Snooker Legionnaires march to first ever Fred Martin Cup

CLIFFE Legion beat Newhaven Con ‘A’ to win the Fred Martin Cup for the first time ever.

The Legion won 3-1 despite the loss of the opening frame when Ashley Bull beat Jack Lander 83(29)-18, his 29 break proving decisive.

The white ball came under suspicion because of the ease with which both players screwed back, and it was subsequently found to be too light, and was replaced.

Paul Scorer then levelled the tie at 1-1 with a 69(25)-31 win over Lou Marshall, but it was the third frame that proved decisive. Cliffe needed to win this frame because afterwards Newhaven would still have two leading players in reserve to Cliffe’s one.

This frame started scrappily but Anthony Flynn forged a 20-point lead for Cliffe, only for Darren Short to take the last red with a black followed by yellow, green and brown.

This meant that both players needed blue and pink to win and Flynn immediately potted a long blue, followed by a middle pocket cross double for frame. This was a fine shot because it was played at such a strength to leave the cue ball on the top cushion, thus denying his opponent a potting chance should the double be missed.

The experienced Dave Lewney then edged out Sean Payne 66-53 to see Cliffe over the line. Again both players required blue and pink for game, but this time Lewney laid a decisive snooker on the blue before clearing up from the leave.

Lewney had further cause to celebrate two days later when he recorded a break of 101. This was his fifth century and the first ever recorded on the Cliffe Legion table.

Elsewhere, Newhaven Con ‘B’ clinched the division 2 runner up spot with a 3-2 win over Peacehaven ‘C’, who finish a creditable third in their first league season.

The other division 2 news was a 3-0 victory in the division’s individual final by Newhaven’s Shane Humphrey, who beat club mate Gary Cooper.

In billiards, no fewer than three of the Green & Wade cup semi-finalists come from the Uckfield club via their ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘D’ teams.

They are joined by Newhaven Con, who comfortably topped the Round Robin phase.

The later stages of this competition will be reported next week. Uckfield ‘D’ player Leo Hare warmed up nicely for the event with a break of 104 in a practice match.