Copnor Xcels stay cool to seal impressive victory against Craneswater A in Peter Rook League Cup final

Dean Russell held his nerve to grab the final two frames as Copnor Xcels beat the big guns of Craneswater A 7-5 to win the Portsmouth & District Snooker League Peter Rook Cup.

Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 5:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 7:24 pm
Copnor Xcels lifted the cup. Left to right: Dave Gowing, Andy Chambers, Wayne Laxton, Tony Horten, captain Sam Laxton, Jason Russell and Dean Russell.

The final proved to be a close battle with some high-quality play, writes Steve Toms.

Craneswater got off to a flyer as Mike Talmondt hardly missed a ball but still had to give Jason Russell of the Xcels a 60 point start. That didn’t phase the man from Craneswater who won the first frame without reply and then carried on in the second frame to win both, with breaks of 37, 45 and a 58 clearance for a 2-0 lead.

The second game of the night was a tight affair as Mick Kirby, of Craneswater, played Wayne Laxton, of Xcels.

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Laxton knocked in the pink and the black to take the first frame.

In the second frame it was left to Laxton who made the decisive move potting the last of the colours to take both frames and make it 2-2.

In game three Pedro Ferguson, of Craneswater, took on the young captain of the Xcels which was Sam Laxton.

Both players traded frames to keep the match level at 3-3.

Craneswater captain Andy Boulton played Tony Horten from Xcels in game four.

It looked like the momentum in the match was swinging the way of the big guns.

Boulton bagged a double to make it 5-3.

Pressure was now on Xcels and Andy Chambers made the most of his 35 start against Rob Kirby as he hit back to make it 5-5.

Now it was all to play for in game six and Dean Russell got the better of Craneswater’s Colin Rowe in a tight first frame to put the Xcels 6-5 up.

That meant it was all set for the Xcels to win or at least take the match to a play-off.

The second frame took the same process as the first but Rowe looked a bit better as he kept his 25-point lead going into the second half of the frame.

But Dean Russell played some good match-play snooker taking the points when he could and gradually clawed his way back into the frame.

It was a telling moment as he potted the last few colours to make Rowe need snookers which he failed to get.

That double for Dean Russell made it 7-5 as Copnor Xcels celebrated an impressive victory.