Headlines: premier Division - CWC A come out on top as Premier top 2 go head to head.
Bears finally end drought.
Division 1 Mal Maguire beaten for the 1st time as top 2 clash.
Johnny Murphy's on the up.
Division 2 sees first win for Dan's Rebels.
Mid-table Armagh/Down hold leaders CWC B.
The biggest game of Thursday night was no doubt Hustlers' top of the table clash with CWC A. Hustlers went into this game after suffering their 1st defeat of the season last week and needed to beat CWC who were unbeaten and had a 2 point lead at the top.
It was lambs to the slaughter when Philip Murphy was tasked with beating Kieran McMahon. Murphy is finding it tough to get into this Hustlers side that has been on a terrific run of form this season. Murphy had chances to make life difficult for McMahon but the CWC legend put the champions 1 up.
Harvey Lavelle suffered his 3rd league defeat of the season when Ciaran O'Neill picked up his 5th win of the campaign. 1-1.
Declan McConville mopped up after a Mary Cunningham mistake to give CWC the lead for a 2nd time. 2-1.
Paddy Clarke has made plenty of headlines in the pool world but ahead of his birthday he suffered his 2nd defeat in 2 outings. The all out attacking Clarke came up short against Shane McAllister. McAllister is now on a run of 4 league wins in a row and is bang in form. 2-2.
Hustlers were looking good for an upset when Micky Cunningham amazingly picked up his 1st league win of the season although it was only his 2nd game. The pool league secretary has a good record in the cups and is usually happy to captain his side to glory from the sidelines. He had a good battle with the tricky Seamus McGeoghegan and now Hustlers led 3-2.
It was no surprise Pat Brady levelled for CWC A. He picked up his 8th win from 8 league games against poor aul Cathal McCoy. That's 2 defeats in a row now for McCoy after a run of 3 wins.
Paddy Tavey and Kevin Magee had only 3 league defeats between them prior this crucial frame. Magee's only defeat so far was against Orchard but he couldn't add to his 6 wins when the magnificent Tavey cleared to give CWC a 4-3 lead.
Bernie Magee and Damian Kearney would scrap it out in the finale. Magee had won his last 2 for CWC while Kearney had lost his last 2 for Hustlers. Kearney had won his 1st 5 league games but he's gone off the boil and master tactician Bernie Magee is not the ideal opponent when your chips are down. It was Magee that dug in and dealt the killer blow to fire CWC to a hard fought 5-3 win and open up a 4 point lead over Hustlers.
Is it too early for the Christmas puns? Probably but it really was Christmas come early for Bears after they finally got their 1st point on the board at the 8th time of asking.
After one full round of league fixtures the bottom 2 teams faced-off when Ballyholland travelled down the hill to the Windmill Bar. It's the closest Ballyholland have to a derby game so that almost spiced the game up even more.
Neil Heaney has been a beacon of hope for Bears all season and he was taking on Davey McAvoy in the opening frame of the night. McAvoy had won only 1 of his previous 6 league game whereas the 'Baby Faced Assassin' Heaney had a respectable 4 wins so far. This one went to form and the Bears sharp shooter fired the home team into an early lead.
Ballyholland hadn't read the script though and reeled off the next 2 frames. Gibby Vettiankal 'Doctored' the scoreline to 1-1 before the brilliant Robbie White gave Ballyholland a 2-1 lead. Anthony Morgan unlucky and Gary Powell out potted for Bears.
Eddie Heaney has been improving and he finally ended his abysmal run of form to beat Anthony Keenan for 2-2.
Bears sunk the teeth in through Adrian Holman. The 'Ozzy' hasn't enjoyed the best of season's but he beat the talented Kevin McGovern for 3-2 Bears.
Seamus Keenan might fit windows but he couldn't have seen what Manny Kelly had for him. Kelly has been excellent this season for Ballyholland and dished out yet another beating to Keenan to level up with 2 to play.
Paul Murphy near lifted the roof when he at long last earned Bears their 1st league point of the season. Colm Shields the bemused victim.
Ralph Crummy and young Niall McQuillan would serve up a high quality treat in the finale. Both players are tremendous potters. Crummy had won his last 2 while McQuillan lost last time out after winning 3 in a row. There was to be no dream ending for the home side Bears. McQuillan took a share of the spoils for Ballyholland. The point each does little to ease either teams relegation fears but at least Bears finally have their season up and running.
Dan's joined Hustlers on 10 points after trailing at home to a revitalised Whitecross Bar.
Cathal Phelan and Gavin Malone gave Whitecross Bar a useful 2-0 lead. Niall O'Hagan and Paddy O'Callaghan slipping up for Dan's.
Niall Connolly and the brilliant James O'Hagan levelled at the half-way stage. James O'Hagan took his incredible tally to 7 wins from 8 league games. Michael Feenan and the in form Marty O'Callaghan losing for the 'Cross'.
Shane Phelan put Whitecross back in front with his 7th win from 8 games. What a coup it was getting him to re-sign for Whitecross. He beat smart potter Tony McElroy who has struggled to close out games this season. He has only played 4 league games but lost them all.
The brilliant potting Michael Green beat Gareth McCann to level up with 2 to play.
Barney Preece picked up his 5th league win after beating the talented Alan Burke and Dan's had the lead for the 1st time going into the final frame.
Jimmy McVerry the Dan's captain was too good for Brian O'Neill and 2 very valuable points were in the bag for Dan's.
Orchard Bar had a good win away in Trainor's Bar. The Camlough side led 2-0 through Tommy Mooney who won his 7th game out of 8 and Declan Finnegan winning the other.
