Week ten of the South London & Kent Pool Alliance winter season and Duke of Northumberland had a massive win to extend their lead at the top of Division Two to nineteen points. 


This week they played third placed Academicals with all the frames in the first set being close and could have gone either way, but eventually Duke took a, 4-1 lead. 


Duke took control in the second set, whitewashing it, 5-0 for a, 9-1 lead to have the match won before the third set. 


The final set, Duke pushed on and it finished the same as the first set, 4-1 for a massive, 13-2 victory. 


It was a wonderful all-round team performance from Duke, with four unbeaten players, Paul Clements, John Cochrane, John Kinsville and Phil Tworek all winning their three frames. 


In between Duke and Academicals, in second are Bellegrove Flyers who beat Happy Hustlers this week, 9-6.


This match was played in a great atmosphere, which meant that it was so close despite the 38 points difference between the two teams. 


Jason Brunton was the inspiration behind the victory, winning all three of his frames and he was backed up by Keith Smith, Mark Porter and Richard Marsh, who all won two of their three frames. 


It looks like Flyers and Duke will be the promoted teams from this division, as Flyers are nineteen points behind Duke and fourteen points ahead of Academicals. 


Farmhouse are now twelve points behind Academicals, despite having the same five wins and five losses ratio, after beating bottom team Bexleyheath Working Men’s Club, 11-4 this week. 


Third also played first in SLKPA Division One, as Bellegrove A hosted Falconwood Club, who were looking for revenge for their defeat to them earlier this season. 


Falconwood raced into a, 4-0 lead, but then Stacey Redman restored some order for Bellegrove by winning frames five and six. 


Frame six was a very tense, tactical battle between Redman and Akar Necati, which lasted over half an hour. 


Necati eventually wrestled control of the table, only to somehow pot the black in the bottom corner and send the cue ball into the opposite corner, giving Redman the frame. 


Falconwood’s Ian Stringer almost broke and dished in frame seven but left the black over the centre pocket. 


He then found himself snookered down by the bottom pocket, but played a brilliant escape, sending the cue ball off the baulk, side, and bottom cushions, played with bags of side, to hit the black dead weight and drop it in the centre pocket for a, 5-2 lead.


There was more drama in frame eight, with another tactical battle, which Dave Selby eventually got control of for Falconwood, with the benefit of a foul snooker. 


With cue ball in hand, he played a plant on his yellow to pot Joe Hill’s red over the pocket and free the black up at the same time however, the cue ball followed the red in giving Hills the frame to make it, 5-3. 


Subsequent frames continued to be tight with Peter Moult and Redman winning for Bellegrove to make it, 6-5 to Falconwood. 


Last week Falconwood lost four frames in a row in the cup to set up a final frame decider, but this week they won the last four frames to secure a, 10-5 victory. 


It was a great game between two good teams fighting to get into the top division that saw only two unbeaten players, Redman for Bellegrove and Falconwood’s Ross Webster, who both scored hat-tricks. 


Sandwiched between Falconwood and Bellegrove are New Eltham New Stars, who got bragging rights in the New Eltham Social Club derby against New Eltham New Boys, with a, 10-5 triumph. 


Falconwood are now ten points ahead of New Stars, who are eight points in front of Bellegrove, whereas New Boys are nine points adrift at the bottom of the table. 


On equal points were Eltham Terrace Rack Pack and Fox & Hounds, who met each other this week, with Rack Pack edging it, 8-7 to nip into fourth place. 


Fox are now nine points ahead of New Boys, whereas Rack Pack are eleven points behind Bellegrove. 


The SLKPA Premier Division has evened itself out, now that all the postponed matches have been played, most teams have played nine matches and the table is taking shape. 


Hotshots have played two matches in a week, beating Eltham Terrace Nuthouse, 11-4 and Bull Tavern, 9-6 to extend their unbeaten league season to nine matches and take their place at the top of the table. 


Bull Tavern also had two games this week and Sharks piled on the misery, inflicting their second defeat by 11 frames to 4. 


As a result, Sharks have gone into second place, six points behind Hotshots with a game in hand, with Bull sitting in fifth place, but only fourteen points behind Sharks. 


The Cocked Hats are sitting in third, but they didn’t have it all their own way against Pickwick. 


