10:07am Thursday 8th May 2014
STOURBRIDGE B booked a Worcester Inter-League final place at the expense of their A team.
Leading by seven points from the first leg, Stour B quickly put the result beyond doubt when Karl Ashmore and Callum Downing, with a break of 73, extended the advantage by a remarkable 218 points in the first two frames at Brandhall Labour Club.
They will now play Redditch in the two-legged final after they turned around a 31 point deficit against Worcester.
In the Worcester Inter-League over 40s final second leg, Stourbridge beat Evesham 32.
Stourbridge had established a 3-2 lead in the first leg at the Old Edwardians’ Club and there was little to separate the teams in the second leg at Pershore Gentlemen’s Club.
Gavin Sloan beat the 2013 county champion Carl Saidler, but Joe Cockerton levelled the tie at 1-1. The reliable David Oakes then put Stourbridge back on track but Kei Nishigaki made it 2-2 with a black ball success, despite leaving the cue-ball tantalisingly in the jaws of the same pocket.
As he has done so often before, however, Kev Franklin ensured that Stourbridge lifted the trophy for the fifth year in succession with a fine 73 break against Dean Powell in the final frame.
In the Worcester and Hereford County Singles Final, Stourbridge Institute hosted the final for the first time and Bewdley’s 20-year-old Andy Smith, from Pockets SC, Kidderminster, defeated Evesham’s Joe Cockerton 4-1 to become champion, deservedly so after being runner up in the last two finals. He made his highest break of the evening in the fifth frame, 55, to clinch victory.
Handicap Singles Finals: Hotshots Snooker Club’s 21-year-old Callum Downing began a momentous week with a 3-1 victory in the handicap singles event against Kinver’s Chris Randle at Kingswinford Cons Club.
Callum had to work hard, giving 48 points per frame, to take the first two frames before Chris, who had done well to reach his first final, hit back to take the third. Callum then made a break of 57 to take control and to lift the trophy for the first time.
Later in the week his 73 helped Stourbridge through to the inter-league final, and he then completed it in style with a 4-2 victory against Shifnal’s Matt Davies to take the West Midland Individual title at Wednesfield Conservative club.
The last two finals were hosted by Amblecote Institute and produced two very even matches.
Wombourne’s John Wooldridge won the Ray Billingham Memorial Cup 3-1 taking the over 65s title for the first time, giving 10 points to Stourbridge Institute’s Don Oliver, now a sprightly 85 years old, who lifted the cup ten years ago. Both contestants deserve immense credit for their efforts.
On an adjacent table, Kinver Constitutional’s Tony Kidd, the 2010 winner, won the cup named in memory of one of his former teammates at Stourbridge Cons, Eric Martin, giving 16 points start to Alan Cope of Stourbridge Institute, who had done well to reach his second final. He took the match 3-0 although all three frames were closely contested.
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