Pub sports: Pressure’s on in the battle for honours

PUBLISHED: 07:59 05 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:09 28 May 2010

STAND by for fireworks as the pub sports top guns in the Greene King-sponsored Ridley League explode into New Year action this week. Overall champions New Barn face what promises to be their toughest test, from Galleywood Eagle, who hold a six-point lead

STAND by for fireworks as the pub sports top guns in the Greene King-sponsored Ridley League explode into New Year action this week.

Overall champions New Barn face what promises to be their toughest test, from Galleywood Eagle, who hold a six-point lead at the top of the South Section table.

And it's dog-eat-dog in the ultra-competitive North Section, where the top six scrap it out with only nine points separating the lot of them.

Leaders Flitch Snooker Club will want to put their recent problems behind them against Dunmow Cricketers, and the Compasses (equal second) have another toughie at the Retreat A (sixth).

Former leaders Felsted Chequers can also expect a rigorous examination of their credentials at Thaxted, where the Rose & Crown don't give much away.

* Late choice Sabrina Barltrop was a "supersub" last week as the Black Lion clinched their place in the women's pairs darts final.

Barltrop, called up in place of the unavailable Hayley Nevill, partnered Mel Smith to victory at the Bird in Hand without dropping a leg.

Smith's 125 in the opening leg of the final qualifier was the foundation for the win against Judy Weavers and Helen Butler (Cricketers, Dunmow) which clinched the Lion's ticket to the final in July.

An administrative glitch meant the other half of the competition, at Dunmow's Flitch Snooker Club, was uncompleted. Maxine Durham and Michelle Ratcliffe (Butcher's Arms) face a final hurdle against Marion Sweeting and Ann Townsend, the Flitch girls avenging the earlier defeat of clubmates Clare Pearce and Claire Townsend with a straight-legs KO of Marguerite Sturgeon and Debbie Goodwin (Compasses).

WOMEN'S PAIRS - Bird in Hand, 1st Rd: C Kochan & M Wiley (Cricketers MG) bt S Clark & L Parradine (Chequers) 2-0; H Butler & J Weavers (Cricketers Dun.) bt H Rolfe & M Rolfe (Bird in Hand) 2-0; S Barltrop & M Smith (Black Lion) bt D Lawrence & A Russell (Ship) 2-0; J Devenish & V Grimsey (New Barn) bt T Tobin & A Wheeler (Beehive) 2-1. 2nd Rd: Butler & Weavers bt Kochan & Wiley 2-0; Barltrop & Smith bt Devenish & Grimsey 2-0. Semi-final: Barltrop & Smith bt Butler & Weavers 2-0.

Flitch Snooker Club, 1st Rd: D Goodwin & M Sturgeon (Compasses) bt C Pearce and C Townsend (Flitch Snooker) 2-0. 2nd Rd: M Sweeting & A Townsend (Flitch Snooker) bt Goodwin & Sturgeon 2-0; M Durham & M Ratcliffe (Butcher's Arms) bt W Barker & J Macklin (Chequers) 2-0.

FIXTURES (Jan 10) - North: Butcher's Arms v Retreat B, Flitch Snooker v Cricketers Dun., Retreat A v Compasses, Rose & Crown v Chequers, Vine v Black Lion. South: New Barn v Eagle, Ship v Cricketers MG, Swan v Black Bull, White Horse v Beehive.

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