BRADFORD’S billiards team pulled off an impressive 8-5 home victory against title hopefuls Huddersfield No 1 in the Yorkshire Inter-District League to leave an interesting situation at the top of the table.
With three matches remaining, Huddersfield No 1 lead with 34 points, while Bradford have 33 and Harrogate are on 30 – but with four games to play, two of which are against Bradford.
The match was part of a double-header, with the Bradford No 1 snooker side playing Leeds No 2 on the next table at Great Horton Conservative Club, and the matches drew a good number of spectators.
In the opening billiards game, Stephen Kershaw and Huddersfield opponent Steve Whiteley were not at their best and an early run of 30 from Kershaw gave him a significant advantage.
Chances were missed by both players and breaks were small but a late run of 20 helped the Bradford player home 200-138 for a 3-1 lead.
Dave Peaker was quick off the mark for Huddersfield and soon led 53-8 against Steve Wilman.
A break of 47 got Wilman back on terms at the halfway stage before the second half followed a similar pattern, with Peaker making a 35.
This time though, Wilman’s late recovery ended in the 20s and Peaker saw the game out 200-162 to give Huddersfield three points to Bradford’s two.
The best game of the night was undoubtedly the last.
A break of 48 got Bradford’s Paul Devitt away to a great start against Matthew Peaker – the only player on show to have qualified for the following day’s intermediate stage of the English Championship.
Peaker hit back with a 41 but Devitt then added a 33 and even another 41 from Peaker still left him 40 points adrift.
Devitt’s expert safety play then prevented any late comeback from the Huddersfield man and a 200-140 home win gained Bradford three more points for an 8-5 overall scoreline.
Bradford next play Harrogate on Saturday, again at Great Horton Conservative Club (7.30pm).
Bradford No 1 and Leeds No 2 fought out a 3-3 draw in the snooker match, with all of the contests finishing level.
Wayne Cooper made a 57 break but lost the first to Chris Hart 65-57 before recovering to take the next 67-34, aided by a 36 break.
Leeds’ Stephen Broadhead was in good form in the first frame against Kevin Firth, winning 81-19, but Firth replied with a 71-21 success.
Lewis Walsh and Tommy Doherty traded two hard-fought frames, Doherty taking the first 79-46 and Walsh the second 56-35.
Bradford are at Wakefield on Sunday.
Leeds No 1 hosted Bradford No 2, who were whitewashed with defeats for Peter Hamilton to Tony Massey, Hanif Rafiq to Lewis Harper and Boover Singh against Ian O’Brien.
* IN THE Bradford Snooker Championships, defending champion and ten-times winner Cooper came through 4-1 against Hamilton, while four-time winner and last season’s runner-up Gareth Green progressed to the quarter-finals with a 4-2 victory over two-time finalist Mark Slater.
Players are reminded that the deadline for playing matches in both the singles and pairs is Sunday, February 19.
* TONIGHT sees first legs being played in the Hey’s Trophy second round and the first round of the Hopkinson Plate. Details have been sent out to all clubs, with second legs to be played next Thursday.