This was a fantastic close-run match, swinging one way then the other, with each set being won by the odd frame, 3-2. 


The first four frames were shared, including a break and dish from Cocked Hats’ Nick Steadman in frame four, taking the first set into a deciding frame, which Jamie Davis won to give Pickwick a, 3-2 first set lead. 


The second set went a similar way to the first, with the first four frames being shared, but this time Davis couldn’t replicate his first set fortune, with Elliott Giles gaining revenge for his first set defeat. 


That tied the match at five all going into the final set and Giles made it two in a row for himself and Cocked Hats to put them, 6-5 ahead. 


Paul Gafa and Dave Pile then strung two frames together for Pickwick to sneak them back into the lead, 6-5. 


George Covington won the penultimate frame, with a great finish, to send the match into a final frame decider. 


Pickwick’s Paul Slater faced George Taylor of The Cocked Has, with both players on two out of two, so something had to give. 


Taylor held his nerve to break and dish, for his personal hat-trick, to give his side a hard fought, 8-7 triumph. 


Taylor wasn’t the only unbeaten player, as Pickwick’s Dave Pile won both of his frames. 


Pickwick may be four places behind their opponents in seventh, but there are only six points between them. 


Another close game that finished, 8-7 was the one between Bears and Bellegrove. 


Bellegrove raced into a, 4-0 lead and were looking to kick on against the bottom side, but Jamie Phillips and the rest of the Bears had other ideas. 


In frame four Phillips performed a reverse dish to prevent the set whitewash and put the Bears’ first frame on the board.


He also won the next frame to halve Bellegrove’s lead to, 4-2 and Dean James and Paul Cobbold continued Bears’ winning ways to match Bellegrove’s four in a row and tie the match at four all. 


The next five frames were quite long and drawn out, with Bellegrove winning two and Bears three.  


Bears were now, 7-6 up, with two frames to play, it was gone 11.30 and Phillips had plenty of chances to win the match with the fourteenth frame however, Danny Foley snatched it to level the match at, 7-7. 


Shane Burnett from Bears faced Bellegrove’s Tony Halpin in the final frame decider and Halpin found himself with two yellows on the table, one surrounded by three reds and the white on the bottom cushion. 


Facing a long straight yellow there was no way he could get on his last yellow, but this is Tony Halpin, who proceeded to pot the yellow, at pace, come off three cushions and land perfectly on his last yellow, surrounded by the reds. 


He rolled it in and finished the frame off by potting a long black, then both teams applauded the best shot most of them had, probably seen. 


What a fantastic way to win a match!


This game was so tight and tense that only one player was unbeaten, Bellegrove’s Graham Levingbird, who won his only frame. 


Bellegrove are now in fourth place, five places and 21 points above Bears, but you would never have guessed it on this showing. 


Rugrats have been having a great season, compared to recent seasons and this week they played second bottom Eltham Terrace Nuthouse, who had one less victory than their opponents. 


Louis Wilbourne and Dave Sparey got Nuthouse off to a great start, with the first two frames, then Steve Gibson, Pat Firth and Aaron Shephard won the last three frames of the set to give Rugrats a, 3-2 lead. 


Trevor Biggs equalised, but Firth restored Rugrats one frame advantage.


This time Shane Hutley joined Sparey and Wilbourne to win the last three frames of the set to win it, 4-1 and take a, 6-4 lead into the final set.


Ashley Hewson won his first frame of the night to bring it back to,6-5, but that would be their final frame win of the night, as Nuthouse took the last four frames to win the match, 10-5. 


Sparey and Wilbourne both went on to win all three of their frames, with Wilbourne taking the last frame in style with a clinical break and dish. 


These two teams sandwich Pickwick in the table, with all three teams achieving three wins so far this season however, eight points separate the teams. 


Now that this division has evened itself out, it looks as though the fight for the title and battle to avoid relegation will be close. 


There was one unfinished cup match from last week, where Duke of Northumberland from Division Two were hopefully on their way to a giant killing, drawing six all with Premier Division Sharks. 


This match was completed this week and it went to the wire, with Sharks disappointing the Division Two side, sneaking an, 8-7 victory to go into the next round, while Duke drop into the Silver Salver competition.  


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 or secretary@slkpa.com with any queries.


The league is always looking at potential sponsors and any interested parties can also contact Paul Gafa.