The Sleaford and District Snooker League took a break for semi-final cup action in the John Jenkins Electrical Knockout Cup and Turnbull Rose Bowl.
John Jenkins Knockout Cup holders Reel Stars were drawn in a derby match with Reel Deal C. The gap in league placings could not be greater, with Reel Deal C riding high in Division One and Reel Stars bottom of Division Two.
But in two seasons Reel Stars had not lost a single match in the Knockout Cup, while Reel Deal C also have a strong recent history, having reached the final twice in the last three years and lifted it in 2014.
The match started well for Stars, with Matthew Spry defeating Garry Sharpe 55-39, but Craig Sentance levelled in the next following a 66-28 victory over Steve Gyles, and Deal then went 2-1 up as a 39 break helped Carl Marriott overwhelm Dave Corder 100-33.
More break-building from Simon Biggin, including a run of 32, ultimately won the contest for Reel Deal C in frame four, with an 80-26 win versus Logan Hazzard.
Keith Southern sealed a 4-1 win with a 77-30 outcome against James Bond.
The second semi-final featured first division Electra G at home to second division Foundations.
Both teams hare enjoying good league seasons, with Electra G in third and Foundations occupying runners-up spot.
Electra were beaten Knockout Cup finalists in 2013, while Foundations won the competition in 2007, but a one-sided match developed.
Stefan Lawrence put Electra ahead after beating Paul Stevens 62-34 before Steve Caithness doubled their advantage after beating Nick McCauley 61-36.
John Wheeler then won the match in frame three after a 65-52 triumph over Kevin Shaw.
Ken Choularton’s 25 break made it 4-0 as he overcame John Jenkins 70-34, but the match highlight came in the final frame as Alf Palumbo’s 39 break sealed a 5-0 result, beating Ian Eynon 64-24.
* In the Turnbull Rose Bowl, both semi-finals pitted first division teams against second division.
Heckington B, mid-table in Division Two, hosted Electra B who recently moved up to second in the top tier.
Heckington B had never reached a Rose Bowl final, while Electra B were runners-up back in 2008.
Electra B took the opening two frames as Anthony Wood defeated Eddie Cullen 67-38 and Paul Clark shaded Maurice Barnatt 62-60.
But in the best frame of the match, Philip Wootton’s 25 break halved the deficit, defeating Gavin Robson, who made a 29 break himself, 65-50.
The Heckington fightback was short-lived, however, as Wayne Brankin then won the tie for Electra in frame four, thanks to a 74-45 outcome against Roy Jackson.
Heckington’s George Tomlinson outscored Lewis Choularton 55-28 in the final frame for a consolation win.
The second semi was an exciting contest between Division Two Solo B at home to first division Legion A.
Solo B had reached the final five times, winning in 1994, 1998 and 2000, and beaten finalists in 2004 and 2013, while Legion A had been in two of the last three finals, winning in 2014.
Solo went ahead when Ryan Wright defeated Kevin Spry 72-35 in the opener, but Legion A levelled when Colin Brown outscored Fred Ainsworth, 64-37.
Marcus Hrubesch restored Solo’s lead by beating Chris Creasey, 66-33, before Legion levelled a second time with a 72-25 win for Paul Banks against Nick Kelly.
James Scott comfortably won the final frame decider, 66-16 against Tony Luck, to give Solo B a shock 3-2 win.