The Rother Valley League is now at the quarter final stage of the two knock-out cup tournaments. In the Micklethwaite Pairs Mick Brooks and James Houghton met up with fellow clubmates from Mason Arms Mick Foster and Dave Asher. Was it going to be friendly rivalry or full on competitive battle? The former pair started the night with an 11 point advantage on the handicap system. Brooks set the tone by seeing off Asher four games to zero and gaining 20 points back. Then the tables were turned and Foster defeated Houghton 3 to 1. The doubles just went the way of Houghton and Brookes by 3 points and then Houghton pulled back another 28 points for his pair. Last match. Foster versus Brooks and a gap of 24 points to make up for Foster. Despite winning the set three games to one he only managed to pick up an 8 point advantage meaning Houghton and Brooks won the night by 16 points and through to the semi-finals.
In the team event Phoenix A took on Clifton B in their quarter final. Craig Straw, Mick Bell and Phil Walton turned out for the home team with a mountain to climb needing well over a hundred points to catch up and beat their opponents. All three won their first matches picking up 17, 31 and 9 points respectively from their sets. Russ Drayton decided he would put a stop to this and managed to gain 7 points back from Bell. But that was the last positive points count for Clifton as Drayton, Ken Alvey and Julie Beaumont lost out by a margin of 32 points at the end. A good victory for Phoenix; Clifton struggling despite the handicap system giving them a sizeable advantage at the start.
Mason Arms A, sitting next to top of the top division had to fend off the challenge of Scorpions I, in the symmetrically opposite position of next to bottom of the lowest division. James Houghton, Mick Brooks and Mick Foster had to give a whopping 312 point start to the youngsters Adam Szabo, Lewis Ellams and Finlay Wootton of Scorpions who have already knocked out Scorpions A, the League leaders. So was this to be another giant slaying? All the boys had to do was get 2 or 3 points per game for victory. Houghton beat Szabo 11-1, 11-2, 11-1, 11-2 to set the tone. Brooks did the same to Wootton 3, 2, 0, 0. But Ellams put up a fight getting 6 and 4 in his first two games against Foster. At the half- way stage Masons had pulled back 159 points only 3 points ahead of target. Thus it continued to the last set between Houghton and Wootton. Wootton needed just 15 points from the four games. But Mick Foster showed his vast experience and did not succumb to the pressure giving Masons a victory by just 7 points.
The semi-final line up will be Scorpions C versus Phoenix A and Scorpions G versus Mason Arms A. Both will be very interesting and should be close encounters.