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Final frames cost impressive Andover Inter League Pool team
THE Andover Pool League has a great number of superb players and a vast amount of experience.
The quality of pool attracts players from various towns and counties but the Andover Interleague team run from the Southampton Arms has proven this year that they can compete at the highest level on any competition stage in the country.
The team, made up of players from the Queens Charlotte, Merlin and Southampton Arms, travelled to Great Yarmouth earlier this month to compete in the interleague finals along with teams from Basingstoke and Portsmouth.
Craig Rees dug in to get Andover off to a great start in a tough group against Cannock Chase and, with clearances from John Francis and Richard Swaffield, were soon 3 - 0 up.
Chris Hutchinson, Paul Hughes, Richard Swaffield and John Francis won both frames in the first match, and excellent wins from John Heredge and Rees saw a 10-8 victory secured in the four-hour match.
Cannock Chase overcame Dinnington to leave Andover needing nine frames from their second match to go on to the last 32.
In the second match Andover trailed as Rees lost the first frame but Francis cleared to level and Swaffield put Andover ahead 2-1, sharing the next two frames.
But Andover suddenly found themselves in trouble as the referee asked the team to play on two tables and, in a blink of an eye, they trailed 6-3.
A massive push was needed and Andover responded to bring the match back from the jaws of defeat. Sean Curtis was placed in the firing line but took the frame in style to put Andover through to the last 32.
Then Andover led 3-2 against TT and the lead changed hands until they came out of the first half 5-4 winners.
With wins for Francis, Hughes and Churchill the second half stood 8-8 – down to the last two frames.
But it was not to be for Andover as TT took them to win 10-8 and go through to the last 16.