PREMIER LEAGUE SNOOKER: Champions move ahead as Shantallow capitulate

Phelim McClafferty (second from right) who leads the way in the Individual League.

Phelim McClafferty (second from right) who leads the way in the Individual League.

SHANTALLOW HOUSE, setting the pace on the back of winning all five outings, came crashing down to earth with a hefty bump in week six, relinquishing the leadership in the aftermath of a heavy 5-1 defeat on their preferred surface.

Providing the opposition were Tracey’s Bar ‘A’, a good side but beaten on home territory when the pair met a fortnight ago, and therefore rated odds against to halt the Racecourse Road outfit’s winning streak.

But the William Street cuemen upset the form-book, thanks to 2-0 victories by Paul Keenan and Anthony McGill (49 break), allied to a 1-1 cameo from Shea Norris, embellishing his share of the frames against Peter Doherty with the highest compilation of the week (77).

The chief benefactors of Shantallow’s fall from grace were title custodians CYMS ‘A’, whose 5-1 verdict on their trip to Tracey’s ‘147’ ultimately proved a table-topper (two-point cushion). Scorers for the Letterkenny defenders were Gareth Kirwan (2-0), Phelim McClafferty (2-0) and Marc McCarron (1-1), with Phil McConomy raising the lone flag for the hosts. Incidentally, it was good to see young Marc McCarron back in the fray following a recent spell on the sidelines through illness.

AOH Club’s productive 5-1 outing at Hollywood was rewarded with joint-second place. Stephen Heaney (54 break) and Hibs veteran Ray Barrow traded the opening two frames, before talented teenager Shea Moore made it 3-1 in good style (37 and 41 breaks). Seamus Cusack completed a profitable night’s work, decorating his 2-0 shift with a 57 sequence.

Glendermott broke their ‘duck’ at the sixth attempt, courtesy of a 5-1 foray to CYMS ‘B’, anchored by 2-0 wins from the old guard and young brigade of Maurice Ferguson and Christopher Clifford (35 break). Davy Clifford played a weighty cameo role by sharing the spoils in his two-frame session against the home side’s talismanic Adrian McFadden (reigning Individual League champion).

After a 6-0 ‘skinner’ at George’s Bar a fortnight ago, Du Pont redeemed themselves somewhat with a 4-2 home decision in the return encounter. Match-winners were Peter Logue (2-0), Davy Moore (1-1) and Ralph Dixon (1-1), the single frame strikers for the visitors being Shea Conway and Cathal Wilson.

SHANTALLOW 1, TRACEY’S ‘A’ 5 – Stephen Brady 0, Paul Keenan 2; Joe Porter 0, Anthony McGill 2; Peter Doherty 1, Shea Norris 1.

TRACEY’S ‘147’ 1, CYMS ‘A’ 5 – Colm Quinn 0, Gareth Kirwan 2; Mal McIvor 0, Phelim McClafferty 2; Phil McConomy 1, Marc McCarron 1.

HOLLYWOOD 1, AOH 5 – Stephen Heaney 1, Ray Barrow 1; Gareth Strain 0, Shea Moore 2; Liam McDermott 0, Seamus Cusack 2.

CYMS ‘B’ 1, GLENS 5 – Ken Kirwan 0, Christopher Clifford 2; Adrian McFadden 1, Davy Clifford 1; Chris Dolan 0, Maurice Ferguson 2.

DU PONT 4, GEORGE’S 2 – Davy Moore 1, Shea Conway 1; Peter Logue 2, Jan Biernat 0; Ralph Dixon 1, Cathal Wilson 1.

HOW THEY STAND – played 36 frames – CYMS A (25 pts); AOH and Shantallow (23 pts); Tracey’s A (21 pts); George’s (17 pts); Glendermott and Hollywood (16 pts); Du Pont and Tracey’s ‘147’ (14 pts); CYMS B (11 pts).

The lead changed hands in the Alfie McGinley Individual League qualifiers, the new frontrunner being Phelim McClafferty (ten frames). Second spot shared by Gareth Kirwan, Phil McConomy, Anthony McGill and the deposed Joe Porter (one frame less). The remaining three of the eight play-off places up for grabs presently occupied by Ray Barrow, Seamus Cusack and Peter Doherty (eight frames apiece).

NEXT MONDAY’S MATCHES – Hollywood v CYMS ‘A’ (Letterkenny), at Waterside, 8 pm; Tracey’s Bar ‘A’ v Du Pont, 7-30 pm; AOH v Shantallow House, 7-30 pm; CYMS ‘B’ v Tracey’s ‘147’, at Letterkenny, 8 pm; Glendermott CC v George’s Bar, 7-30 pm.