Call for handicaps gathers pace

Colin Norton
Colin Norton
Matt Small. Picture: Neil Marshall

Craneswater’s winning run is at an end

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The debate regarding handicaps in the Portsmouth Snooker League rages on.

The system is currently in operation in only one of the league’s four divisions.

But with champions-elect Gosport 147 already virtually assured of the division one title, there has been fresh calls for a major revamp and the introduction of handicaps at every level of the local game.

In division four, where handicaps are used, leaders Copnor Cue Stars have a near-identical record to Copnor Xcels but have benefited from the system used.

Divisions two and three remain closely contested.

Cowplain A top division two, while Craneswater Z head division three – yet several teams in the respective chasing packs remain in contention.

However, the writing is already on the wall for the top-flight title race.

Former Fareham-based side Gosport 147 are head and shoulders above all but two of their rivals.

And despite being without Alex Dunkley and Mick Finn, while Adam Bobat has only one game, they still have a four-point lead with a game in hand.

It’s common knowledge that there can be pitfalls when handicaps are used.

The not-so-talented might beat someone better than them.

The best team may also not claim the top honours, but past history shows that the cream usually rises to the top.

North End, Copnor A and Portsmouth A have all still triumphed in the past.

Handicaps are used in the Gosport League but it has taken a while to get things right.

Top-player Colin Norton had to concede a 70 start in one of his recent games and made a break of 102.

However, his opponent still had a chance to sink the pink and black for an unlikely success.

The jury is out but recently a long-serving committee stalwart refused to play a second frame after being blasted by 80 by a top performer in division three.

Strange to say, but he still doesn’t want handicaps.

Meanwhile, top cueists in the Portsmouth League have come under fire from England ace Colin Norton.

Norton is a top performer at snooker and billiards and wonders why the league’s best potters fail to leave the city’s limits to test their skills in top competitions around the country.

n Fareham Snooker Club is the venue for an open shoot-out on Saturday, January 19.

From an expected entry of 32, the top prize will be £350.

However, there is one hitch – the entry fee of £25 is a lot more than the sponsored competitions in Portsmouth.

The runner-up will receive £100, then it’s £50 and £25 down to the last eight.

To enter the competition, simply come along to Fareham Snooker Club on the day by 10.15am, then pay and play.

A similar event in November was won by rising-star Adam Bobat.

He beat Southampton’s Nick Jennings to pocket the title and prize money.