Top two start to move clear of the rest at halfway stage of the season

Clear daylight has emerged at the top of the Highfields Farm Butchers Premier Division for the first time this season as the top two teams made a break at the halfway stage but there’s still all to play for.

Leaders Bolehill Institute No 1 moved onto 29 points courtesy of a 5-0 home win over Matlock Club.

The scoreline may have been slightly flattering however as Ricki Slack took the opener on the pink, Simon Zoppi the third frame on the black and Ian Birks the fourth on a re-spotted black. Colin Marchington did not have to sweat quite so much as he won his singles and double frames (partnered by Andrew Brough in the latter) with a little more to spare.

Matlock Cons are a point behind, enhancing their already impressive home record with a 4-1 success over fellow challengers Belper Strutt Club No 1.

Jack Lynch and Nick Kay were undefeated in both frames they contested, with Charlie Hodgkinson striking the decisive blow while Paul Jarrett continued his good form to register the sole point for the visitors.

Belper Strutt No 2 edged out Edgefold Club 3-2 with Chris Stubbs and Neil Parkinson contesting the frame of the match, each compiling a break of 28 before Chris secured a 65-57 win.

It again came down to Stubbs and Dave Needham to secure victory in the concluding doubles after Needham had been edged out on the black earlier in the night by Richard Ferguson.

Elsewhere, Ricki Slack and Paul Ogden were invited to be part of a dozen-strong Derbyshire “B” team that saw off Nottinghamshire “B” 78-66 in Sneinton with Ricki notching eight wins and Paul an excellent 48 break.

The event also saw ex-league player Wade Morley remain undefeated with 12 straight wins.