Guernsey’s night in team snooker test
JERSEY lost their grip on the team snooker inter-insular silverware following a 16-9 defeat by hosts Guernsey at the Gremlin Club on Saturday.
Channel Islands champion Martyn Desperques starred for the victors by winning all five of his matches.
Desperques led from the front, registering the first point in less than 15 minutes with a 59 break against Guy Heys – but just when Glenn Le Prevost looked set to make it 2-0, Gary Britton found a colours clearance to nick the frame 50-48.
Guernsey went ahead again and it brought much relief for Darren Hughes, who had endured a blank return on his only previous inter-insular appearance in this format.
A pair of 24s helped Hughes ease past Ross Symes, but again Jersey hit back to make it 2-2.
It came from an unlikely source as fifth seed Tony Le Poidevin beat John Skillett, but the Sarnians were soon to claim a surprise scalp of their own.
Fresh from winning the World Seniors Championship, there was much expected of Jersey’s Aaron Canavan, but Le Prevost sent him crashing to the first of his two defeats in winning 74-26.
Desperques added two more frames with breaks of 58 and 40, while Adam Shorto hit 50 against Symes, helping Guernsey lead 8-6 after the afternoon session.
Hughes and Skillett make breaks of 36 against Britton, but a 40 against the former and then a 66 clearance against Skillett meant Britton had contributed half of Jersey’s score.
At the resumption of play, Guernsey flew out of the traps to break the back of the five frames they needed by winning four of the next five matches – and there were sizeable contributions aplenty.
Shorto hit a 65 against Le Poidevin, then Skillett put his slow start behind him with a 73.
Desperques added a fourth with a 39 against Canavan, this after Le Prevost had dug deep to edge Symes.
Jersey were clinging on through Canavan and Britton, with the latter’s 82 against Shorto the best of the day to cut the Caesarean deficit to 12-8.
But victory was just around the corner for Guernsey and there was a race on between Hughes and Le Prevost to claim the winning frame, with the latter just doing so against Heys for his fourth win, moments before Hughes won his second match.
Although the contest was over, there was still one last showdown between Desperques and Britton.
The pair had already contested the CI snooker and billiards finals and with each winning one, this clash was a fitting conclusion to the inter-insular series.
Both went into it with a perfect four out of four record in the match and when Britton got in first with a 37, it looked like he would win the medal for most frames won.
Not for the first time though, Desperques was to show his mettle and breaks of 32 and a top class 60 to the pink rounded off a solid Guernsey victory overall.
Leading breaks were 82, 66 clearance and 40 by Britton; 73 by Skillett; 65 and 50 by Shorto; 60, 59, 58 and 47 by Desperques and 54 and 46 by Canavan.