Eleven points separate TR from their B team at the start of the evening. Only a win will do if Rileys are to stay in touch with the top two. Ollies are on a roll themselves with wins over Replay and Smurfs in the previous two weeks while TR were on the wrong end of a spanking seven days earlier. But form is temporary and class is permanent with Rileys looking to put their fudging stable-mates firmly in their place….
Rileys 1 Ollies 0
Champion fudger Paul White undergoes an incredible transformation in the opener with a dish attempt following a good break. Bags go uncovered as reds are downed. But a poor miss sends balls around the table – with one of Nick Powell’s dumped into the middle. A tough opener sets up the clearance before Big Nick uses the two on his penultimate yellow to seal the win – and perhaps a contender for celebration of the season?
Rileys A 2 Rileys B 0
Jason King’s “awesome” break comes into play and The Terminator gets a rare good split leaving the reds in good shape for the dish. Kingy “plays” the fudge over the middle instead and Chris White is never really in it after that. White’s head is down before he commences and appears in awe of the strength in depth and team camaraderie that the B team clearly lack. Kingy even gives the two to see if White is up to the task and is vindicated when his opponent falls short and the Warrington League champ cleans up.
Rileys 3 Fudgers 0
Rick Morley is tasked with getting Ollies off the mark but a dry break immediately gives Paul Coppock the initiative. A fine pot down the rail and a couple of top positional shots keep the counter-dish alive. Coppsy loses position a little on the black but nails the thin cut into the middle for 3-0. A rueful Morley quips “you piece of shit” at the handshake. “Yes!! The piece of shit” roar the Rileys posse.
Rileys 4 Ollies 0
With bags covered and Dave Walker’s reds awkwardly placed Ian Davidson is in pole position. But an attempted pot/fudge goes horribly wrong and The Pubster is in. “I didn’t fancy that,” says Walker at the end. He could have fooled the watching TR faithful – check out the VT.
Rileys 5 Ollies 0
Dom Mills is in a strong position in the next before he hacks at a couple of pots to put his opponent back in. Lawrence Lambourne is straight on his final colour and can only leave a long tough black. It looks good… but hangs over the bag. The snooker is met by a counter-fudge but Mills uses the two to devastating effect and suddenly it’s 5-0.
Rileys 6 Ollies 0
It’s not pretty but Rileys make it 6-0 at the midpoint courtesy of an Andy Jones win. The under-strength Ollies turn to Karen White to begin the fight-back. The Professor has the key bag covered but his attempt to open up the rack ends with two shots to the opposition. However, Jones is given a life-line after a dodgy second shot and when back at the table pots the rest to keep Rileys on for the whitewash (see what I did there?).
Captains half time report
Rileys 6 Ollies 1
Rileys make the unprecedented move away from the usual “one-sided cack handed drivvle” (quote and poor spelling courtesy of James ‘sick-note’ Ellison) by taking the opposition’s view* for their opening win of the night:
Olllies star man Carl Horsefield is up in frame seven. The Horse had completed a charity mountain climb and turned up late due to a torrential downpour on the motorway – and it was Rileys who were storming away before Horsey’s entrance. Ollies were down and dejected but looked at Horsey like a dog looks at his master upon their number one’s arrival. And Horsefield didn’t disappoint despite Nick Powell’s failed attempt to tie up the Horse’s balls. The Ollies cueist thunders in a half ball black from distance to complete a fine clearance and give his side the metaphorical bone they required.*
Rileys 7 Ollies 1
Jason King takes TR to the magic seven with seamless ease in the next. The win never looks in doubt against the shell-shocked Ollies who are beginning to count their lucky stars that they’ve got to one.
Rileys 8 Ollies 1
The miss-match continues with another comfortable win for the hosts, pre-match favourites, and most loved side that operates out Rileys Stockport. Dave Walker wins rack nine against a subdued Chris White who has an early sniff before being blown away by TR’s leading stats man.
Rileys 8 Ollies 2
A chink of White light arrives when Paul Coppock fails to make the most of his opportunities in the next. Paul White continues with his more expansive game and is rewarded by doubling his side’s tally on the night.
Rileys 9 Ollies 2
The minor hiccup from the previous rack is eliminated from memory with a top draw clearance from Andy Jones to see off Rick Morley. Check it out:
Rileys 10 Ollies 2
Ollies deny their best player of the first half a rack in the second when Ian Davidson steps up for the last. Dom Mills utilises the “awesome” King break and is rewarded with a pot. TR’s vice-skipper slips up in the dish attempt but retains control. And despite fluffing his first clearance attempt The Gypsy makes sure with the next to complete the destruction of the previous season’s runners-up.
*James Ellison and Danny Shone are asked to note that this privilege will not be afforded to them – under any circumstances.