Arms prove too strong for defending champions

From left: Pairs winners Lee Smith and Les Rance, with runners-up Darren Barnes and Darrell Manchip

Portsmouth individuals final is a Barnes-stormer

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Druids Arms A staged a massive upset as they knocked top-flight champions Admiral Drake B out of the Denise Neale Challenge Cup at the semi-final stage.

The division E outfit overcame an early deficit against the defending champions to take control of the match.

And they eventually ran out 6-3 winners to ensure the trophy would have a new home.

Gary Collis had won the opener for Drake.

But the Druids Arms side then put themselves in command with Connor Smith, Brian Dickson and John Rogers firing them 3-1 up.

Sam Head and Lee Smith pulled legs back for Drake as they fought to keep their hopes of lifting the silverware alive.

But it was to no avail as Darren Maplesden, Neil Hallett and Ken Horn sealed an impressive 6-3 win for the underdogs.

Druids will now be looking to overcome another division A side in the final.

They will go toe-to-toe with Jolly Taxpayer C for the title after their 6-3 triumph over Froddington Arms of division D.

Froddington took a 3-1 lead courtesy of Sean Hickley, Dave Lock and Richard Baker.

Only Andy Newcombe could provide any early resistance from Taxpayer as the pressure mounted.

But it was one-way traffic from there on as Derek Banks, Steve Ockendon, Rob White, Jim Mortimer and Steve Humby propelled Taxpayer into the next round.

Newcome Arms B booked their place in the final of the Ron Neale Shield with the eponymous Ron Neale fittingly sealing a 5-4 victory over Lord Chichester A.

Keith Sault opened proceedings for Chichester.

But Newcome wasted no further time in securing the win as Ivan Lowden, Gary Tobitt, Asa Norris and Tony Price were all on the mark leaving Neale to take the glory.

Chichester took the remaining ties – to make the scoreline more respectable – thanks to Curt Lambing, Bob Ketchen and Terry Dugan.

Stag B emerged victorious from the other semi-final, coming from behind to beat Lord Chichester B 5-4.

Stag took a 2-0 lead with wins from Steve Clarke and Dion Jukes before Mike Feaver, John Madgwick jnr and Paul Haines put Chichester ahead.

Mark Cunningham, Matt Jeffrey and Mark Barnes gave Stag an insurmountable lead.

And their efforts left Steve Ketchen to take the last leg as a consolation for Chichester.

Division A’s Old House at Home B are looking for new players for the winter season.

Contact Colin McKean (023) 9269 1879 or 07530 093429.