Terry Longdon Memorial Trophy 2019, Semi finals week one.
Draw, June 11 at Club Lithgow Major Semi-Final Miscues versus Pockets and at The Workies Minor Semi-Final Tall Timbers versus Helmets.
A much anticipated Elimination Semi-final was held when four placed Helmets played fifth placed Red Sox. Both these teams have played in and won in numerous Grand Finals over the last ten years and they continued their rivalry. Last week in the final competition round Red Sox beat Helmets 4 - 3 but the pressure of a semi-final is a different beast. Helmets being the defending champions finally flexed their muscles and they really made Red Sox look fairly ordinary as they put the cleaners through them 4-0. Red Sox can now put their cues in the rack until the beginning of the next competition. The Qualifying Semi-Final between second placed Pockets and third placed Tall Timbers was a much more interesting affair as it went right to the last game to get a result. It looked like it was going to be a white wash as Pockets came out winning the first three games needing just one more for victory. Tall Timbers dug in deep as they won the next two games but Lawrence Creasy won the last game giving Pockets a 4 - 2 victory. There has been over the years a jinx that if any team revealed a new shirt they inevitably lose their first game so Pockets took a risk in debuting a new shirt but luckily for them they beat the jinx. All the three teams sitting above Helmets are looking over their shoulder because Helmets are coming home strong.
Lithgow Valley Storage Helmets versus C & W Printing Red Sox:
Logan Spice versus John Lyons: An interesting matchup as Spice has vastly improved his snooker over the last couple of years, playing solidly and Lyons is definitely the most experienced snooker player in Lithgow and has been since the 1980's. Spice was fairly nervous as he started out and you could tell and Lyons had to chase the 23 points start that Spice had. Lyons was playing some good shots and Spice once he settled down came into his own potting well with good safety. Spice was maintaining a good lead and Lyons though getting close started to play some snookers whilst on the colours. Spice was solid getting out of snookers and generally was too good as he went onto to win 89 - 57. Helmets 1 - 0.
Dallas Thurlow versus Jeff Stait: Both these players are having a very good comp as Thurlow has won ten games out of 16 played and Stait has won 11 out 17 games played. Thurlow had a 35 start and he would need all of that because Stait is just about the most consistent player going around as he regularly makes the Regal and Roley Casey Trophy comps held by the LASA. Stait as usual started out the chase with attacking snooker and was soon making inroads to the deficit. Thurlow did not panic and was using his handicap well potting some very good shots and on the very odd occasion made a couple of mistakes which helped Stait add some points. Stait as he does was coming home strong once on the colours but Thurlow was good enough to keep a small difference in the score to win 79 - 65. Helmets 2 - 0.
Robert Farnsworth versus Tom Gaynor: Farnsworth in his last comp played every comp game for 12 wins and three losses but something happened over the break from 2018 to 2019 as he has played 13 games out of the 20 and has hit a hole for just three wins so he is drastically out of form. Gaynor is consistent as he won seven games in both this comp and last comp and these pair only just played each other last week with Gaynor winning by 28 points. Gaynor is the captain of his team and with them being two games behind he was going to try and lead from the front hopefully winning to get the team back on track. Farnsworth though not in good form would really have to go back to basics to try and get him some confidence. This was a grind as it was a typical dour semi-final game with neither wanting to let the other get a run of points. Farnsworth finally got his game together and countered Gaynor's shots with his own good play. Though not a pretty game to watch it was entertaining as Farnsworth won 48 - 32. Helmets 3 - 0.
Brett Bradley versus Peter Warner: In the win/loss stat both players are fairly close with Bradley at 7/6 and Warner 6/7 but the difference is Warner has lost his last three and Bradley won his last two. Warner cannot be underestimated though because his nature is to never give up and he makes his opponents play hard for their wins against him. Bradley had in his favour a 35 start though through this comp Warner had a 31 break plus in another game he had breaks of 16, 20, 12 Bradley could not relax even with the large start. Bradley started out in his usual slow style of grinding snooker and was potting some good shots mixed in with a fairly good safety. Warner was potting some good shots and trying very hard but was not making the inroads he needed. Bradley was too good as he easily brought the game to a close 83 - 49. Helmets won 4 - 0.
