The South London & Kent Pool Alliance were in shock this week, as long serving player, Ian Cruwys of Rugrats suddenly passed away on Wednesday 2 February. 


Ian was a stalwart of the Rugrats team, being inaugural Captain Scott Shephard’s first signing when they started at the White Hart in Orpington and followed them to Foots Cray Social Club and their current home Crayford Social Club and he had also represented the SLKPA in their interleague squad.  


Current Rugrats Captain, Steve Gibson said, “I am heartbroken! Can’t get over the fact we’ve lost a great man – great friend – great pool player!!” and there have been lots more messages saying what a gentleman he was and that he will be sadly missed. 


The thoughts of the league are with his family. 


Ian loved his pool and would have wanted Rugrats’ match against Pickwick, a day later to go ahead and it did with both teams paying their respects to Ian with a minute’s silence. 


There was an understandable sombre atmosphere and Pickwick made the most of it to win the first three frames, before Steve Gibson took the fourth to prevent the set whitewash. 


Dave Pile won frame five to give Pickwick a, 4-1 lead going into the second set. 


Ashley Hewson brought it back to, 4-2 but Pickwick were ruthless, winning the next four frames to take this set, 4-1 giving them the game before the start of the last set. 


Mike Werbowy made it five in a row for Pickwick, giving them a, 9-2 advantage. 


Rugrats summoned up some spirit, winning the next three frames to bring it back to, 9-5 before Pile won the final frame for an overall score of, 10-5. 


Pickwick ended the match with two unbeaten players, Pile on a hat-trick and Paul Gafa who won both of his frames. 


Rugrats dedicated their frame wins to Ian's memory and should be commended for playing the match in such difficult circumstances.


It’s been a season of mixed fortunes for both teams, as despite their early promise, Rugrats have dropped to eighth in the Premier Division, whereas Pickwick have leapt to third however, there are only 16 points between the two sides. 


The top two teams in the division were both playing teams in the bottom three, so were looking to pile on the points and second placed, Sharks did exactly that against Eltham Terrace Nuthouse, beating them, 11-4 to record over 100 points for the season. 


League leaders, Hotshots only managed a, 9-6 victory against bottom team, Bears so Sharks have closed the gap at the top to just eight points and they have a game in hand. 


It just goes to show how close this division is, as Bull Tavern, who were languishing near the bottom just a couple of weeks ago, are now in fourth, after a comprehensive, 12-3 triumph over Bellegrove. 


Bull are now only one point behind Pickwick, three points ahead of The Cocked Hats, who didn’t have a game this week and eleven points in front of this week’s opponents. 


All matches in Division One ended, 9-6 and as you would expect it was an incredibly close affair as third placed, Bellegrove A hosted New Eltham New Stars in second. 


Dave Jandu won the opening frame for New Stars, but Jack Taylor and Stacy Redman won the next two to put Bellegrove ahead, before Ron Brown tied the match to send the set into a deciding frame. 


Bellegrove’s Petrina Pearce met New Stars Steve Pearce, no relation, and it was Steve who held his nerve to give his team a, 3-2 first set lead. 


Taylor and Redman won the first two frames of the second set to put Bellegrove one in front again. 


Gary Dixon tied the match for New Stars, but Bellegrove took control of the set, with Kevin England and John Skuza winning to give them the set, 4-1 and take a, 6-4 lead into the final set. 


Redman scored his hat-trick to put Bellegrove on the hill and Petrina Pearce won frame twelve to seal the victory for Bellegrove. 


New Stars’ Jandu brought it back to, 8-5 and the last two frames were shared, making the final score, 9-6. 


Redman wasn’t the only unbeaten player, as teammate Taylor won both of his frames. 


This result put both teams past 100 points, but New Stars hold onto second place, but only by six points however, it looks like these two teams will be joining Falconwood Club in gaining promotion to the top division, as Bellegrove are fourteen points ahead of fourth. 


Sitting in fourth are Eltham Terrace Rack Pack, who beat bottom team, New Eltham New Boys this week. 


The first set was incredibly close, swinging one way then the other, with Chris Parlett eventually winning the deciding frame of the set, to give Rack Pack a, 3-2 lead. 


Adam Watts, Chris Unwin, and Tony Frost made it four on the spin to put Rack Pack, 6-2 ahead. 


Michael Barnes and Mike Peka kept New Boys in the match by winning the last two frames of the set for an overall, 6-4 score line. 


Watts and Parlett put Rack Pack over the line with the first two frames of the last set to give them the win. 


Barnes scored a personal hat-trick and Greg Fothergill brought New Boys back to within two frames, but Stephen Unwin took the final frame giving Rack Pack a, 9-6 victory. 


Michael Barnes wasn’t the only player to score a hat-trick, as Rack Pack’s Adam Watts also won all three of his frames. 


Fox & Hounds travelled to division leaders Falconwood Club, and it was the top side who won, 9-6 to hold onto their fifteen-point lead at the top of the table. 


With just two league games left, it looks like Falconwood should finish as champions, but it will be a fight to the finish at the bottom, as only nine points separate the bottom three. 


At the bottom of Division Two, Happy Hustlers extended their lead over Bexleyheath Working Men’s Club by one point to 32, after an, 8-7 victory over them this week. 


Third played second, as Academicals hosted Bellegrove Flyers and it was Flyers who extended their lead over their opponents to fourteen points, after a, 10-5 triumph. 


With two league matches left in this division, Duke of Northumberland have secured promotion, as they are now 44 points ahead of third, after an, 11-4 triumph over Farmhouse in fourth. 


Farmhouse started well against the league leaders with Steve Carpenter taking the first frame, but Phil Tworek, John Cochrane and Paul Clements won the next three frames to give Duke the set. 


Nick Brown won frame five to bring Farmhouse back to within a frame.


However, Duke put their foot on the gas in the second set, whitewashing it to give them an unassailable, 8-2 lead going into the final set. 


Clements and John Kinsville won frames eleven and twelve, making it seven on the bounce for Duke, before Brown put another frame on the board for Farmhouse. 


The last two frames were shared making the final score, 11-4 in Duke’s favour. 


It was a professional performance from Duke with three players finishing unbeaten, with Cochrane and Clements recording hat-tricks and they were backed up by John Kinsville, winning both his frames. 


The title should be in Duke’s grasp next week, as they are 30 points ahead of Flyers in second. 


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