Clitheroe Social Club came agonisingly close to making the East Lancashire 10 Reds Final in their first attempt, but lost a final-frame decider against the eventual winners St Andrew’s from Burnley at the Claremont Conservative last Tuesday.
Clitheroe Social veteran Brian Sims was first to the green baize, but despite a promising start, Sims never got going, and his opponent Lee Sharples played better, putting the Burnley team 1-0 up.
Paul Clark, who was yet to lose a frame in this season’s competition, played Burnley’s highest handicapped player Chris Hughes, and in his first visit knocked in a 24 break, giving Clark a deficit to catch him up.
Despite some good play from Clark, he couldn’t get near his opponent and it was 2-0 Burnley.
Next up for the Social was Simon Duckworth, who played Burnley star man Wayne Cotterill, and Duckworth raced into a healthy lead.
Cotterill then produced the highest break of the night with a 43, and just needed the pink to win with only two balls left on the table.
Cotterill missed the pink and Duckworth made no mistake and cut the deficit to 2-1.
Man of the match Eric Barnes then played Paul Avril, and layed very well and sensibly throughout, keeping the Burnley scratch handicapper at bay, and saw out the frame comfortably.
Social’s captain Gary Simkin was next up against another scratch player in Darren Cregg, and in a long fought out game, in which the miss rule played a significant role against both players, Simkin found himself needing just the brown and blue to win, but the attempted long brown proved costly, as Cregg cleared up to the black to put St Andrew’s back in front.
Social’s star man Chris Lawson then played the Burnley veteran and captain Duncan NcNally in what must surely be the longest frame of snooker in the 10 reds history!
McNally basically played a safety game throughout, gently rolling into the reds, leaving Lawson no possible pot.
With Lawson digging deep, he then found himself needing two snookers on the blue, which he eventually got, and then several visits later he needed a tough black to take it to the decider, and he played one of the shots of the night to level the scores 3-3 after almost an hour and a half frame!
With the time now 12-20 a.m., Social’s Sam Punchard was tasked with the deciding frame against another well-known Burnley scratch player in the guise of Eric Catlow.
From the off, Catlow was playing very well and was soon in a healthy lead.
With just a couple of reds left, Catlow then left Punchard needing snookers, which proved too much to claw back, and with the time fast approaching 1-15 a.m., Catlow won it for the St Andrew’s boys.
St Andrew’s returned two nights later and won the tournament, beating Nelson’s Alexandra 1 4-3 in another epic night of snooker.
Social’s captain would like to thank the Social club for their support and also the Clitheroe British Legion and Low Moor Clubs, in their help and support in the Social’s first attempt in the competition.