TJ's A sit comfortably top of the premier division with a 3pt lead over their nearest rivals. The Galacticos of the Newry Pool League have only dropped 2pts with 7 wins from 9 games & 2 draws. 16pts from the 'Dreamteam' gives them a healthy lead heading towards the halfway stage. For captain Declan McConville he has Stevie Noade as the pick of the bunch so far & is playing some of the best pool of his career. Snooker aces Declan Brennan & Kieran McMahon have been in brilliant form. Jack Courtney has settled in well at TJs & this season has come on leaps & bounds. Manny & Tristen Byrne along with Declan McMahon haven't hit top gear yet. If they do can anyone stop the TJs freight train?
Joint 2nd placed Carrickcruppen have hit good form of late & have 6 wins, 1 draw & 2 defeats from their 9 games. 13pts leaves 'Cruppen' ready if TJs slip up. Not surprisingly Harvey Lavelle has been almost unbeatable so far. Marty McCone has been playing really well & Marty O'Callaghan was playing great pool before he left the team. Some shrewd transfer business has brought in Paddy Clarke who adds a bit of class to the side. Paddy Tavey & Marty Lavelle have been inconsistent & will be vital if Carrickcruppen are to challenge TJs.
McGuigans A in joint 2nd also have 6 wins & 1 draw from 9. Bryan Campbell has been brilliant McGuigans push up the table. The Monaghan St side have Tommy O'Hanlon & Mike McArdle in superb form. Kevin & John Magee have come good recently after poor starts. How much will McGuigans miss league secretary Mickey Cunningham after he jumped ship following a great start. Gerard McGuigan, Brendan Healey & Dusty O'Hagan need to push on if they are to put pressure on TJs.
4th place Bosco are tucked in nicely on 12pts with game extra played. 5 wins & 2 draws from 10 is a great run for Bosco who would be more used to struggling in the relegation zone. Their surprising position is thanks in no small part to the terrific signing of Laurence McAlinden. He's been in superb form although last couple of games he's gone missing - could be the impending engagement! Kieran Hanna & Darren Devlin have been sweeping all before them but need Sean McCaul & Mickey Fitzpatrick to find their early season form.
Joint 5th spot Magees have surprised everyone with their great start after promotion from last seasons div2. 5 wins have gave them a healthy 10pts from 9 games. Ritchie Carlon has been tremendous so far. Sean McAleenan, Sean McArdle & Richard Carlon had helped Magee spend a week in 2nd spot in league table.
Orchard bar also in 5th spot with 3 wins & 4 draws from 9. 1 of their 10pts came from a good draw against high flying TJs A. Lee Irvine has been hot as a poker lately. Brendan Devlin & David Cromie are also in great form. Tony McGovern & Karl McGuinness have proved excellent signings. Richie Crawford, Niall Davis & Mervyn Kernaghan will be crucial in 2nd half of season if Orchard are going to move up the table.
Sheepbridge in 7th spot haven't pushed on from last season. 2 wins & 5 draws leave the bowling club on 9pts. The draw specialists have Gyn Trainor & the ever-green Pat Kearns in good form. Barry Duffy, Conor Quinn & Collie Loughran are potting well but Brendan & Seanie Markey along with Mickey Cunningham have disappointed so far.
TJ's B occupy 8th and were much fancied at the start of the season. They will be disappointed with just 2 wins & 4 draws from 10. Diarmuid Fee has come good lately. Conor Heaney, Sean McKevitt & Aaron O'Callaghan have contributed well. Surely international player Niall O'Hare will come good & Jack O'Callaghan will get his early form back.
Moores A in 9th spot have a young team full of potters & will be disappointed to only have 7pts. 2 wins & 3 draws just keeps the Hill St side out of the relegation battle - for now. Newly promoted Moores have Aidan Griffin playing well lately. Robbie White, Stepen Hankin & Niall McQuillan need to find their early season form before it's too late.
Whitecross Bar in joint 9th with 7pts wont be very happy with just 2 wins & 3 draws. Packed with experience the team looked to be improving before the Christmas break. In Cathal Phelan they have a proven winner. But International youngster Michael 'Tornado' Feenan that's ripping up the trees. He's been outstanding so far along with Cathal & Shane Phelan. Gareth McCann & Gavin Malone will need to find their form or the experienced Whitecross will be in a relegation battle.
Bears B are struggling at the minute in 11th spot on 6pts. 3 wins from their 9 games leaves them with plenty to do in 2nd half of the season. Newly promoted the Bears have a good player in Conor McKeown. Ruairi Cunningham & Joe McLoughlin started to find a bit of form before the break. Windmill bar will need to have had lots of practice in it this past week or two or Bears are going to struggle.
12th is Perennial strugglers Killeavy. Relegated last year only to end up back in the top division again after league reshuffle the Sth Armagh side have 2 wins & 2 draws from 9. Stevie Taggart & Mark Shevlin are two of the hottest potters in the Newry league. Their winning streak hasn't been matched by their team mates although Paddy McCann, Tom Maginnis & Mickey Taggart have helped keep Killeavy off the bottom.
13th and rock bottom is St. Catherine's. And Boy have they had a 1st half from hell. 1 win & 1 draw from 10 games is shocking. Even worse for the 'Saints' they're out of all the cups (Vegas cup defeat was from division 2 side Forresters). Barry Murphy & Mark Pentony are giving St. Catherine's a fighting chance but Brian Dillon, Billy O'Neill & Ciaran O'Neill need to improve along with the rest of the lads if they aren't to go down with a whimper!