black which he soon dispatched.
Clyde sealed the win with a great break and finish in the second, doubling his final colour to land plum on the black. This gave Dervock a 5-0 lead at the halfway point and they only needed one more for the win.
In a scrappy start to the second session Johnston and Rankin shared the opening two frames with neither player at the top of their game. Both players had chances in the decider but it was Rankin who prevailed in the end.
Morrow dashed any hopes of a Rack ‘n’ Rollers fight back in the next match as he defeated McDonnell in the match of the night. Morrow broke dry in the opener and McDonnell stepped in and showed good composure to take out a quality 8-ball clearance and take the lead. With Morrow’s 17-match unbeaten run in the balance the young Dervock man came out fighting and after a dry break from McDonnell he also stepped in to take out a top-quality 8-ball finish under pressure.
Morrow kept the momentum going and a clinical break and finish in the deciding frame makes it 18 wins from 18 for the Dervock man.
This win secured the full points for Dervock. Craig took on Park in the next and with nothing but pride left to play for Craig overcame Park in a nip and tuck match in which neither player really got going.
In match nine Mulholland could’t reproduce his earlier heroics as he and McDermott split the opening two frames with both having chances. The deciding frame was closely fought before Mulholland rattled in his last colour to land perfect on the black and take the win.
In the final match Quigg took on Clyde. This match was a tactical affair which was always going to favour Quigg and so it proved to be the case as he ran out a comfortable 2-0 winner. This was a great win for Dervock as the Rack ‘n’ Rollers team contained three of the N Ireland team which won the 2010 world under 21 championships in England. Dervock are now two points clear at the top of the league with a game in hand.
The Wheekers v 8 Ball Egos
Frankie McFetridge took on Tommy White in the opener of this encounter. White took the lead with a classy finish after a McFetridge dry break let him in. In frame two White was going for the finish again but with three balls remaining he managed to pot the black while trying to pot one of his remaining colours thus levelling the scores at 1-1.
The deciding frame was a tactical affair before a foul from McFetridge let in White with two shots. The balls weren’t sitting great but White showed quality to take out the finish.
McMaster made it 2-0 for the Wheekers in the next as he overcame Andy White 2-1. McMaster had to fight back from behind to take the win with both players not at their best.
Tommy Henry was in emphatic form as he gave Ronnie Leslie no chance in their encounter and was a convincing 2-0 winner taking out good finishes in both frames.
Jim Lewis continued his good run this year as he defeated 8 Ball Egos captain Colin Porter 2-0. Lewis took the opener with a stylish break and finish. The second frame was more tactical but the result was once again a Lewis win.
The Wheekers were flying and led 5-0 at the halfway point. T. White was at it again at the start of the second session as he got his second break and finish of the match against Leslie. White continued his good form in frame two and soon had the match wrapped up.
Henry showed good tactical knowledge in the next match as he grinded down A. White to secure a 2-0 win. Young McFetridge showed age doesn’t matter in the next match as he beat the experienced McMaster 2-0 for a confidence-boosting win for the young Armoy man.
It was Lewis v Porter part two in match nine but unfortunately for Porter the result stayed the same with Lewis taking a 2-0 win.
Lewis played solid throughout and showed why he has become such an important player for the Wheekers.
In the final fixture it was T. White up against McFetridge. White took the lead with a quality 8-ball finish and things didn’t look good for McFetridge. However with confidence still high from his earlier win he began to fight back and levelled the scores with a clinical finish in the second frame.
The third frame was scrappy throughout but McFetridge wanted it the most and eventually secured the win. Final score 8-2 to the Wheekers.