IF RICHARD Swaffield does land his first Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League title, he may reflect on a most unlikely victory over Trevor Pittman.
Second-placed Swaffield (pictured) fought back from 2-0 down, leveled with a 50 break, needed a snooker in the decider, fluked the blue and won a re-spotted black.
The 42-year-old admitted he “scraped” the 3-2 win in the three-hour rearranged game at Salisbury Snooker Club and added: “I think the run evened out in the match.”
Pittman, who made a 44 in the third frame and still lost it, said: “Overall, it was a really enjoyable game with fortunes fluctuating throughout.”
Swaffield, now one point behind John Hunter, later recorded runs of 40, 39 and 39 while beating Richard Arnold (Salisbury) 5-0.
Meanwhile, Alex Thorn gave eight-time and defending champion Hunter a “thumping” – at least in the first frame.
Without a point to his name, Hunter conceded with two reds left and then trailed by more than 30 in the second.
But the league leader from Andover responded with breaks of 44 and 55 to run out a 4-1 winner.
“I could quite easily have been 2-0 up,” said Thorn (Shrewton). “I really put the pressure on.
“On the whole, I’m pleased with how I played. It’s not often that you can hammer John in any frame.”
Neil Herd (Frome, Somerset) conceded defeat in the title race after dropping two frames to Callum McDonald (Bishopdown).
Herd, now two points adrift in third place, compiled runs of 45, 43 and 35 in his 3-2 win but said: “I basically threw any chance I had of winning the South Wilts away. It was very, very poor.”
The top three have yet to play each other.
Steve Ashton (Salisbury) made a 31 in his 4-1 victory over Martin Hill (Durrington), who said: “The match was a struggle. Steve deserved the win.”
Ally Pollard (Alderholt) lost the third frame on a re-spotted black and never really got going in a 5-0 defeat by Paul Burt (Britford).
And Anthony Rice (Fordingbridge), who made a 55 break in the first frame and led 3-0, said Pittman “played well” to bring it back to 3-2.
Results: Alex Thorn 1 John Hunter 4, Paul Burt 5 Ally Pollard 0, Martin Hill 1 Steve Ashton 4, Richard Swaffield 5 Richard Arnold 0, Richard Swaffield 3 Trevor Pittman 2, Trevor Pittman 2 Anthony Rice 3, Neil Herd 3 Callum McDonald 2.
Report and picture by Tim Dunkley.