Hustlers will be delighted with their start to the season after holding league champions CWC A to a draw. The fancied Dan's A team kept their 100% record with a superb win away in Whitecross. Ballyholland got off to a flyer while Trainor's in Camlough got a Premier Division reality check.
Hustlers are a tough nut to crack but it has to be said all is not well in the CWC theatre of dreams. CWC A captain Pat Brady must feel like Michael O'Leary at the minute. The high profile league champions aren't quite as bad as Ryanair just yet but Brady is definitely finding it hard to get enough pilots for his fixture congestion that is surely down the line. The signing of ex-Invincible captain Declan McConville was a shrewd move and was certainly far to good for a season in the 3rd tier of the Newry Pool League. McConville went straight into Brady's starting line-up and it's good to see the Pool League legend back at the top table.
Hustlers got off to a dream start when the impressive Barry Murphy held his nerve to take out CWC double winning and individuals joint holder Kieran McMahon for 1-0.
Damien Kearney was on cloud 9 when he beat the other partner in the Bravelle double act. Kearney has received stick here before but he was terrific and took out a quality finish to beat Harvey Lavelle for 2-0.
Philip Murphy is a sensational potter but he fell foul to the tactical masterclass of Bernie Magee and the come back was on. 2-1.
Declan McConville was welcomed into the CWC fold with open arms and he settled like a an invisible invincible. Shane McAllister had no answer to the stylish McConville and it was all square at the half way stage 2-2.
Hustlers captain Micky Cunningham wss taking on CWC double winning captain Pat Brady Cunningham had no answer to Brady's tippy tappy style and the visitors took the lead for the 1st time. 2-3.
Paddy Tavey was in devastating form when he destroyed Cathal McCoy to put CWC on the hill. McCoy was reaching for the brush as Tavey cleared up leaving McCoy red faced and not a ball down a hole. Surely the champs would push on with a 4-2 lead.
Kevin Magee has started the season like a house on fire and he reeled off 5 balls and the black to beat the hapless Seamus McGeoghegan to make it 4-3.
Damien 'Diddles' McArdle was assigned the task of rescuing a point for the Bellinis based Hustlers. He was 2nd favourite against former overall individual winner and new CWC signing Stevie Teggart. Diddles has impressed so far this season and he was brilliant again as he put Teggart to the sword. A top class clearance squared the match and a share of the spoils was a fitting result in a quality match. Result 4-4.
Whitecross hosted a young talented Dan's A team bursting with super potters. Many have tipped Dan's to challenge for the title and this was a stiff opening test away in Whitecross.
James Toner was in top form when he defeated 2016 individuals champion Seamus McVerry.
Two more individual champions went toe to toe. Cathal Phelan and James O'Hagan served up a treat but it was 2015 individuals winner O'Hagan that levelled.
Niall Connolly beat new signing Conal McCavitt to give the 'Brook' side the lead 2-1.
Michael Feenan v Barney Preece should have been the clash of the night. Dan's new signing Preece was having none of it as he came in and wiped the floor with Feenan. The new Whitecross captain made one mistake and Preece dished 7 colours and the black in typical Preece 100mph style to give Dan's a commanding 3-1 lead.
Re-signed Shane Phelan beat classy potter Tony McElroy to reduce the arrears to 3-2 before Alan Burke impressed for 'the Cross' against Jimmy McVerry to tie up the match with 2 to play.
Former Whitecross player Paddy O'Callaghan is going to love the no cushion rule and it was certain he and Marty O'Callaghan would be involved in a shoot out. It was Paddy that took out the big finish to put Dan's on the verge of 2 massive points.
Could former Whitecross captain Gavin Malone salvage a point against Paddy McMahon? McMahon is no regular in the top tier of Newry Pool and Malone was massive favourite. Whitecross talisman bottled it and left McMahon to wrap up 2 vital early points in the title race. Result 5-3 Dan's A.
Orchard Bar thrashed Trainor's of Camlough 7-1 in a baptism of fire for the newly promoted South Armagh side.
David Cromie, PJ McDaniel, Bendy Devlin and Noel Brown blitzed Trainor's in the opening half of the match.
Liam Bradley finally got the visitors on the score sheet when he beat Mervyn Kernaghan.
Any hopes of a comeback were quickly dashed when new signing Nigel Malcomson beat Noel Bradley to make it 5-1.
Scott Millar and captain Lee Irvine hammered in the final nails in a resounding home victory for Orchard Bar. Result 7-1 Orchard.
Ballyholland got their league campaign off to a flying start against early season strugglers Bears.
Gerard McAvoy beat the usually reliable Garry Powell to give Ballyholland the perfect start.
Neil 'Baby Faced Assassin' Heaney was on form when took out Kevin McGovern to level at 1-1.
Colm Sherry and Giby Vettiankal beat 2 steady Bears players in Anthony Morgan and Seamus Keenan and Ballyholland were looking good at 3-1.
Robbie White is the star player for Ballyholland and he beat seasoned campaigner Paul Murphy to guarantee Ballyholland the minimum of a point.
Davy McAvoy was taking on Michael Fitzpatrick for the 2 points. Fitzpatrick is a new signing for Bears and he couldn't prevent the 2 points going up the hill to their near neighbours Ballyholland. 5-1 was a crushing defeat for Bears but it did get worse.
Manny Kelly beat Eddie Heaney to make it 6-1 before Paddy Heaney grabbed a final frame consolation for Bears when he beat Brendan Keenan. Result 6-2 Ballyholland.