Snooker title setback for Strutt Club in battle between top two

SIMON ZOPPI -- in imperious form for Bolehill Institute No.1
SIMON ZOPPI -- in imperious form for Bolehill Institute No.1

Leaders Belper Strutt Club suffered a blow to their title hopes when shaded by their closest rivals in the Darley Dale and District Snooker League.

Strutt fell to a 3-2 reverse in a hard-fought battle at home to Bolehill Institute No.1, who duly drew level with them on points at the top of the table.

Simon Zoppi was in imperious form for the victors, notching breaks of 30, 22 and finally a 25 clearance to earn the Viva Restaurant-sponsored highest weekly break accolade before Colin Marchington took the next on the black to give Bolehill a 2-0 lead.

Mark Newby (21 break) reduced the arrears for the hosts in the next and then Justin Weller’s cultured display levelled matters to take the match into the final doubles leg. But Ricki Slack and Ian Birks, earlier defeated in their singles legs, combined to greater effect in the decider and saw it out for their team with a 62-30 success.

Just two points behind Strutt and Bolehill are third-placed Alfreton Palmer Morewood, who were edged out 3-2 at Bolehill No.2. Martin Forster amassed 97 points for the hosts to take the player of the week award and later won the deciding leg 62-28 with the help of Ian Peacock. Andrew Beardsley and Kevin Rowland were on target for the Amber Valley cueists.

Elsewhere in the league, which is sponsored by Harriotts Sweet Chariot Event Planning, both Edgefold teams earned narrow wins.

The No.1 side scored 3-2 at home to Matlock Golf Club, with Andy Russell (breaks of 26 and 23) in prime form before Neil Parkinson and Robert Muxlow settled the decider. Graham Jones (27 break) top scored for the visitors. Edgefold No.2 also triumped by the minimum margin at Matlock Club, with Sam Lavelle taking each of his singles and doubles frames after Graeme Wood had finally ended the unbeaten eight-match run of Rob Dicken in the opener.