The County League reached the festive break with two matches in the Huddleston Cup competition.
The Green Baize club hosted the final of the Huddleston cup between stable mates Green Baize C and B teams.
After the B team being hammered in last weeks league game against the Outlaws, one might have expected the C team as strong favorites.
A great win however in the semi-final with the Legion seemed to have restored the B teams confidence and respectability.
Steven Hutchinson put the C team ahead with a masterful performance to beat Robert Armstrong.
From the break only two reds were in the open, the pack however was partly open and this led to a brief bout of safety play. Hutchinson looked the stronger and this was confirmed by a series of moderate breaks and individual clinical pots to take a 20 point lead with 9 reds left.
Armstrong had mixed fortunes when he was unlucky with some potting attempts, he did however reduce the deficit a little. Hutchinson however kept a tight rein on the game with more excellent potting including breaks of 11 and 17 to run out a fully deserved 69-16 winner.
Conor Gillespie then levelled the match for the B team when he beat the C team captain Garth Gillow. There were five reds clear of the pack from the break off and one would have expected an immediate safety bout.
Gillespie however had other ideas and made a 9 break on his second visit to the table. There was then a safety bout in which the pack was well opened up, although all remained in the top half of the table. It remained a tight encounter with lots of fine snooker and although the scoring was slow it was never the less a good game.
Gillespie’s potting was always the crisper as Gillow endevoured to find his potting form. Despite this all the scores remained close with only 10 points between them with two reds left. The game fittingly came to a dramatic finish which could have gone either way. There were clinical pots, snookers, snooker attempts and good escapes and this culminated with the scores level on the brown ball.
Gillespie then took the blue and set up a snooker on the pink. Gillow made a valiant attempt to escape but just failed and Gillespie wrapped it up on the pink to win 49-38.
Steven Porter then restored the C team’s lead when he beat the B team captain Trevor McConnell. From the break off five reds were in the open and with the placement of the balls, the early scoring was slow with few openings.
The pack was then well opened with Mc Connell looking the more impressive, he dominated the game at this stage as Porter struggled to find his usual form. We did have some fine safety and individual potting and Mc Connell held an 11 point lead with five reds left.
The game remained close and with play coming into the colours McConnell still held the same lead. Porter then found the shooting form which had eluded him earlier and hit a 14 break taking the yellow, green, brown and blue and with play on the pink ball only two points divided them. McConnell still had the game at his mercy, however he narrowly missed the pink and Porter promptly potted to win 52-44.
Stuart Wells then levelled the match for the B team once more when he beat Darren Gillow. The game got away with six reds clear of the pack, this led to an early bout of safety play. With the position of the balls the game developed into a cat and mouse affair with both players doing well. Wells however was the more clinical potter at this stage and took a deserved lead. Gillow kept battling and managed to keep in touch and with play coming into the colours he trailed by just 16 points. Gillow looked to have cracked it when he gained seven points from a snooker on the yellow.
However Wells put him on the back foot once again with a snooker on the same colour in which he also gained seven points. Gillow then set up an excellent snooker on the pink and must have fancied his chances. Once more however Wells made an excellent escape and then took the pink to seal a 57-35 victory.
It was all to play for in the final game between the C teams Robert Porter and the B teams George McMullan.
Once more five reds broke away from the pack and there was an early bout of safety play. Both players got their score cards moving with some clinical pots but no noteworthy breaks.
Scoring was slow but this was mainly due to some excellent safety by both players. McMullan looked the sharper potter at this stage, but he was unable to get clear of Porter who trailed by just 9 points with only three reds left on the table.
In the following phase of play nothing much changed and McMullan still held a 12 point lead with play coming into the colours. Porter then produced his best potting of the game with a 14 break taking the yellow, green, brown and blue with clinical pots and with play on the pink, only 1 point divided them. McMullan then looked to have sold it when he left the pink on the lip of a pocket. Porter promptly took the pink and had only the black to pot to win the game and match. He then somehow repeated what McMullan had done and left the black near the pocket. A relieved and delighted McMullan promptly took the black to clinch victory for his side by just two points.
League Chairman Jim Hawthorne congratulated both sides on a great final and stated that it had been played in a very sporting manner.
He then presented the trophy to the B team captain Trevor Mc Connell.