Close finish to SLKPA season

Before this week's matches only seven points separated the bottom five of the Premier Division and eight points the top four of Division One, as the night went on places changed and rumours extended around the region, as we saw the most exciting finish to a South London & Kent Pool Alliance season ever.

I'll start at the top of Division One, where Summerfield were in fourth on 141 points, Pickwick Academicals third on 144 points, Eltham Terrace Rack Pack second on 147 points and O'Dowds B top on 149 points.

Summerfield stay in fourth after a 9-6 win over White Hart, which leaves them in eighth.

The game that had the most resting on it was O'Dowds B against Pickwick Academicals with the winners virtually guaranteeing themselves promotion.

After their heavy defeat last week, Academicals came back with a bang to win 10-5 and end up on equal points with their opponents so both had to sweat it out to see how the Rack Pack got on.

They were playing Bellegrove Social Club B and edged the first two sets 3-2 but powered home in the final set winning it 5-0 with Tony Frost securing promotion in the twelfth frame and Billy Dolby the Championship two frames later.

Along with winning promotion and the title, both Frost and Dolby won all three of their frames, as did Miro Cujic.

With Rack Pack winning the title by four points we have to see where O'Dowds B and Pickwick Academicals finish and as Academicals have three more wins than their rivals they finish second, gaining automatic promotion and O'Dowds in third and the play off place.

Bottom team Fox under the Hill couldn't finish the season with a victory as they went down 11-4 to O'Dowds A, who finish in fifth as a result.

O'Dowds won the first set 4-1 but Fox came back winning the second 3-2 before O'Dowds turned on the style in the final set, taking it 5-0.

Neil Shelton and Tom Wyatt won both of their frames but Clive Forrest went one better in wining all three of his.

Royal Oak Addicks rise to sixth as a result of their 8-7 win over Glenmore Arms II.

Colin Smith won all three of his frames for the Addicks and Dan Brown did the same for Glenmore.

At the bottom of the SLKPA Premier Division we had Rileys Rebels in sixth on 113 points, Glenmore Arms A in seventh on the same points, North Heath Social Club one point behind them in eighth, Rileys Rovers in ninth on 107 points and one point behind them lying on the bottom Summerfield Nuthouse.

It was a tough call for Nuthouse to overcome seven points, especially as they faced the league leaders O'Connors, who needed just three points themselves to secure the league title.

The first set swung both ways but O'Connors just edged it 3-2 and they went on to do the same in the next two sets to win the match by 9 frames to 6 overall.

James Sheed kicked it off for O'Connors and went on to win his next two frames as well, with Joe Kane winning both his frames and Naf Ayieko his only frame.

O'Connors have secured the title but Nuthouse have to hope that North Heath don't score against Bellegrove Social Club A, as do Rileys Rovers who lost 10-5 to Pickwick.

Rovers started the better taking a 3-1 lead but Gary Dixon won the first of his three frames, Dean James won the first of his two frames with an excellent break and dish, Paul Gafa put Pickwick in the lead and they never looked back as they won the final two sets 4-1.

Gafa went on to win his third frame in the final set with a brilliant clearance after his opponent went in off from the break.

This defeat put Rovers on the same points as Nuthouse but Nuthouse have one more win so go above them and still await the North Heath result to see if they have suffered relegation or get to fight it out in the  play off.

North Heath visited third placed Bellegrove Social Club A knowing they needed to get frames in order to stay in the Premier Division in their first season there.

It looked as though they might knock up enough frames after only losing the first set 3-2 but they went on to win just one more frame in the match as Bellegrove turned it on to win 12-3.

It was a good all round team performance for Bellegrove with all contributing but Dan Vowles and Steve Pearce both scored three out of three and Captain Ron Brown won both of his frames.

Now the Nuthouse know they have been relegated but what about North Heath's fate?

Just one point ahead of them were Rileys Rebels and Glenmore Arms A and with Rebels playing second place Rileys Woolwich, it looked like they had a hard task in front of them.

They didn't let this affect them though, as they won the first set 3-2, which included two break and dishes, one from Craig Mallinder for Woolwich and the other for Declan Kelly of Rebels.

Woolwich reversed the score in the second set to tie the match at five all before Tony Halpin performed his second break and dish of the night to put Woolwich ahead.

Woolwich went on to win the next two frames to seal the victory but Louis Wilbourne and Barry Barham won the final two frames to make the score a respectable 8-7.

The closeness of the match meant no players won all three frames but Craig Mallinder and Paul Donohoe won two out of two for Woolwich and Declan Kelly and Barry Barham did the same for Rebels.

As Woolwich cement their runners up place, Rebels secure theirs in the Premier Division, finishing a creditable sixth in their first season there.

Now it's between North Heath and Glenmore Arms A to see who is safe and who has to endure the play off.

With nothing to play for you may be forgiven for thinking that Foots Cray Social Club may not take this game too seriously but far from it, as they won the first two sets 4-1 and the final set 5-0 to win the match 13-2 and send Glenmore into the play off spot.

Andre Cox, Adam Hewson and Steve Krishnan were in merciless form all winning all three of their frames and Scott Shephard was equally ruthless, as his two out of two included a spectacular first visit clearance from a dry break.

The only players to come out with any credit for Glenmore were Paul Thomas and Dean Coppen who won the team's two frames.

Congratulations to all the winners and well played to all teams for making it the most competitive SLKPA season to date.

For more information on the SLKPA including league tables visit our website at www.slkpa.com or contact our Secretary Paul Gafa on 07443 456662 with any queries.

The league are looking at potential sponsors, any interested parties can also contact Paul Gafa.

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