David Cromie and Lee Irvine levelled before Mervyn Kernaghan and PJ McDanial made it 4 frames in a row for the visiting Orchard.
Liam Bradley made it 4-3 with his 5th league win of the season.
Noel Brown was the Orchard hero with his 4th win of the season to take maximum points and fire the Rathfriland Road side to within a point of Dan's and Hustlers.
Division 1 leaders Nan's Rams and 2nd placed McGuigan's B clashed in the biggest game of the season so far for them both. Rams went into the game having dropped only one point while McGuigan's had lost one and drew one. McGuigan's dared not lose this match or they would slip 4 points off Nan's.
McGuigan's B put down an early marker by racing into a 2-0 lead. Martin Conroy kept his sensational record going when he beat Robbie Rice in the opener.
It was 2-0 McGuigan's thanks to John Hogan beating Stephen Sherry.
Nan's hit back in true champions elect style by taking the next 2 to level at 2-2. Pat McClenaghan and Andrew Chan beating Gerard McGuigan and Adrian O'Hagan.
Paul McAreavey showed his class to beat Rony O'Reilly for 3-2 McGuigan's.
Malachy Maguire faced Mike McArdle in the match-up of the night. McArdle was good last year in the 'One Year Only' relegated McGuigan's side who dropped out of the Premier Division. Malachy Maguire was sporting a 100% winning record of 7 wins out of 7. It had to end some time for Maguire but he would have hoped it not to be in a crucial match like this. McArdle had to dig deep but he fell over the winning line to give McGuigan's a massive 2 frame cushion and a 4-2 lead.
Leigh McAlinden hadn't given up and the Nan's marksman pulled it back to 4-3 and his side's unbeaten start to the season was only a frame away from staying intact. Sean Monaghan was McAlinden's defeated opponent.
Nicky Langton was drafted in as McGuigan's sub and he was taking on Mark Maguire who was enjoying a very good season. Maguire was favourite for this one especially on his home table but it just wasn't Nan's night. McGuigan's smashed Division 1 wide open by taking the decider an Langton was a hero among many teams below because now theres only 4 points separating the top 7 teams.
Johnny Murphy's eased to victory over Foresters A up in Meigh on Thursday night. Marty White, Stephen Murphy, Darren O'Hanlon and even Pat Quinn got Johnny Murphy's off to the dream start.
Ruairi White notched a frame for Foresters to make it 4-1 but it was only a stay of execution.
John Daly wrapped up the 2 points at the 2nd time of asking.
Jim Magee and John McClorey made the score a little more respectable looking when they won the final 2 frames of the night.
Murphy's are now joint 3rd with 3 other teams and 3 points off top spot.
In Division 2 there were wild celebrations as Dan's Rebels picked up their 1st win of the season. Dan's had 4 draws to their name which was keeping them clear of bottom teams.
Prior to this game they were joined on 4 points with Thursday night's opponents Madden's Bar.
The Bessbrook side travelled in to Newry in hope of a win more than in expectations.
Sean O'Callaghan and Terry Phoenix catapulted The Rebels into a 2-0 lead. Sean Curran and Brendan 'Totts' Curran beaten on their own table.
Deirbhle Murphy beat Gerard Hughes to get Madden's off the mark for 2-1.
Patrick Crimmins and Seamus Tumilty got Dan's in the groove with wins over Wayne Reilly and Damien Lonegan. 4-1.
Garry Boyle didn't hang about in sewing up the 2 points. Declan O'Callaghan unable to prevent the points travelling to South Armagh.
Chris McCormack and Raymond Flynn rounded off a rather demoralizing night for Madden's when they beat Ciaran Bradley and Kiefer Walsh. 7-1 will be tough to take for Madden's but for Dan's Rebels this is a great confidence booster heading towards the end of the year.
Trainor's B let slip a 3-0 lead against a McSwiggan's side hunting promotion. Trainor's B are bottom of the table on 3 points and won't believe how they could possibly lose after being 3-0 up.
Tony McGivern, Darren Rowntree and Derek Ruddy were a strong looking starting 3 and it was looking good when the home team took the hat-trick of frames.
Henry McLoughlin, Johnny Irwin and Calum Murphy took the next 3 and the Trainor's heads dropped.
Gary Clarke and Joe Finnegan took the last 2 frames for McSwiggan's and they will be delighted to have come away with a win that keeps them 3 points off the top.
Armagh/Down had a cracking game with league leaders CWC B. Mid-table Armagh/Down had been building a bit of momentum lately and couldn't be underestimated.
Emmett McParland is having a good season and gave CWC B the lead with a good win over Decky Magee.
This started a tit-for-tat as Armagh/Down continually took the lead only to be pegged back.
Brendan McCabe beat captain Paul Kelland for 2-1 Armagh/Down.
It was 2-2 when Tommy Rooney beat young James Clarke in one of the best frames of the night.
Shane McVerry had the hosts Armagh/Down 3-2 up after he beat Raymond Sands.
Willie Andrews is a great player but he couldn't prevent the experienced grinder Kieran Cunningham from tying the match with only 2 frames to go.
For the 1st time on the night a team took 2 frames on the spin when John Magee put Armagh/Down in front at 4-3. He beat Pat Hughes.
Calium McParland was the CWC B hero when he stole a share of the spoils. Axel Foley the Armagh/Down player unable to get the Monaghan Street side over the winning line.
The draw keeps CWC B top of the table and still 2 clear of Millvale after the latter drew with fellow promotion rivals 4-4.
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