The South London & Kent Pool Alliance returned after the Christmas break and the first games of the year were in the cup competitions, with the second round of the Founder’s Cup and round one of the Silver Salver. 

In the Founder’s Cup the biggest gap between opponents was Division Two’s Bexleyheath Raiders versus Pickwick from the Premier Division, with 22 places between the teams. 

The game turned out to be a comedy of errors and Pickwick could have been accused of not taking the game seriously, as Raiders were, 7-5 up with three frames to go.

Raiders only needed one frame for a massive giant killing, but Pickwick were still confident they could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, with Paul Dawson, Paul Gafa and Louis Wilbourne left to play. 

However, Raiders shocked everyone by taking the first of those three frames to beat their Premier Division opponents, 8-5 to go into the third round. 

The closest distance between two teams came as the top two in the top division, Hotshots and Rugrats faced each other and the match was every bit as close as their positions in the table would suggest. 

First blood went to the league leaders Hotshots, with Joe Kelly and Tony Gear winning the opening two frames but Shane O’Reilly and Steve Gibson tied the match, before Elliott Giles won the set decider, giving Hotshots a, 3-2 lead. 

The first two frames in the second set were shared, then Ryan Francis and Richard Chapman put Hotshots, 6-3 ahead. 

Gibson and O’Reilly brought that back to, 6-5 before Francis recorded an unbeaten brace to put Hotshots on the hill. 

Ashley Hewson brought Rugrats back to within a frame, but Tony Wilson sealed the victory for Hotshots, 8-6. 

Gibson was the only unbeaten player for Rugrats, on the other hand Hotshots had three, Francis on a brace, with Chapman and Giles winning their only frames. 

There was one other all Premier Division tie in the Founder’s Cup, as bottom of the table, Bellegrove A hosted third placed Sharks and it was the higher placed team that booked their place in the quarter-final with an, 8-4 triumph. 

The only other game where a lower division team beat one from a higher division came as Hurricanes Reborn played Eltham Terrace Rack Pack, where only four places across two divisions, one and two, separated the teams. 

As the lower division team, Hurricanes hosted with some trepidation, but hoped to give a good account of themselves and Rack Pack gave them a boost when they arrived with only four players. 

The match started off going to form with Rack Pack taking the first two frames, before Charles French played an excellent frame to pull one back for Hurricanes.

Rack Pack’s Liju Thomas won a nervy frame with a brilliantly cut black along the rail, before Hurricanes were given frame five to end the first set, 3-2 behind.

Charles French levelled the match with frame six, but Thomas won his second of the night to nudge Rack Pack back into the lead. 

Mark Simnett made it, 5-3 then Arif Salih won a vital frame for Hurricanes, before the bye made it all square at five all going into the final set. 

Salih put Hurricanes in the lead for the first time in the match with frame eleven and Charles French was handed a bye for his hat-trick to put Hurricanes on the hill.

Tony Frost kept Rack Pack fighting with a hard-fought frame thirteen, before Hurricanes’ Captain Kevin England played a solid frame and just managed to see a very fine edge to knock the black in and clinch a shock, 8-6 cup upset. 

The biggest margin of victory came as sixth in the first division, New Eltham New Boys played seven places above them in the Premier Division, Eltham Terrace Nuthouse, with the Premier Division team winning, 8-1. 

Fifth in Division One, Bellegrove Flyers took on third in Division Two, Goodfellows and won, 8-6 to go through to the next round. 

There were two games that went to the wire, with top of the first division, Duke of Northumberland taking fourth in the Premier Division, Bellegrove all the way, before Bellegrove just edged it, 8-7. 

In the other match that went all the way, fourth in Division Two, Farmhouse hosted Cue-Ologists, who were third in the first division and this match was much closer than the gap suggests, with each set being won by the odd frame, 3-2. 

The first four frames were shared, before Lacey Denahy held her nerve to take the set and give Farmhouse a shock, 3-2 lead. 

The second set swung one way then the other and it was a night for the female players, as Rachel Howard won the deciding frame of this set to level the match at one set and five frames all. 

Chris McKenzie won frame eleven, his third frame of the night to put Cue-Ologists in the lead for the first time in the match. 

John Denahy also scored a hat-trick for Farmhouse to tie the match once again, before Simon Platt nudged Cue-Ologists back into the lead. 

The penultimate frame saw Lacey Denahy take on Rachel Howard, so one of the ladies would be winning another frame. 

Howard was looking to win the match for Cue-Ologists, but it was Denahy who won to send the match into a deciding frame. 

The two captains, Barrie Blake and Stephen Maeers battled it out, with Maeers holding out to give Cue-Ologists the, 8-7 triumph. 

Round One of the Silver Salver covers the teams that were knocked out in the first round of the Founder’s Cup and there were six ties. 

There was one whitewash as Bears beat Bell Ya Later, 8-0 which was quite surprising as both teams are in Division One with eight places and 26 points between them.

Premier Division, New Eltham New Stars almost got a whitewash against Division Two’s, The Con Men, but the team 18 places below their opponents managed to score one frame in the, 8-1 defeat. 

There were ten places over two divisions between Plough & Harrow and Academicals and it was the higher placed team, Academicals who secured a place in the next round with an, 8-2 triumph. 

Second from bottom of the Premier Division, Falconwood Club hosted top of Division Two, Eltham Terrace Tigers, with twelve places between the teams and Tigers were hoping their winning momentum would stand them in good stead. 

Jamie White kicked things off for Falconwood with the opening frame however, James Cooke, Gary Smith and Lee Gladdish won the next three frames to give Tigers a shock, 3-1 lead. 

Luke Matthews and White levelled the match, before Gladdish and John Ly restored Tigers two frame advantage. 

The last two frames of the second set went to Ian Stringer and Matthews to make the game all square at one set and five frames all going into the final set. 

With his hat-trick, White put Falconwood into the lead for the first time since he did it in frame one and Stringer followed that up with a win to put his team on the hill. 

Gary Smith delayed the celebrations for Falconwood, but Akar Necati sealed the, 8-6 triumph with the penultimate frame. 

Ninth placed, White Hart played Sundridge Park Working Men’s Club in sixth, both from Division Two and it was the bottom club who had the better start, winning the first set, 3-2 with Charlie Liddiard, Louie Hopper and Noel Corbett taking their frames. 

The first two frames of the second set were shared, but Simon McEvilly, Dave Sparey and Elise Norris won the next three to give Sundridge Park a, 6-4 lead going into the final set. 

Alex Hodinitu and Corbett tied the match for White Hart however, Paul and Spencer Martin took the next two frames, giving Sundridge Park the, 8-6 victory without the need for the last frame. 

The final match of the round was the closest we got to an upset in the Silver Salver, as ninth place in Division One, Blackheath Sports Club played Downham Tavern Terrors in fourth, with 21 points between them. 

Blackheath had not won a league match all season and had lost in the first round of the Founder’s Cup however, they narrowly won their first match of the season, 8-7 to progress to the next round of the Silver Salver. 

The losers from round two of the Founder’s Cup will join the winners from the first round of the Silver Salver in round two on 22 January, with the next round, quarter-final of both competitions on 8 February. 

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

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