Only 16 teams remain in both the Vegas and Cunningham Cup after another weekend of top quality pool. There was a few shocks but mainly the top sides eased into the 2nd round of the Cunningham Cup.
Premier Division sides CWC A, Hustlers and Dan's A all comfortably kept their unbeaten start to the season when they booked their 2nd round spot with a cumulative scoreline of 23-4. Whitecross are another of the fancied Premier Division sides and they crushed Madden's 7-1.
Orchard Bar showed the gulf in class when they followed their 8-1 Vegas Cup destruction of Foresters with another 8-1 demolition job on Glen Social Club to keep their unbeaten start in tact.
Ballyholland kept their 100% record with a hard fought 6-3 victory over St. Monnina.
The 5 Premier Division sides left in both cups were joined by Nan's Rams who had a good 6-3 win over Armagh/Down. The Ram's had beat Foresters last week and will be delighted with their start to the season.
CWC B joined their A team of in booking their place in round 2 of both cups with a 7-2 win of a Foresters B team that look a bit off the pace so far this season.
Windmill Bar Claimed the points after Bosco failed to show.
Not everyone is celebrating a great start to the season. McSwiggan's Bar got hammered 8-1 in their opening fixture at home to Sheepbridge in the Vegas Cup. McGuigan's B hosted their Newry rivals in Thursday night's Cunningham Cup and the battle of the Mac's saw the Monaghan Street side heap more misery on McSwiggan's when they thrashed them 7-2.
Madden's Bar have won only 4 frames in their opening 2 matches. A 6-3 defeat then an 8-1 thumping must have new signing Declan McConville wondering what he's let himself in for.
Foresters B are a new side and two 7-2 hammering's might be a sign of things to come this season. Nan's then CWC B were 2 tricky assignments to kick off the season but hopefully they can regroup and put the defeats behind them.
Bears were wwll beat in both the Cups and two 6-3 defeats doesnt bode well for the season ahead. Trainor's A of Canal Street was bad but Hustlers didn't have to hit top gear to win this Premier Division Cunningham Cup clash despite trailing 2-0.
Anthony Morgan and Ralph Crummy took the opener against Kevin Magee and Philip Murphy.
Hustlers welcomed back the stylish Mary Cunningham who partnered Micky Cunningham and all was looking rosy until an unlucky in-off handed the initiative to Garry Powell and Neil Heaney. The Bears duo finished well for 2-0.
Barry Murphy and the returning Damian Kearney were too good for Seamus Keenan and Paul Murphy and Bears were stopped in their tracks for 2-1.
The singles games saw the Bears go into meltdown. Cathal McCoy levelled then Billy O'Neill and Shane McAllister gave Hustlers a commanding 4-2 lead. Adrian 'Oz' Holman, Eddie (not so steady) Heaney and Seamus Keenan unable to stop a rampant Hustlers.
Damien 'Diddles' McArdle was the Hustlers hero for the 2nd week in a row with another top drawer finish over Garry Powell to seal a 5-2 win.
Ciaran O'Neill lost out to Anthony Morgan for 5-3 but Kevin Magee took his singles tally to 2 out of 2 with a good performance over Mick Flanagan for a comfortable 6-3 victory for Hustlers.
Nan's Rams were in an exciting contest with Armagh/Down. Stephen Sherry and the well travelled Andrew Chan took the first in a quality frame against John and Gerard Magee.
It was 2-0 When Mark Pentony and Leigh McAlinden beat Brendan McCabe and a superb Willie Andrews.
Step up James Clarke. Clarke is improving every season and he dragged Armagh/Down back into the contest. Clarke and Declan Magee toppled Seamus Morgan and stunning potter Pat McClenaghan for 2-1. James Clarke was back in for the 1st singles match. The silky Clarke drew the teams level with a good display against the useful Mark Maguire. 2-2.
Pat McClenaghan and Mal Maguire restored Nan's two frame advantage solid frames over John Rogers and then Shane McVerry for 4-2.
Leigh McAlinden and Willie Andrews was arguably the match up of the game. Two top quality players and it was Andrews that took the plaudits to make it 4-3 and the game was back on a knife edge.
Rony O'Reilly is a very attack minded player and the Nan's ace should enjoy the rule change. He is a better potter than the tactical John Magee and it was no surprise when big Rony booked Nan's into round 2 of the Cunningham Cup at 5-3.
Jimmy O'Hare added the icing to the cake when he beat Brendan McCabe to make it 6-3.
TJ's B led 2-0 but trailing 3-2 after 5 frames looked like they might miss the boat against a talented Millvale side.
TJ's hosted the match and Niall Rice with Gary Cowan gave TJ's B the early advantage.
Connor Heaney and Anthony Rafferty doubled the lead as the home team enjoyed the Pairs matches.
Killian McDonald and Tommy O'Hanlon look a lethal partnership and they made it 2-1.
Paul Rowland and Tommy O'Hanlon put Millvale in the lead for the first time at 3-2.
Colly McCann came up against a crafty John McMurray and it was 3-3 after McMurray out thought McCann.
Connor Heaney beat a talented Gary Gibney to make it 4-3 to TJ's B.
Gary Cowan impressed in a pressure frame to get TJ's B across the finish line with a frame to spare. He beat a super skillful Killian McDonald and that was Millvales' Goose cooked.
Anthony Rafferty beat Benny Hoey in the dead rubber game in the 9th to leave a final score of TJ's B 6-3 Millvale.
Could all teams remember to put full names on the team sheets please if you want a write-up in the blog. Also remember to put break finishes or 6 or 7 ball clearances on the team sheet because our reporter's are unable to attend all the matches.
The league cues off this Thursdsay and all eyes will be on the 4 fancied sides in the Premier Division as they 'face off'.
Whitecross will host the in-form Dan's A who have been in scintillating form.
League Champions CWC A take on Hustlers in the game of the night and both teams are unbeaten and in terrific form going into this one.
This could be a massive weekend and its only the first of the league! And remember it lads you heard it here first.