Higgins Lawyers Pockets versus Carpet One Tall Timbers:
Robert Bender versus Bill Cook: Two players very close in the way they play and Bender has nine wins to Cook's ten. They have played each other in the third and fourth rounds of this comp and on the first occasion Bender scraped in by one point and on the second occasion Cook won by 11. With one game each this becomes a decider but there is more at stake in this game being in a semi-final. Both played very well at times throughout this game and it was Bender who eventually took control of the game with some good potting. Cook scored a 14 break but alas Bender was too good as he won 48 - 31. Pockets 1 - 0.
Dane Barrington versus Howie Fisher: Barrington has had a mixed comp winning six games early then lost seven in a row and he finally got back in the winner's circle last week just in time for the semis. Fisher went hard early winning his first eight games then struggled to win three of his last seven games. With both players out of sorts at the moment in form it makes for an interesting game. It was a typical semi-final game being very dour and neither willing to risk too much to give his opponent too many opportunities. Both virtually went shot for shot with the lead changing throughout and some mistakes thrown in for interest. Right until the last shot it was very close and it was Barrington who scraped home 59 - 56. Pockets 2- 0.
Steve Hewitt versus Maurie Smith: Hewitt has had another consistent comp in winning 11 games and Smith lost his first six games then hit form and has won three out of his last four games. A slow start by both players because that is the way they play their game as neither knows or wants to hurry. This was like the previous game a very close contest with neither dominating the outcome and the lead changing throughout the game. It also came down to the last shot to get the outcome and it was Hewitt who only just got up 48 - 45. Pockets 3 - 0.
Shane Eagle versus Frank Wawn: Wawn has had a mixed comp winning seven games but one of those wins was against Eagle two weeks ago which he won easily by 31 points. Eagle is his team's captain and has played every comp game and he has led from the front winning 14 games. Eagle had to win this game for his team to progress next week for a Grand Final place and Wawn was going to try everything to stop him and get his team on the board. Wawn started out with great confidence potting some very good shots and was doing well to leave Eagle not much to shoot at. Eagle went off his game once Wawn took the lead though some good shots were played. Wawn scored a 17 break as he seemed to always have Eagle's measure to win 57 - 37. Pockets three - Tall Timbers one.
Brad Preston versus Michael McCosker: Preston is at 50 per cent with eight wins and losses and McCosker is indeed going well winning eight and losing four games. Preston had a 22 start and if he got away to a good start could put McCosker under pressure. McCosker has stayed fairly calm this comp and it has shown in his wins though he has a tendency when things don't go well he implodes and Micthsuvius appears. Preston was not at his best and McCosker was as he was, patiently pulling back the deficit. Preston made some errors and McCosker pounced and in the end McCosker was just too good as he was the victor 69 - 52. Pockets three - Tall Timbers two.
Lawrence Creasy versus Keith Morris: Definitely the crunch game as either player all they had to do was to win then their team wins. Creasy's team was up by one point but Morris's team had the aggregate point so it was very interesting. Both players had won six games in the comp the difference was Creasy had lost 14 games to Morris's five. Morris was his team's captain so he was under pressure to bring his team home and if you were a betting man you would back him especially with Creasy's form. Creasy had 28 start and he was off and running like a man possessed and Morris was like a duck in water cool on top but his little legs were working overtime treading water. Creasy had a point to prove as well because he left Tall Timbers a couple of comps ago under a cloud and he was taking it out on the captain Morris. Morris tried hard but to no avail as creasy played above himself to bring his team home 67 - 34. Pockets won 4 - 2.