Snooker: Title rivals close in as leaders are conquered
ICING Cabin are not used to losing – but the Express Appliances Intermediate Snooker League high-flyers began the new year with a defeat.
Having lost just once in 2012, the table-toppers were gunning for victory when they visited Webbonet.
But they were undone, suffering a 4-2 defeat on the road at Clee Bowls.
Brian Hotson and John Parrott got Webbonet off the mark, with an excellent double against Jamie Barrett and Lewis Singleton.
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It got worse for the Cabin as Mick Chew and Gordon Dawson dominated the next frame to make it 3-0, before edging the fourth to secure victory.
Captain Steve Singleton and John Parker regrouped to save a slam defeat by winning the last two frames.
Second-placed Gas Man looked like they were taking advantage of that result when they stormed into a 4-0 lead at West End B.
Ashley Wright knocked in a 77 break as the former professional did the business alongside Kev North, Scott Long and Dan Mumby.
But Craig Rowbotham played well for West End, dominating the last two frames to restrict Gas Man to a 4-2 win.
Locate Supplies achieved an excellent 5-1 victory at Ray Edmonds B.
Lee Plant, with a break of 47, and Nige Otter took the opening frame for Edmonds, before Mark Graves and Darryl Pidd responded to make it 1-1.
Nige Emmerson, who hit a 40 break, and Wayne Webber stepped up a gear as they made it 3-1, before Ian Crosby and Steve Fisher kept up the good work to finish with a flourish.
Defending champions Hainton remain in the mix after they also triumphed at the Ray Edmonds Snooker Centre.
A double from Chris Fuller and Keith Atmore proved the difference in Hainton's 4-2 win at Ray Edmonds A.
Nige Mumby and Steve Piggott put Westlands D 1-0 up away at Clee Cons C, but that was their lot as Alby Forster, Gary Gresham, Rob Willerton, Damon Gresham, Tony Forster and Simon Burley completed a 5-1 turnaround win.
Birds Eye continued their good form from the end of 2012. A middle-order 2-0 from Tony Jagger and Gary Camburn helped see off Ray Edmonds S by four frames to two.
John Leggett, Gaz Horsfall, Alan and Art Young got Carr Lane Social A off to a wonderful start as they went 4-0 up against Clee Cons A. Mark George and Al Goodhand took the next for Cons, but Derek Crosby and Joe Goodfellow rounded off a 5-1 win for Carr Lane.
Peter Hogarth & Sons struggled to get out of the blocks at Clee Home Guard and slumped to a 5-1 defeat. Craig Taylor, J Gilscrup, Rick Pacey and Keith Tomlinson all bagged 2-0s.
Westlands Heating got their promotion bid back on track in Section B, with a 5-1 win against West End C.
The early exchanges were close as Keith and Adam Board shared with Tony Smith and Paul Stiff.
It was one-way traffic after that, though, as Robbie Bell, Chris Yull, Richard and Paul Claridge turned up the heat.
On the other table, Dave Page and Euan Hunter put West End D 2-0 up against Westlands C.
But they had to settle for a draw thanks to a great fight-back from Craig Sidney.
Grimsby Police B made it nine matches without defeat when they triumphed 5-1 at home against Carr Lane Social B.
Kev Ferguson, Pete Wood, Roger Hansford and Jim Wood were simply too strong and a win was guaranteed after they made it 4-0. Terry Steel and Big George Walters made it 5-0 but were outplayed in the last frame as Paul Kirk and Ken Ramsden spared the Railwaymen's blushes.
It was a long overdue return to form for Cambridge Graduates as they made the most of their trip to Clee Bowls to face the juniors.
Steve and Fred Neul won their frames for the hosts, but Terry Robinson and vice David Richardson levelled the tie and then Dave Colley and Jeff Bird completed the turnaround to secure a 4-2 win.
George Bartlett and Ray Hammond were the stars for Hainton A as their 2-0 was enough for their team to beat promotion rivals Ray Edmonds D 4-2.