THERE is no change at the top of the Stourbridge Snooker League Premier Division with the first four teams all recording comfortable 4-1 victories.

Townsend Social still lead Pockets SC A by 5 points after beating Brandhall Labour, with Karl Ashmore extending his record to 13 wins from 15 frames. Paul Caldeira earned a consolation point for Brandhall with a good win against Jamie Spence.

Pockets SC A beat their B team convincingly, the closest frame being won by Tom Pepperall, who was taken to the pink by Gareth Ward. Earlier Jamie Shuck had again potted really well against Wayne Dobson to take a single frame for the B team.

Although Steve Mason, with a break of 40, gave Norton A a good start at Hotshots SC, the third-placed team responded well through Callum Downing, who had a break of 63, Bal Sembi a 45, and Dawid Konior and Mark Sutton, who narrowly inflicted only the 3rd defeat on Andy Smith.

Hotshots, the defending champions, are 11 points behind the leaders with five games remaining, and two points ahead of Baggeridge Social A, who came away from Norton Social B with a 4-1 win. Jason Hickman had a break of 40, Eliott Bastable a couple of 30+ breaks, although Tony Brown stepped in to take something from the match for the hosts by defeating Maria Catalano.

West Midlands Police, champions in 2016 and 2017, have struggled for form all season, but finally produced their best collective display by taking all five frames at home to St John’s Social. Such was their dominance that only one frame, Mark Sheehan’s against Nick Carson, went to the colours. The result lifted them clear of the relegation zone, where Pockets B, Norton B & Stourbridge Institute A, whose match at Amblecote Inst A was postponed, are separated by just two points.

First Division report: The joint leaders both won 4-1 and remain two points clear of the field with 8 matches remaining. Bearwood Cons beat the bottom team Wombourne at home, with Paul Gibson recording a break of 38, although Dave Flavell hit back for the visitors, who had won their last two league matches.

The other joint leaders, Kingswinford Cons C, had a more eventful match but ran out with the same 4-1 scoreline at home against Kinver Constitutional B. Les Cross gave the visitors hope by handing Wayne Whitmore only his 3rd defeat, but Sam Porter’s black against Adam Sprague, who had cleared to the pink for 34, levelled the scores. K’ford Cons’ Leigh Bennett recovered from 31 adrift of Marcus Hines, with only 27 on, doubling the black to win, and Adam Coley and John Cartwright, with a little less drama, secured the other frames to keep their team level with Bearwood.

The two third-placed team faced each other and Kinver Constitutional A beat Moor Pool & Snooker 4-1. Jim Woodhouse, with his 11th win in a row, and Dean Banks, successful in 10 of his last 11, put Kinver 2-0 ahead before Graham Tranter and Paul Churchman made it 4-0. Ian Priest rescued a frame for the visitors, who are now 4 points further back in 4th place.

Baggeridge Social B were surprisingly beaten 3-2 at home by Kingswinford Cons B, and have to be content with a share of 4th place. Steve Small, with visits of 38 and 22, was in top form for the Cons, while Mark Reece won narrowly before Martin Wilson achieved one of his best ever results by taking the decider against Luke Whale, normally so effective on his home table.

At Bahia’s SC, a new high break target for the division was set by the home team’s Adam Boswell, whose great effort of 71 against Old Edwardians’ Chris Cowley reinforced his position as joint leader of “most wins” along with Bearwood’s John Chester. Reece Bahia, just one win behind those two, also won easily but Old Eds had the final say when Gavin Dunn, Harry Hall & Simon Tyler won the other three tight frames.

Yet another closely-fought match saw Amblecote Institute B succeed 4-1 away to Kingswinford Cons A, but Alan Moore, Sam Harrison and Mick Cook all had to go to the final black to take the honours. Mark Colbourne also won, and all of this happened after Thomas Male had put the Cons ahead.

Second Division report: Amblecote Institute D took another stride towards clinching the Second Division championship with a straightforward 4-1 win at home to Stourbridge Institute C. Carl Butcher’s 15th win in 17 frames lifted him into a share of the most wins leader-board. The visitors fought hard however and Alan Jeffries earned them a point with success against Mark Robson.

The two rivals for the runners-up spot both won 3-2 and are now 12 points behind the leaders. Steve, Sam and Jack Ball of Old Edwardians’ B returned to their former club, Amblecote RBL, to open up a 3-0 lead before Steve Norton and Billy Green, who joined Carl Butcher with 15/17 wins replied. Amblecote Institute C also won 3-2 away to Stourbridge Institute C to remain a point behind Old Eds: Colin Homer, on the black, Ray Vanes and Gerald Lyons just did enough, with Dominic Bacciocchi & Paul Robinson, both continuing to enjoy good first seasons, responding for the hosts. Cary Homer was unable to play for the visitors in this fixture, losing his chance to reach 15 wins as well, but 4 matches remain, so there remains all to play for.

Should the 2nd and 3rd teams falter, Kingswinford Snooker Centre could step in following their latest 3-2 result at home to Bahia’s SC B. Steve Ballinger, Jamie Westwood and Steve Hill won but Paul Craig, and Chris Whitehouse, who did well to beat Paul Curry, deserve credit for taking points for league newcomers, Bahia’s.