It's as you where at the top of the Premier Division of the Vegas Casino Sponsored Newry Pool League. Both CWC A and TJ's A squeezed out 5-3 wins but there's no doubt both teams are feeling the heat as the title race hots up.
CWC A captain Pat Brady switched Stephen Rooney to 1st on the card with Kieran McMahon down to 2nd. The experiment didn't work for CWC as the superb Paul Murphy took the opener for Bears.
Two of the best cueists in the league Kieran McMahon and Paddy Clarke finished well to put CWC 2-1 up. Wins for the snooker players over Garry Powell and Adrian 'Oz' Holman should have been the platform for CWC to push on but it didn't go quite as planned.
Harvey Lavelle loves the greyhounds but its his pool that is away to the dogs. He and Seamus Keenan got embroiled in a negative tactical exchange and Seamus 'The snail' Keenan was loving it. Eventually Keenan crawled over the line for 2-2.
Paul 'Bunty' O'Callaghan has suffered only 2 league defeats all season but his Bears opponent Anthony 'Hotdog' Morgan had a sensational 1st half of the season winning 6 out of 6 before the festive break. He fears no one and can take out a big finish. Multiple individuals winner O'Callaghan couldn't live with Morgan's superior potting and incredibly CWC were on the verge of dropping points for the 2nd week in a row when they trailed 3-2.
Pat Brady was back home in 6th where he was unbeaten all in the league all season. Sean McKevitt is a good player in his own right but Brady is a different class and CWC captain tied the match with 2 games to play.
By his own administration Paddy Tavey hasn't been at his best this season and Pat Brady doesn't suffer hangers on. He hasn't had a run in the team to build continuity and confidence in his game. Bears' Eddie Heaney hasn't set the world alight but he is a dangerous opponent and not to be taken lightly. Tavey played some good shots to take the frame and this can only be good for CWC if they can get some half decent pool from him. CWC now lead 4-3.
CWC A were on a roll taking the last 2 frames and the Grinder Cathal Phelan was taking on a useful Paddy Heaney in the finale. Phelan is a big game player and not for the 1st time in his illustrious career he delivered the goods. 5-3 was an excellent result and was badly needed for a team who have lost their invincibility.
TJ's A didn't fare much better struggling to beat 3rd placed Hustlers. Most of the games went to black ball fights and TJ's A will be well relieved to see that back of this match.
Paul 'Skippy' Morgan was drafted in and Stevie Noade took his place on the bench. Dee Kearney was benched after a run of 3 defeats in a row as was Barry Murphy on the sidelines.
Billy O'Neill was 1st up against 'Skippy' Morgan and lack of match practice went against the former individual winner and O'Neill was clinical to make it 1-0 to the visiting Hustlers.
Jack Courtney was taking on former Corrinshego league winner and tactical genius Bernie Magee. Magee is not as deadly among the balls as in his hayday but he still took Courtney to a black ball fight. It was last year's individuals runner-up Courtney that came out tops to level the scores 1-1.
Raymond McKenna has been solid all season but he found Hustlers' new sign Niall McVerry too hot to handle and Bellinis based Hustlers had the lead for a 2nd time. 1-2.
Laurence McAlinden the TJ's captain was taking on Hustlers ace in the pack Cathal McCoy in the crucial 4th frame. McAlinden took negativity to an all time low when he dragged the last 5 minutes out of the clock by taking the full minute for each shot. This ploy kept McCoy rooted to his seat and gave McAlinden a free go at the finish. This very unsporting play worked and his negativity earned his team 2-2 at half way mark.
Tristan Byrne was made to fight all the way in his clash with league Secretary Micky Cunningham. Cunningham could have won it but the rub of the green was with TJ's and it was 3-2 to the current quadruple winners.
Shane McAllister's impressive league form at the start of the season is not just a distant memory. Manny Byrne the jewel in the TJ's crown was just too good for McAllister and TJ's 4-2 up.
Stevie Teggart and Kevin Magee played out another tight game that went down to the wire. Teggart is streets ahead in talent but Magee has a never say die attitude. Teggart won another nail biting black ball fight and wrapped up 2 hard earned points for TJ's A.
Declan McConville had won 3 out of his last 4 games in 2016 after a simply embarrassing start to the season. Unfortunately for him he's back to his old self and has yet to pick up a league win in 2017. This time it was Damian 'Diddles' McArdle who picked up a win against the NI international. McConville was distraught after this latest defeat and stormed out in disgust. It's only a matter of time before he is back winning again.
TJ's and CWC A have one more league fixture each before they clash in the following match. TJ's welcome Bears to the City Centre. Bears are the only team to have beaten TJ's so far so this is no cert for TJ's A.
CWC A travel across to Bellinis where Hustlers will host the league leaders. Hustlers were the side that ended TJ's 2 year unbeaten run last season and this is a tricky assignment for CWC.
Then it's the big one where 1st meets 2nd. Champions v champions elect. Don't miss our preview after next week's league games.
Whitecross missed the chance to join Hustlers in 3rd place after slipping up against 2nd from bottom Orchard Bar.
Karl McGuinness has lost a few lately but he got Orchard up and running in the opener.
Martin O'Callaghan is the miracle worker for South Armagh side Whitecross. He is the big fish in the wee pond. O'Callaghan has now won 10 league games in a row. He leads the top scoring charts by 1 win.
Pat Brady's defeat to Jamie Lavelle puts the CWC captain on 9 league wins.
PJ McDaniel was his latest victim Thursday night to draw the teams level at 1-1.
Sean McCaul, Lee Irvine, Mervyn Kernaghan and David Cromie wrapped up to home points for Orchard.
Noel Donaldson pulled a frame back for Whitecross but a final frame win for Brendy Devlin resulted in a final score of 6-2 Orchard Bar.
Carrickcruppen moved up to 5th despite only drawing with struggling McGuigan's A.
Tommy Lavelle took the opener for Cruppen before Terry McNally replied for McGuigan's. 1-1
The impressive Kieran Hanna took the next for Cruppney but it was all square again when Brian Campbell took the 4th frame for 2-2.
The tit for tat continued when Pat Byrne kept his recent good form going for 3-2 Carrickcruppen and Paul McAreavey levelled the match for the 3rd time 3-3.
Mike McArdle gave the 'One year Only' crew the lead for the 1st time but it was to be a night of shared points in McGuigan's when young sharp shooter Ciaran Hanna jnr took the final frame of the night.
It was a cracking match and a draw was a fair result.
Vegas Cup tomorrow night and lesgue on Thursday.
Don't forget to keep the info coming on the score cards.
Any brushes, black ball fights or clearances we will give them a mention on the blog.
And remember Where You Heard It Lads You Keep Playin It And We'll keep Blogging It.