While Pot Black and Max Keady A seem to have top say in Division One, the most intriguing contest is developing in the chase for the Division Two title - with Max Keady B leading by two points from a trio of hopefuls - Gervins B, McKees B and Mitchells B.
It was crunch time in Keady as the Max B team hosted joint leaders McKees B and, after the first two games were shared, the home team came good and a 3-1 victory sends them two points clear of each of their three title rivals, Gervins B inflicting a trophy-smashing whitewash defeat on McVeighs B and Mitchells B scoring a crucial 3-1 win over bottom-of-the-table Max Keady C.
Joe Gervin spearheaded the Gervins win via a straight frames demolition of John McArdle, Anthony McGuckin climaxing his third frame win over Danny McVeigh with an unnecessary but nonetheless commendable 25 clearance. Mal O’Neill coped easily with a seven points handicap cut in hammering Mickey Donnelly 2-0, and Chris Maye shared two close frames with Dwayne Mallon before having too much ammunition in the decider.
Sean Nash made a winning comeback for Mitchells B, outpointing Jody Shortt who is but a shadow of his true self this season. Peter Loughran battled tigerishly to edge a 44-43 final frame win over John O’Reilly and, following a splendid home point secured for the home side by Barry Leeson - with breaks of 39, 26 and 23 - in a terrific game with Jonny McCurry, Jonny McCann racked up a super 45 in storming back from a first frame defeat to outpoint Paudie Mallon.
The big match at Joe Shortt’s well-appointed club in the wilderness of south Armagh started reasonably well for visiting McKees B as Martin Doris had a relatively comfortable 2-0 success over Darren Corvan, Shane Coney going down valiantly on the adjacent table against Paul McParland. But Charlie Connolly fired Keady in front when he proved just too strong for Pete McGrath and John Maguire beat James Conway on the yellow after a 36 break, each having won a highscoring frame on the black - Maguire with a 28 break in the equalising frame.
You know when your luck is out when the cue-ball constantly plays tricks with you - and that was certainly the case for Jerome McVeigh when he conceded an amazing seventy-plus points to Stevie Campbell in their game in Division, 2-2 the outcome of the tie between McKees A and McVeighs A.
Fergal Quinn defeated Owen McKee and Conor Gillespie edged out Colm Kelly for a commanding Killyman advantage, Ronan Fay then beating Seamus Quinn in straight also, Campbell winning the first frame against McVeigh 80-64 and winning the third 72-23 - with Jerome’s fouls including going in-off the black on a remarkable five occasions!
Ciaran Kelly was the only home winner in the match between Gervins A and Max Keady A, big Ciaran winning first and third of some great frames. Seamus Nixon, above, had a baptism of fire as he returned to the Plater’s Hill line-up, scoring a single point in the opener as Mark Nugent stepped in with a 78 break. The next two frames went right to the wire, Nugent prevailing. Darren Gribben was again below par as he was convincingly beaten by Barry Hughes, Iggy Cullen ensuring that Stevie McParland had to play well to win a close and highly entertaining three-framer.
Pot Black suffered an early reversal at home to Mitchells A, Feargal Keenan, left, recovering from 40 behind to topple unbeaten Mickey Quinn with a 43 before clearing the last four colours to win first on black. Quinn made the second frame running with 47 but Keenan again came back, a long brown the clincher.
Paul Currie was very unlucky in first with Patrick Wallace, potting a tough black to the middle only to kiss yellow and go in off. From there, Wallace cleared with 83 and in the second clinched the win with a 65 to brown.
Peter Reilly produced his best performance this seaso, compiling breaks of 32 and 44 first and 50 in second to outpoint Philip Tener.
David McClements won a tight first frame on pink against Paul McGuckin via a good snooker before sinking blue and pink from McGuckin’s escape. Going well in second, he fouled a red with his cue in potting a black, letting McGuckin in for a 30 followed by 37. McClements missed a tough brown in the decider and was unlucky to leave it on, the Pot Black player dispatching the three balls he needed to achieve a narrow victory.