Carrickcruppen blasted the Vegas Casino Newry Pool League Premier Division wide open with the performance of the season against leaders CWC A.
CWC A went into the game having dropped only 2 points all season and leading TJ's A at the top by 3 points. Carrickcruppen had a 1st half of the season to forget and drifted through their 1st 10 games with mistake after mistake and took a fair bit of stick here on the blog and rightly so.
Aaron O'Callaghan is a quality potter with an abysmal record of 1 single league win. He was taking on Kieran 'the machine' McMahon in what was on paper a home banker for CWC. Aaron took charge but a snooker by McMahon looked to have curtailed O'Callaghan's advantage.
The mind games began when the experienced snooker player Martin McVeigh couldn't find the venue. He was scheduled to play the waiting Stephen Rooney in the 2nd game.
Social media King Paddy Clarke was forced to play 2nd for CWC A against the very ready Kieran (Messiah) Hanna. It was a masterstroke masterminded by Hanna and it caught Clarke off guard. The Working man's player was indecisive and unusually negative and the superb Kieran Hanna followed up last week's break finish with another huge scalp for 2-0 Carrickcruppen.
Suddenly Martin McVeigh arrived in after he got his Sat Nav working but it was CWC's Stephen Rooney that found the pockets and a neat finish halved the deficit to 2-1.
So often games are won and lost on the team sheet and maybe this was one such occasion.
Pat Brady switched himself from 6th to 4th for only the 2nd league game this season. The last time was an unsuccessful trip to Sheepbridge where he got humbled but surely this wouldn't happen on his own turf.
Jamie Lavelle was inspired though and when he got 2 shots he took out an exquisite finish to make it 3-1 Carrickcruppen.
Harvey Lavelle the Darling of CWC and legend of the Newry Pool league got embroiled in tactical battle with ex-team mate Pat Byrne which favoured one then the other but the 1st big chance fell to Lavelle. He missed a tricky black and Pat Byrne took it to a final ball decider. Some good safety play ensued but it was a loose one that finally handed it to Pat Byrne who made no mistake in making it shocking 4-1 Cruppen advantage.
CWC A needed dragged off the floor and Martin McClelland backed himself to do it. He took on a crazy finish and snookered himself on his last ball. Paddy O'Callaghan has been a good signing for Carrickcruppen and he laid the snooker that McClelland couldn't reach and a truly brilliant finish from O'Callaghan wrapped an unbelievable 5-1 win for the South Armagh underdogs.
Paul 'Bunty' O'Callaghan hung his last ball and snookered Tommy Lavelle behind the black. CWC pulled 1 back when Lavelle missed and it was 5-2.
The last frame was a good tussle between Cathal Phelan (CWC) and Cruppens Barry McAllister. Phelan held firm in a close one but eventually made it 5-3.
This result has rocked the local pool scene to the core. We in the blog will of course take some of the credit in Carrickcruppen's resurgence. We let captain Know in no uncertain terms that he was picking the wrong selection and that the whole squad were way below what their capable of. It's ok Gus you don't have to thank us.
Could 2nd placed TJ's A capitalise to narrow the 3 point gap?
Terry McNally gave home side McGuigan's A the lead against Stevie Noade but TJ's A hit back and took the next 3. Jack Courtney, Raymond McKenna and Tristan Byrne had good wins over John Magee, Gerard McGuigan and Brian Campbell for a 3-1 half time lead.
Struggling McGuigan's didn't throw in the towel. Paul McAreavey is having a sterling season and he got a big scalp when he defeated TJ's top scorer Laurence McAlinden.
Dusty O'Hagan levelled the scores with only 2 to play after he beat the attacking NI international Manny Byrne.
Mike McArdle came up against ex-TJ's captain Declan McConville who is slowly rediscovering that winning feeling. McConville made it 4-3 and the minimum of a draw was secured.
Damian Flanagan was left in charge of securing a draw for McGuigan's but Eugene McDermott rarely let's his TJ's team mates down and he made sure the the City Centre side would travel across the town with both points.
That hard fought win means CWC A only have a 1 point lead at the top of the Premier Division and the most exciting title race in years is sure to give us more twists and turns. Next Thurs night see's TJ' A take on 3rd placed hustlers who have taken 3 of four points from there last two league meetings this will be an interesting one .
3rd placed Hustlers let a 4-2 lead slip against Bears. John Little took the opener against Ralph Crummy but the home side levelled when Garry Powell beat an average Damian 'Diddles' McArdle.
New signing for Hustlers Niall McVerry has settled in quick and he beat Neil 'The baby faced assassin' Heaney for 2-1 the visitors.
Seamus 'The snail' Keenan is playing well lately and he tied the game 2-2 after a dissapointing show from Dee Kearney.
Bernie Magee then Shane McAllister forged the Bellinis based Hustlers 4-2 ahead with wins over Paul Murphy and Anthony Morgan.
When Eddie Heaney beat the talented Ciaran O'Neill it was 4-3 and game on.
It was a Heaney double when the ever cool Paddy secured the draw with a superb win overa lack lustred Barry Murphy.
TJ's Tigers blitzed Orchard Bar 5-0 as the visitors got stuck on the starting blocks.
Niall O'Hare was in fine form when he out potted Karl McGuinness for 1-0.
Jason Lennon has dissapointed this season but he had a good win over Joe Poucher for 2-0.
Adrian Annett and Richie Taylor made it 4-0. Charlie Broughton and Sean McCaul not able to live with the attacking Tigers.
Matty Cartmill dished up the 2 points when he ousted a useful PJ McDaniel for 5-0.
Brendy Devlin and then Richie Crawford finally got some frames on the board for the visiting Orchard. Davey Hanna and Sean Rice playing a bit more relaxed for the Tigers and losing out.
Melvin Farmer got a rare game for TJ's Tigers and he picked up their 6th frame with a win over Mervyn Kernaghan.
Tiger's 6-2 Orchard was the final score and 2 very welcome points after the thrashing the Orchard handed out to the Tigers in the reverse fixture.
Look out for Division 1 blog coming out soon.
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