Carrick & District Pool League: Galacticos top of the pile at halfway stage

This week In Carrick & District Pool League sponsored by SKC Gaming NI Ltd the final matches of the first half of the season took place.
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Scorpions welcomed Whitehead Trojans to the Times Bar. The last time these two teams met, Trojans were victorious in the Knock Out Cup.

Trojans again started well with Stuart Kelly and Ricky Moulds winning two of the first frames. Lee McIlreevy secured one for Scorpions. Chris Carson, Darren Whiteside, Paul Kerr and Lee McIlreevy gave the home side a 5-2 advantage at half time.

Chris Carson and Darren Whiteside soon put Scorpions on the hill at 7-2. Trojans’ Stuart Kelly ripped out a great finish under pressure before his team mate, Ricky Moulds cut in a good black to the middle only to see the cue ball rolling into the corner pocket and gifting Colin Rafferty the frame and Scorpions all three points.

Current League table. Image by Darren WhitesideCurrent League table. Image by Darren Whiteside
Current League table. Image by Darren Whiteside

Paul Kerr, Darren Whiteside and Lee McIlreevy, with a break and dish, took the final three frames to maintain second place and touching distance with the league leaders. Most valuable players were Lee McIlreevy and Darren Whiteside winning three out of three.

Whitehead Spartans began 2024 with a home tie against the Times Tigers. The Spartans settled quickly and raced into a 3-0 lead thanks to wins from Mark Millar, Kenny English and Billy Pawson. Back to back reverse dishes from Trevor Whiteside and Aaron Rolston stretched the home teams lead to 5-0 before Mark Millar took his second frame of the evening to make it 6-0.

Started Better

Tigers captain Davy Montgomery dug deep to win frame seven and ensure his team didn't succumb to a first session whitewash. The second session started better for the Tigers with a win for Tom McGurk. The Tigers’ mini comeback was short lived though as the Spartans won the last six frames through Aaron Rolston (×2), Billy Pawson, Trevor Whiteside, Mark Millar and Kenny English.

The Spartans will be delighted with the manner of this victory and the Tigers may well put the scoreline down to only returning after the Christmas break. Special mention to Aaron Rolston who is now top in the race for Player of the Year having played significantly less frames than those closest to him. He boasts an excellent 100% record with 17 wins from 17 frames played in the league.

In a most enjoyable evening of Pool at Greenisland Working Men’s Social Club, there was a friendly but competitive match between the Bay City Bowlers of Carrickfergus and Greenisland Colts. The Colts began well with a first frame win but the Bowlers quickly equalised. The Colts took the next two prior to the Bowlers having a two frame winning streak to keep it a tight tense affair.

The Colts pulled away again with wins for Colin Beckinsale and Patton. Tit-for-tat ensued thereafter before vice captain Beckinsale secured at least a draw for his team being the victor of the evenings eleventh frame. The Bowlers Ryan James then held his nerve potting an excellent high pressure black to keep it close. You could have heard a pin drop during said black ball shot.

However, despite having a couple of key players absent through illness ultimately the depth of the Colts’ squad was enough to see them successful on this particular occasion as Colts players Paul Watters and Joe Patton won the final frames of the evening seeing their team over the finish line for their first match of 2024.

Q-Club Larne entertained the league leaders Greenisland Galacticos. Last season’s league and cup matches were compelling affairs with three games, a win each and a draw, so another close encounter was anticipated.

Galacticos rushed out of the blocks with a 4-0 lead in 20 mins. Highlights included a Roger Smyth reverse dish. Q Club are known for their powers of recovery though and another looked on the books as the Larne men hit back with three in a row starting off with a Ciaran O’Toole win in the 5th frame.

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With frames 8 and 9 shared, it was all to play for but this is where championships are won and lost and this might be the biggest three frames of the season for the Galacticos yet as Derek Whiteside, Ali Wilson and Roger Smyth got them over the line to take the match to 8-4 and the three points.

At the halfway point of the season it looks to be between the Galacticos and the defending champs, Scorpions with two points in it. A wildcard in the mix however could well be the Cubs who are five back but get better each passing week. All to play for in the second half.

In other matches: QE2 Cubs 10 Railway Blues 4; Rab & Big T’s Rockets 12 Rockets to Be 2.

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