I don’t think anyone realised back in March 2019 that the South London & Kent Pool Alliance would not be playing team pool for another 16 months, but that is exactly what happened when the summer league started on 29 July. 


Luckily when the pandemic struck, the league only had some cup finals to contend, so with Bull Tavern winning the Founders Cup and New Eltham New Boys the League Cup 16 months later than scheduled, the SLKPA could return after two cancelled seasons. 


The 2021 summer season will comprise of just seven matches for each team to realign the calendar and start a full winter season on time, so without further ado here is the first SLKPA match report since March 2019. 


Hotshots were the last Elite League winners back in 2019 and they got off to a fantastic start in 2021 with a, 3-0 & 9-6 victory over Eltham Terrace Nuthouse. 


The champions took a, 3-0 lead, but Nuthouse pulled it back to, 3-2. 


They equalised with the opening frame of set two, but Hotshots restored a two-frame lead, before the last two frames of the set were shared, to put Hotshots, 2-0 & 6-4 in front. 


They took it to the hill with frame eleven, but Nuthouse won the next two for a, 2-1 lead in the set however, Hotshots won the last two frames to win each set by three frames to two, leaving Nuthouse pointless for all their efforts. 


Lee Suggs won both of his frames on his debut for Nuthouse in the SLKPA, but Richard Chapman went one better with an unbeaten hat-trick for Hotshots. 


This victory was only enough to put Hotshots in second place, as Sharks had a, 3-0 & 11-4 triumph over top division debutants New Eltham New Stars.


Sharks’ Captain, Rahat Munim led from the front, winning all three of his frames and he was joined by teammate Eno Idiong, achieving the same score. 


Steve Pearce did shine a star for the New Stars with a break and dish, but he had to share the limelight with Sharks’ Vu Son, who completed the same feat. 


Cocked Hats were fully justified in cocking their hats, recording a, 2-1 & 10-5 victory over Rose Inn, with Paul Donohoe cocking his hat the most, scoring a hat-trick. 


Bull Tavern followed up their Founders Cup win with a, 2-1 & 9-6 triumph over Rugrats. 


Bull won the first four frames to take the first set, but Ashley Hewson prevented the whitewash. 


Bruno Silva won frame six, with Pat Firth tying the set for Rugrats however, Phil O’Kane and Shane O’Reilly won the next two frames to give Bull the set and take them to the hill. 


Hewson was again the saviour preventing Bull from achieving the bonus point within the first two sets. 


Ian Cruwys made it two in a row for Rugrats with frame eleven, but Tony Gear gave Bull the bonus point with the next frame. 


There was another two in a row for Rugrats to give them the final set and Hewson just missed out on a hat-trick, going down to O’Kane in the final frame.


O’Kane, O’Reilly, and Gear were all unbeaten, winning both of their frames to give Bull six of their nine frames. 


 The early front runners in SLKPA Tier Two East are The Bears after an emphatic, 3-0 & 12-3 victory over Academicals. 


Each set went the same way with Bears taking the first frame and Academicals equalising before Bears took the last three frames for the set. 


Paul Doherty was the saviour for Academicals, winning all three of his frames to give his team their three frames. 


Also scoring hat-tricks were Dean James and Shane Burnett for The Bears, with Shane’s son Bradley winning his only frame. 


Following closely behind Bears are Sidcup Working Men’s Club, who recorded a, 3-0 & 11-4 triumph in their first SLKPA match against Bexleyheath Working Men’s Club. 


The other two matches in this division were hard fought affairs, both ending, 2-1 & 8-7. 


The first saw New Eltham New Boys travel to Falconwood Club and it was a true game of swings and roundabouts. 


Falconwood won two frames then New Boys won two, before Falconwood took the first set. 


Again, Falconwood took a two-frame lead with frame six, but New Boys clawed it back again with two on the bounce. 


The last two frames of the set were shared, giving it to New Boys and levelling the match at one set and five frames all. 


All to play for and New Boys took the lead for the first time with frame eleven however, Falconwood won the next two to edge back in front. 


Greg Fothergill won the penultimate frame to fittingly send it into a final frame decider, with Paul Baker holding his nerve over Michael Barnes to win it for Falconwood. 


With the match being so close, it’s not surprising that there was only one unbeaten player, New Boys’ new boy Dan Tatterstall, winning all three of his frames. 


The other close encounter was between Bellegrove Flyers and Happy Hustlers and the first two frames went to Flyers before Angie Hobbs pulled one back for Hustlers. 


The last two frames of the set were shared, giving Flyers a, 3-2 first set lead. 


The second set swung one way then the other, going to a deciding frame, which Keith Smith won to put Flyers, 2-0 & 6-4 in front. 


The last set went the same way as the second however, Reece Stewart won the deciding frame this time, to pull a set back for Hustlers. 


This time both teams had a hat-trick hero, Jason Brunton for Flyers and Hustlers’ Claire Stork. 


The other two teams from the Bellegrove, both playing in SLKPA Tier Two West started the season with victories as well. 


Like their namesake, Bellegrove got off to a flyer winning the first four frames against Fox & Hounds. 


It was just as well because they only had four players, giving Kerry Wyatt the fifth frame to prevent the set whitewash. 


The second set was much closer, with the first four frames being shared, before Kieron Evans took the set for Bellegrove, putting them on the hill. 


However, they had to wait until the penultimate frame to secure the bonus point, because Fox won the first three frames of the set giving them a point. 


Barry Barham made it, 2-1 & 9-6 to Bellegrove with the final frame and his third victory of the night.


James Couch made the four-man victory even more impressive by joining Barham on a hat-trick. 


Bellegrove A went one better than their sister side, beating Hustlers Daves, 3-0 & 10-5 in a match that was played in a great spirit by both sides for a wonderful start to the season. 


It was a much closer match than the score line suggests, as the first set wasn’t won until the fourth frame, with Daves pulling it back to 3-2 by winning the fifth. 


Then the second set went to a final frame decider, won by Ben Walsh to put Bellegrove, 2-0 & 6-4 ahead. 


The final set was more clear cut with Bellegrove taking the first two frames, before Sheldon D’Costa won his third of the night to prevent the set whitewash, as Bellegrove won the last two frames.


Bellegrove Captain, John Skuza won both of his frames, but teammate Peter Moult went one better with an unbeaten hat-trick. 


This result wasn’t enough for Bellegrove A to top the table, as Eltham Terrace Rack Pack racked up a, 3-0 & 13-2 triumph over Farmhouse. 


Rack Pack took the first four frames before Farmhouse could reply.


They then won eight frames on the bounce to take maximum points, including a whitewashed second set, before the last two frames were shared. 


As you would expect, Rack Pack had several unbeaten players, as Sam Kinsville and Chris Parlett won two frames each, with Parlett’s including a seven-baller, but Steve Heather and Tony Frost recorded hat-tricks. 


Farmhouse had John Denahy to thank for winning both of their frames. 


Even this result was not enough to put Rack Pack top of the pack in this division, as Pickwick got off to an almost perfect start against Original Hustlers. 


John Hurd won the first frame for Hustlers, but that would be it for them, as Pickwick showed their class and won the remaining fourteen frames for an impressive, 3-0 & 14-1 thrashing.


The Pickwick punished all of Hustlers mistakes, with Paul Dawson, Paul Gafa, Martin Storey, and Dave Pile all scoring three out of three.


For more information on the SLKPA, including league tables visit our website at www.slkpa.com or contact our Secretary, Paul Gafa on 07443 456662 or secretary@slkpa.com with any queries.

The league is always looking at potential sponsors and any interested parties can also contact Paul Gafa.