Belper Strutt Club in shaky start to defence of snooker league title

DUNCAN HARWOOD -- got the ball rolling in the big Edgefold Club Matlock derby match.
DUNCAN HARWOOD -- got the ball rolling in the big Edgefold Club Matlock derby match.

Defending champions Belper Strutt Club continued their shaky start to the new season in the Darley Dale and District Snooker League.

After losing their opening match, Strutt went down again -- this time 4-1 against Bolehill Institute No.1, who are setting the early-season pace with three wins at the top of the table. Steve Bullock gave the Belper visitors the lead with a convincing 57-19 win but, from then on, Bolehill assumed control thanks to three narrow-margin victories before Ricki Slack and Mark Gwynne-Jones scored a more comprehensive verdict in the concluding doubles frame.

Staying in touch with the leaders are Edgefold Club Matlock No.1, who beat their No.2 team 4-1 in an inter-club derby. Duncan Harwood got the ball rolling with a 68-24 success before Rob Muxlow maintained the momentum, defeating last season’s player of the year Rob Dickin 76-43, courtesy of a 28 break. Sam Lavelle reduced the deficit in the next, but Andy Russell (29 break) took his singles frame and the doubles, alongside Muxlow, to ensure victory.

Elsewhere Matlock Golf Club repeated the previous week’s cup win over Bolehill Institute No.2, with Graham Jones top scoring in a 4-1 triumph, and Matlock Club came away from Alfreton Palmer Morewood No.2 with a 3-2 success, despite breaks of 35, 30 and 25 from Tom Broughton for the hosts.