THREE thrilling 3-2 matches with a sprinkling of high breaks lit up the fifth round of games in the Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League.
League leader Gary Hart (Porton) admitted he “didn’t get a sniff at a ball for the first two frames” as defending champion John Hunter (Andover) took over top spot.
Hunter opened with a run of 59, raced to a 2-0 lead and secured the win bonus on the blue in a close third frame at Salisbury Snooker Club.
“It was looking bleak in the fourth frame too,” admitted Hart.
Remarkably, Hunter compiled a 55 but, with five reds left, Hart replied with a 50 and cut the frame-ball pink in after his opponent missed a difficult thin snick.
After collecting the point for the fifth frame, Hart was pipped by Paul Burt (Britford).
Hart, leading by 22 on the colours in the final frame, said that Burt “pulled off a brilliant 27 clearance” to secure the 3-2 victory.
Martin Hill (Durrington) was involved in another drama as he opened up a 2-0 lead over Nick Bevan (Salisbury) with a 33 break.
However, the momentum of the match changed in the third frame when Bevan chalked up a run of 34. He then levelled and kicked off the decider with a 37. Hill was left chasing snookers with two reds remaining.
Neil Carroll (Southampton) posted breaks of 30 and 38 in his 4-1 victory over Richard Arnold (Salisbury).
And Bishopdown teenager Callum McDonald is still seeking his first frame in his debut season.
The plucky 14-year-old made a 21 break in his 5-0 defeat by Hunter, who knocked in a 57.
Results: Richard Arnold 1 Neil Carroll 4, Callum McDonald 0 John Hunter 5, Nick Bevan 3 Martin Hill 2, Gary Hart 2 John Hunter 3, Gary Hart 2 Paul Burt 3.
Highest break: Richard Arnold 64.