THE CHANCES of champions Spot-On Low-C successfully defending their HUCKNALL EPA POOL LEAGUE crown have been dealt a hammer blow by an administrative blunder.
It was bad enough for Low-C to be held to a 4-4 draw in their final match before Christmas by struggling Chequers Inn A, who sit next to bottom with only one win to their name all season.
But even that point was taken away from them because they failed to submit their result in time to league officials.
The deduction left the champions fully five points behind the leaders, Royal British Legion A, who recovered from dropping their first point the previous week by beating Sherwood Ranger 5-3.
Legion A didn’t have it all their own way, despite building leads of 2-0 and 3-1, courtesy of Martin Bremner, Ryan Orton and Tim McShane. And at one stage, plucky Ranger squared it up at 3-3. But victories on the last two legs from Nidge Orton and Nigel Burton eased the leaders home.
The win extended Legion A’s advantage at the top to three points because of only the second defeat of the season for second-placed Empire A.
Ashley Dobb’s troops became the latest side to take a tumble against league newcomers and inter-club rivals Empire Muppets, who cruised to a 6-2 triumph and are beginning to emerge as serious title contenders themselves.
The Muppets quickly established a 3-0 advantage and after Steve Wood and Geoff Taylor had cut the deficit for the ‘visitors’, another trio of successes, this time from Ashley Radford and Joe Etherington, on singles and pairs, sealed the points.
Elsewhere, victories were celebrated by Chequers Inn B, Harrier and Station Hotel (Hucknall) B, while the points were shared in a 4-4 draw between Royal British Legion B and Liberal Club.
Chequers B hit back from 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 down to defeat Bestwood Miners Welfare 5-3, with Shane Wood successful on singles and pairs.
Harrier strode to a 6-2 win at Yew Tree, with Aaron Fowkes and Dave Ellis among three players doubling up on singles and pairs.
Station B claimed an 8-0 whitewash over bottom-of-the-table Seven Stars, who turned up with only one player. And Legion B staged a fine comeback from 4-1 down to pinch a point off Liberal thanks to the lethal combination of Dean Dymock and Malc Grocock, who triumphed on singles and pairs.