Monk is back in action to help Belper Strutt No 1 gain revenge on No2 side

Belper Strutt No 1 gained revenge for last week’s Six Red Cup defeat to their No 2 team, thanks to a convincing 320-162 points margin.

Ben Monk returned to action with aplomb for his new team, taking his frame 91-20 against old sidekick Andrew Gratton, with only fellow debutant Shaun Nicholls able to arrest the tide for the vanquished.

There was a dramatic opening round to this season’s Captains Cup team aggregate competition. Matlock Conservative Club kept alive their hopes of the “grand slam” of all four team events, but current holders Bolehill Institute No 1 crashed out at the very first hurdle.

There was real tension in the air as Matlock’s Edgefold Club almost produced one of the comebacks of the season in their home tie with the Cons.

Jack Lynch scored a 43-point triumph in the opener, Duncan Harwood edged a close contest in frame two before Charlie Hodgkinson and Nick Kay increased the advantage again for the visitors.

Home pairing Harwood and Martyn Taylor were in action then and a sublime 49 break from the latter ensured proceedings went down to the wire.

But ultimately Lynch finished in the same fashion he had started the match, culminating with an outstanding pot on the deciding final black to earn his team a nail-biting 317-304 verdict.

Bolehill Institute No 1, bidding to win the cup for the third successive season, were ousted by a revitalised Matlock Club as Graeme Wood and Colin Marchington shared wide margin wins for each team in the opening exchanges.

Paul Bryan then opened his account for the season for the visitors in frame three, before Ian Birks’s register for the hosts left the holders 15 points ahead going into the last frame.

But after a nip and tuck pairs battle, it fell to Keith Manlove, returning to the fold to partner Mick McFall after being hospitalised with appendicitis, to slam home a glorious long pink for a memorable 280-267 success.