The shock closure of Rileys in Stockport means TR lock horns with stablemates Ollies at The Crucible on tables alien to both sides. TR remain down the wrong side of the table but arrive in week nine buoyed by a good performance against Sheps seven days earlier when only a couple of ridiculous flukes robbed them of a share of the spoils. Ollies have troubles of their own and are without a win in three - and suffered a 10-2 mauling the last time the two sides met so who will prevail…
Team Rileys 0 Ollies 1
A couple of surprising misses from both players – with the table taking at least a portion of the blame – punctuate the opener. Dave Walker looks set to clear before Paul White fails in an attempt of his own. Pubby is back in but after sinking his penultimate colour the uneven table robs Walker of victory when he plays a shot dead weight that rolls off. White refuses to offer up another opportunity and TR are on the back foot again.
Team Rileys 0 Ollies 2
Rileys fancy their chances with Paul Coppock taking on Lawrence Lambourne in the next. But in a scrappy rack Coppsy has the chances but it is Silky – nicknamed for the smoothness of his follicly challenged scalp – who comes out on top. It’s 2-0 and a season punctuated by lows takes another step towards the depths.
Team Rileys 1 Ollies 2
Rack three is key to Rileys’ hopes and in a rematch of the Alty Indies final Nick Powell is up against Mark Astbury. Big Nick wins the tactical battle but produces a surprising miss while attempting to gain prime position on the black. Astbury is in decent shape but with three colours left hedges his bets after the first pot. The next one drops but in looking to leave the white safe only succeeds in snookering himself – highlighting why Rileys were right to overlook the Alty Indies star. The error proves fatal and Big Nick claws one back.
Team Rileys 2 Ollies 2
Lee Bradley is in trouble right from the off against Andy Jones. Bags are covered and The Prof’s only danger appears to be negotiating his opponent’s balls. The end arrives when a fudge goes wrong and Jones is allowed room to sink one of his remaining yellows hanging over a bag. It’s shelling peas (not literally) after that and we’re all square.
Team Rileys 3 Ollies 2
It gets better for TR when Bob Grant gets on top of (oohh-err) former team-mate Chris White in rack five. White has had the edge in recent meetings between the two – but not this time. We’re Nick Powell on details for this one and the vid is yet to be uploaded so can’t say a lot more. It’s a bit like Jason King’s commentary… a lot of words but very little content. *Update* EMI have blocked the vid as it infringes copyright in terms of the background music (seriously).
Team Rileys 4 Ollies 2
Dom Mills throws in a contender for best single ball pot of the night against Ian ‘The Cat’ Davidson. It’s a beauty, cutting back a partially hidden ball into the far bag. But The Gypsy then makes a hash of the black. Davidson fairs no better after getting down to the match ball and a safety bout follows. The Ollies skipper breaks the mould with a tough pot attempt. It comes within a (cat’s) whisker of dropping but doesn’t and TR have their fourth win on the trot. Technical issues surround downloading the footage which lasts 20 minutes…
HALF TIME BREAK
Cometh the hour cometh the Horses. But with Ollies already trailing has the proverbial already bolted? Will the Man City fans taste domestic pool angst after the continental agony of Champions League exit? Will the Horses saddle their team with further rack losses? Can the deadly duo spearhead a canter to the winning line? Can TR break the record for most consecutive questions? Is this all pointless with 90% of people coming on this site already aware of the score – and the other 10% seeking urine-related porn? Yes – is the answer to the last one.
Team Rileys 5 Ollies 2
Bob Grant goes against his dislike of playing the same player in consecutive racks and gives his vice-captain the task of moving Rileys further ahead. And it works after Mark Astbury loses position in his clearance attempt. The Alty Indies champ pots his final red and manages to get on the black but it’s mid-range with the white tight on the cushion. He misses and is promptly snookered. Astbury makes the escape but curses his luck when the white drops. Dom Mills has two and needs them both for 5-2.
Team Rileys 5 Ollies 3
Dave Walker faces his nemesis Paul White for a second time in rack eight. Two losses for The Pub Player on the same evening is as rare as a White rack without fudge. But by their very nature occurrences that are rare do happy on an infrequent basis – otherwise they would simply never happen. We’re getting a little abstract here. But anyway, the upshot is that Whute gets the better of Walker for a second time (there is some fudging obviously).
Team Rileys 6 Ollies 3
The next features a classy finish and comical opening. Horsey junior is down on his fetlocks after the dry break after criticising the rack. And Steve Horsefield does not get another shot. Bob Grant seals the counter-dish with a great double to leave a simple black. Does Cptn Fudge deserve to be in the Highlights section for his celebration…. we’re not sure. Top footage though:
Team Rileys 6 Ollies 4
Two shocks in quick succession in rack 10. Nick Powell is given the break AND pots. But the balls are not conducive to the clearance and we have a tactical exchange. Carl Horse is happy – doubly so according to the VT – after receiving two. Powell’s in trouble when he gets back to the table. He flukes the fudge but is immediately put under the cosh. Two great pots give the Teddy Bear a chance but the long double attempt on the black misses its mark and Horsey senior keeps Ollies in the match.
Team Rileys 7 Ollies 4
Bob Grant wont make the same mistake for two weeks running with Jason King the non-breaker. A lot of the early shots just seem to be about moving balls around with little purpose. The Terminator gifts Chris White two shots but is not punished. When White returns the favour following a couple of top fudges Kingy is less generous and a clinical finish gets Rileys over the line in only their second win all season.
Team Rileys 7 Ollies 5
We’ve only got the end of the last match on vid. It’s a composed finish from Ian Davidson to make it 7-5. Kyle Wilson (aka The Rookie) had an earlier chance but makes – according to the watching faithful – a strange shot selection choice and is made to pay.