Billiards: Cup competition is a family affair for the Cliffords

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First published in Sport

THE semi-finals and final of the Ryedale & District League’s Jim Dodsworth 4-a-side Cup took place at the Railway Club, Norton – and turned out to be a family affair for the Cliffords.

Both semi-finals were close encounters. Harome ‘A’ beat Railway Club ‘A’ 3-2, with Charlie Marwood’s 30 break in the last few minutes of his game proving pivotal, while Railway Club ‘B’ – made up of Ray Clifford and his three sons, Darren, Brendan and Adrian – edged Harome ‘B’ 3-2.

Railway got off to an explosive start with good wins for Adrian and Brendan. Valiant wins by Jeremy Bowes and Howard Mayne for Harome were not enough, the deciding factor being the aggregate points score.

The final was tense, with the first two games shared. Jonathan Marwood’s 53 break for Harome was enough to beat Darren Clifford but on the other table Ray Clifford beat David Greenlay by 18 points.

Then Adrian Clifford beat Charlie Marwood by 13 points before brother Brendan became the key man. With two minutes to go against Philip Marwood, he was 14 points behind and struggling. But he calmly produced a winning break of 17 to win by three points when the 30-minute buzzer went.

Meanwhile, Wass beat Harome ‘A’ 1022-986 on aggregate in the Eric Wren final at Nawton.

Harome struck first with David Greenlay (0 start) beating Thornton (85 start) by 40 points in their 30-minute handicap encounter. Greenlay’s 41 break was crucial.

But John Howard (65) beat James Greenlay (40) by nine points and Leo Butler (125) defeated Tom Marwood (65) 201-180 to put Wass ahead.

Philip Marwood (60) levelled when he edged Nigel Taylor (75) by four points, and Charlie Marwood (80) moved Harome 3-2 ahead with a 203-164 victory over Phil Nichols (85).

This meant Gordon Thornton (135) had to defeat Jonathan Marwood (10) by at least 53 points in the last game to secure victory for Wass. And, after a slow start by both players, he produced the performance of the night with two breaks in the high teens to see him win 209-120 and secure victory for Wass In the league, Harome ‘A’ are defying their handicaps to hold top spot.

Games are timed at 30 minutes only, rather than giving players a points target, making this is an even bigger achievement.

Harome ‘A’ hold positions one, two and four in the player rankings, through Charles Marwood, Phil Marwood and Jonathan Marwood.

Helmsley’s only entry in the top 10 is Colin Humpleby in second. Railway’s Dave Lamb and Martin Ellis are fifth and ninth.

Wass boast players at seven, eight and 10 in Leo Butler, John Howard and Gordon Thornton, keeping the second-placed club firmly in contention. Mervyn Duffield, in sixth, gives Carlton Husthwaite its only mention.

Carlton Husthwaite boasts three break-makers in the top 10 – Bob Ledger, with 43, Tony Kingsley (40) and Richard Duffield (28). But no fewer than five players from Harome ‘A’ are featured – Jonathan Marwood (73), Dave Greenlay (49), Philip Marwood (48), James Greenlay (43) and Thomas Marwood (35).

Nawton’s Andy Bowes (31) and Shane Wood (30) occupy the other two places.

The league restarts on Thursday, January 9, with the Len Hale Cup being played on January 30 and February 6.

New players and teams are welcome. Email league secretary Jonathan Marwood at jpmarwood@yahoo.co.uk

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