Leaders go head to head

THE semi-finals of the Bob McCartin Six Red Cup took centre stage this week.

The leaders of their respective divisions in the Darley Dale and District Snooker League, Matlock Golf Club and PJ’z Ripley No 1, were going head to head, firstly at the Edgefold Club.

Four-times Derbyshire champ John Smith, now in his 80s, took on Chris Parker in the opening match and looked set fair when Chris needed a snooker with the last three balls remaining.

However, this was soon achieved before Chris potted blue and then pink, only to see the cue ball go in off almost simultaneously with the object ball, which ultimately saw the Ripley side take a 1-0 lead.

Ian McKay was soon off to a flyer against Ben Monk, taking a 30-0 lead but the PJ’z captain froze him out, meaning he couldn’t add to that total as Ben’s class came to the fore for 2-0.

Frame three looked a must-win for the golf club and dual Derbyshire champ Graham Jones produced wily snooker to put him in the driving seat against Lee Whatton.

But with all three remaining balls required and the pink over the pocket, the frame was still in the balance with Lee having a couple of chances before Graham won.

Again it was a Matlock Golf Club player getting in first in the next with Nick Kay going 23-0 ahead against Andrew Gratton, before Andrew seized on the opportunity to dish up with an excellent 39 break.

The scotch doubles saw Ben Monk and James Rowland up against Graham Jones and Chris Parker, and this swung to and fro before resting on the final black, which Ben took with a stupendous raking long pot.

The 4-1 scoreline may look comfortable but in reality all frames went down to blue, pink or black.

The other semi-final saw Matlock Club come from 3-1 down to defeat Belper Strutt Club No 2 4-3 in a thriller at Jaxx Q Club, Belper. Dave Needham and Steve Buckley put the Belper side 2-0 up before Graeme Wood reduced arrears.

When Fred Doran defeated Keith Manlove on the black, it was the point of no return.

But in the scotch doubles, Ian Rose and Paul Holmes soon pulled one back and then Paul stayed to partner Keith Manlove to a black ball win over Adam Winson and David Davenport. And in a tense encounter it was Ian Rose and Chris Woodhouse who saw their team into the final.

In the competitions, Neil Parkinson was in fine form with a highest break of 47 while Andrew Gratton also notched a 34.

Bob McCartin Six Red Cup semi final results: Matlock Golf Club 1, PJ’z Club Ripley No 1 4; Belper Strutt Club No 2 3, Matlock Club 4.

Breaks: N Parkinson 47,25; A Gratton 39, 34; S O’Sullivan 20.