Belper Strutt Club No 1 miss out in the battle for second place in the league

The final round of games in this seasons Highfields Farm Butchers Premier Division saw two barnstorming finales with both runners-up spot and the final play-off place up for grabs.

Belper Strutt No 1 entertained Edgefold Club with the victors guaranteed of the runners-up spot and ace cueist Martyn Taylor drew first blood with a 77-33 win over Mark Newby, complemented by a break of 39.

Rob Muxlow (24 break) secured a vital 57-56 verdict over Paul Jarrett in the next on the black but Strutt weren’t going to go down lightly and Ben Monk, the man for the big occasion, pulled one back with a 78-58 success over Neil Parkinson.

Wayne Shooter equalised shortly after a hard-fought battle with Duncan Harwood so all rested on the concluding doubles frame.

And it was Taylor and Harwood who took the spoils 69-10 as they froze out Monk and partner Steve Bullock to earn their side the coveted second

The fight for the final play-off spot for the Jaeger Trophy was possibly even more of a cliffhanger, as with Belper Strutt No 2 gaining five points from their final fixture, Matlock Cons knew a defeat at Bolehill Institute No 2 would see them out of the top four.

And after Ian Peacock had put the home side ahead with a convincing display, it needed calm nerves from firstly Charlie Hodgkinson and then Chris Parker (with a black ball win) to steer the visitors in front.

Keith Robertson maintained his unbeaten record since returning in late season to equalise. Mick Bunting and Peacock led 52-39 in the all-important final frame against Parker and Jack Lynch with just three balls remaining but it was Lynch who saved the day, taking them in one visit.