With just two rounds of matches left, the tussle at the top now is set to be another head-to-head scrap between Pot Black and Max Keady A.
Both these perennial silverware recipients won 3-1 last Thursday night and the smart money suggests that the destiny of the title trophy will be determined this Thursday night when the big two of local snooker cross cues at the Burn Road venue in Cookstown.
The team comprising mostly players from the former St.Patrick’s A side in Dungannon desperately needed to bounce back from defeat a week earlier at the hands of Mitchells A, and they did almost all asked of them as they despatched Gervins A.
Peter Reilly was a quick-fire 2-0 winner over Ciaran Kelly, taking both frames comfortably. Reilly’s first frame run of 43 was the highlight.
But Gervins were soon on level terms through Seamie Nixon, who recovered well from losing the opener to Mickey Quinn’s 40 break. The Plater’s Hill cueman won the second frame on the yellow and dominated the decider, restricting former team-mate Quinn to just six points.
Patrick Wallace restored Pot Black’s lead by beating Darren Gribben in straight frames. Wallace made a break of 58 in the first frame and a 70 clearance in the second.
Dermot Loughran secured the win with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Anthony McGuckin. Loughran won the opener thanks mainly to an early effort of 36 before McGuckin doubled the blue to a corner pocket and added pink and black to level at 1-1. The decider was tight before a snooker on the last red yielded several penalty points for Loughran, who went on to win on yellow.
In Keady, Mark Nugent gave Max A a good start with breaks of 36, 77 and 37 in beating Ryan Robinson, Barry Hughes had two 30 plus runs to clinch a win in frame two after a superb 56 by Paul McGuckin.
Stevie McParland hit a 43 clearance to edge out Feargal Keenan, with Joe Loughran bagging the away point in a tight tie with John Maguire.
Chris Maye, Mal O’Neill and Shea Fee got three priceless points against Mitchells INF to leave Gervins B well clear in the Division Two race.
McKees B’s hopes were dented by a 3-1 setback on their visit to Mitchells B, Seamus Mitchell in great potting form with 42 and 51 against the admiring Oliver O’Neill.
McKees C are in pole position to retain Division Three title after a crucial win over McVeighs B, who are joined in second place by Gervins C.