Portchester, Craneswater and Copnor A in battle to be named champions

Craneswater's Andy Boulton
Craneswater's Andy Boulton
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Three teams share top spot in division one of the Portsmouth Billiards League with just one week remaining, writes Graham Simper.

Leaders Portchester crumbled again as Craneswater beat them 7-0 at Castle Street.

Andy Boulton led by example with a visit of 58 as the Castlemen dithered.

Andy Macey and Matt James got close to stopping the rot, but Liam Melia and Simon Petrie had other ideas.

Rob Kirby set the early pace but the skipper and Melia stole the show – the latter chalked up two wins after the visitors turned up one short.

Copnor A joined Portchester and Craneswater at the top, despite their 5-2 defeat at Waterlooville D.

The result could have been a lot different had Tony Simmons and Mark Tillison enjoyed better luck against Harry Wilson and father Steve as they sneaked 200-197 wins.

Bill Phillips and Jamie Wilson were also on target for the Aston Road gang.

The city outfit were well served by Kevin Harding and Steve Toms.

Emma Bonney fought a losing battle as Ville A crashed 6-1 at Copnor B.

She hit 53, 44 and 31 to defeat Derek Foster.

Steve Hughes rolled in a 49 but lost by three against home skip John Wyatt.

Nigel Ward notched 53, 41 and 39 but was well beaten by Phil Ledington as he kept his cool with visits of 51 and 42.

Peter Rook, Norman Bradfield and John Oldfield were also happy home winners.

In division two, Bellair won promotion despite valiant efforts from Ray Axton.

He lost by one point to the capable Bill Parsons as the Havant outfit whitewashed Cowplain Misfits.

The London Road outfit have to be applauded for trying to learn the difficult three-ball game.

Skipper Ted Dowse and Dave Weedon had their moments but once again it was hard work against experience.

Gary Linter, Trevor Sanders (31), Andy Howell, Kenny Morgan and Steve Scott (33) deserved to be champions.

Waterlooville C finished as runners up, even after Cowplain B beat them 5-2 on their own tables.

Two earlier 4-3 victories gave them the verdict on head to head.

Gary Wilton and Rob Derry Jnr were happy despite the visitors coming away with a 5-2 triumph.

James Curtis, Roy Steere, Gary Curtis (30) and side-kick Pete Gorvin loved the conditions.