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Bradford title hopes hanging by a thread
Right on Cue
Bradford No 1’s snooker side look set to miss out on retaining the YORKSHIRE INTER-DISTRICT LEAGUE title after a top-of-the-table defeat to Division One leaders Sheffield No 3 at Undercliffe Cricket Club.
With just three points separating the teams going into the clash and only two matches remaining, a good home win was vital for Bradford to stand any chance of finishing the season at the top.
But a 4-2 reverse to a talented young Sheffield side has left their hopes hanging by a thread.
The visitors could not have wished for a better start as they raced into a 3-0 lead, Will Lemons beating Damian Wilks 67-15 and 91-28 and Ashley Carty taking his opening frame against Kevin Firth 87-0 aided by a 71 break.
Firth pulled a frame back by winning his second 69-37, with Mark Slater then reducing the deficit to 3-2 by making a good break of 48 in a 63-49 victory over Nico Elton.
But while a draw would have kept Bradford’s title hopes alive, it would have been harsh on a Sheffield outfit who were the better team on the night and Elton sealed their triumph with a 69-36 last-frame verdict.
While it is still mathematically possible to pinch the title, it is highly unlikely that Sheffield will lose their last match 6-0.
So Bradford will take on Harrogate at Undercliffe on Sunday aiming for the consolation of a runners-up finish, which their opponents could also achieve with victory.
Meanwhile, Wilks has joined fellow Bradford potter Howard Mawson in the last 16 of the YORKSHIRE SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIPS, having defeated Mikey Tomlinson of Castleford in a qualifying match.
Tomlinson had earlier beaten Firth 3-1, while Sajid Khan was unfortunate in going out 3-2 to Sheffield opponent Lemons.
* The MOORHOUSE SHIELD billiards competition is due to get underway next Thursday with the following first-leg matches, the return legs taking place on May 3: Preliminary round: Clayton Rugby B v Queensbury Cons, Great Horton Cons v Clayton Rugby B. First round: Chapel Green Libs v Lilycroft, Eccleshill WMC v Eastbrook (defending champions).
The first-round match between Harold Club and Wibsey Libs will take place on May 3 and 10, with the preliminary-round winners facing each other on May 10 and 17.
* The qualifying stages of the BRADFORD BILLIARDS CHAMPIONSHIPS took place at Cue Gardens on Saturday, with Richard Lodge, Paul Devitt, Stephen Kershaw and Steve Wilman advancing to the semi-finals. These will be played over the coming weeks.