THE two flagship singles finals for Darley Dale and District Snooker League teams took centre stage this week with the first held at Matlock’s Edgefold Club with the OMYA Cup scratch competition up for grabs.
And it was Ben Monk of PJ’z Club Ripley No 1 who ultimately retained his trophy thanks to some consistent scoring against opponent Graham Jones of Matlock Golf Club.
Ben got in early doors with a 24 break in the opener and maintained his advantage throughout to go 1-0 ahead before Graham looked set to level when on a break of 36 and counting in frame two.
But with plenty still to go at, he broke down unexpectedly and Ben immediately hit back with a 43 in reply before eventually winning it on the colours.
It looked set fair for 3-0 as Ben led by 42 with just two reds remaining. However, Graham forced a foul and then, 38 behind, set about an attempted clearance to pull the frame out of the fire.
Taking pink and brown with the last two reds, he could now win by one point, should he pot the lot, but just under-hit position from brown to blue and his cutback caught the angle of the middle pocket before resting over one of the corner bags for Ben to sink.
What transpired to be the final frame continued to see both players cueing well with Ben notching a 41 and Graham 28 but again it was the Ripley player who held sway to take the match by a 4-0 scoreline.
The next day, Graham dusted himself down and came back firing on all cylinders to earn a well-deserved place on the winners roster, defeating Bolehill Institute No 1’s Ricki Slack 4-3 in the Open Individual Handicap final at Belper Strutt Club.
Ricki held sway in the first frame until a superbly crafted 43 clearance put Graham 1-0 ahead. The second frame again saw Ricki pulling out a 35 clearance himself to square things up.
And after snatching the next frame by potting pink and black, the Bolehill man led for the first time.
But Graham is a wily campaigner, twice a Derbyshire champion in his time, and his superb safety play was a big factor of the match as he levelled matters at 2-2 soon afterwards.
Frame five saw Ricki leading by 25 with the same number of points on the table but it proved hard work putting the frame to bed before he eventually did so on the pink for 3-2.
From thereon though, Graham seemed to get a second wind and breaks of 22 in each of the last two frames proved the springboard to lift him over the line by the minimum margin after a hard fought seven frames.
Breaks: B Monk 43,41,24,22; G Jones 43,36,28,22,22,21; R Slack 35.