Week 18 and the final league week of the South London & Kent Pool Alliance winter season, and all the league positions yet to be decided were finalised. 

In Division One Bell Ya Later will finish bottom and be relegated, whereas Duke of Northumberland had sealed promotion, but they were still looking to clinch the league title and all other positions were also up for grabs. 

Cue-Ologists were only four points away from the promotion play-off spot and ten points away from automatic promotion however, they were up against the league leaders, Duke of Northumberland. 

Cue-Ologists had a fantastic start with Simon Platt, Chris McKenzie, Steve Aldridge, and Rachel Howard taking the first four frames, before Paul Clements prevented the set whitewash. 

That was the catalyst for the comeback, as they not only whitewashed the next set, but Phil Tworek, Clements, with his hat-trick, and Sam Kinsville won the first three frames of the last set, making it nine in a row to win the match. 

The last two frames went to Cue-Ologists to make the final score, 9-6.

Downham Tavern Terrors had had a fantastic season and were in second place, eleven points behind Duke, so had an outside chance of catching them, but they went to Eltham Terrace Rack Pack in sixth, who could still be dragged into the relegation dogfight. 

Terrors came away with a, 9-6 triumph, which meant that Duke were crowned Division One champions and Rack Pack avoided relegation however, would Terrors join Duke in the Premier Division next season?

They were tussling with Cue-Ologists and Bears and we know how Cue-Ologists got on, but how would Bears affect the situation with their game against Blackheath Sports Club?

There was a lot on the line going into the last match of the season for both teams, Blackheath were eleven points away from avoiding relegation and Bears six points from automatic promotion. 

Bears had much the better start with Gary Heath, Jeff Bailey, and Gary Mason winning the first three frames to give them the set. 

Blackheath Captain, Kerry Wyatt prevented the set whitewash, before Dean James took the fifth frame for a, 4-1lead. 

Alan Dolan pulled one back for Blackheath, but Bailey and Mason won again to give Bears a, 6-2 advantage. 

Blackheath were not lying down, and Wyatt and Joe Kane won frames nine and ten, to give their team the set and shorten the deficit to, 6-4. 

The first two frames of the last set were shared, meaning Bears only needed one of the last three for victory, and having won his first two, Mason made it three out of three with the thirteenth, giving his team the win. 

Frame fourteen saw Wyatt take on Shane Burnett for the third time, but the hat-trick wasn’t to be, as Burnett pulled one back in their personal battle. 

Bears also took the last frame for a final score of, 10-5 condemning Blackheath to relegation, but what would their fate be?

So, Duke won the division, Terrors were eleven points behind in second, five points behind them and in the play-off spot were Bears, with Cue-Ologists just missing out eight points behind in fourth. 

At the bottom of the table, Blackheath finished 16 points ahead of Bell Ya Later, but joined them in relegation, and the remaining place was between New Eltham New Boys and Academicals, with six points between them. 

New Boys hosted Bellegrove Flyers in fifth place, with an outside chance of the play-off spot however, New Boys squeezed an, 8-7 triumph to keep up their hopes of avoiding relegation while crushing Flyers’ dreams. 

This result put New Boys two points ahead of Academicals, so they need at least three frames against Bell Ya Later, which they got with a, 9-6 triumph to avoid relegation and condemn New Boys. 

The biggest battle in SLKPA Division Two was the one for the wooden spoon, who would finish bottom of the table?

The contenders were Plough & Harrow and just one point ahead White Hart, after they beat Plough last week to leapfrog them. 

White Hart hosted Hurricanes Reborn in fourth place and were fighting for the last promotion place, so it was going to be tough. 

As expected, Hurricanes dominated and won the match, 10-5 to keep up their chance of promotion however, White Hart were now six points ahead of Plough. 

Plough were also at home and faced Bexleyheath Raiders, who were only two places, but also 20 points ahead of them. 

This didn’t trouble Plough, and they not only scored the seven frames that would lift them off the bottom of the table, but they went one better with an, 8-7 triumph, to leave White Hart with the wooden spoon. 

Back at the top of the table, we were looking to see who would be finishing behind Eltham Terrace Tigers and The Con Men, who were already in first and second, and join them in promotion. 

Potentially, there were four teams who could finish in third; Hurricanes were in fourth, one point behind third and they had already done their chances a world of good with their, 10-5 victory, Goodfellows held third place but they hosted Farmhouse in fifth, and Sundridge Park Working Men’s Club had the league leaders visit them.

Not only did Tigers secure promotion last week, but they also clinched the league title, as the only team who could catch them, The Con Men didn’t have a game this week. 

This was just as well because they arrived at Sundridge Park with only three players this week. 

Sundridge Park were just seven points away from a promotion spot, so still had an outside chance. 

Young Slok Patel got Sundridge Park off to a great start with the first frame and they were given the second. 

John Ly put Tigers first frame on the board, but that would be their only frame of the set, with Sundridge Park taking a, 4-1 lead. 

Dave Sparey was given his second frame of the night to make it, 5-1 then all three Tigers’ players, Stephen Unwin, Ly, and Lee Gladdish won, to give them the set and pull the game back to, 6-4. 

This effectively gave Sundridge Park the match, as they would be given two frames in the final set, but how many more would they get? 

After Sundridge Park were given the first frame of the set, Unwin pulled it back to, 7-5 and Ly won his third frame of the night for, 7-6. 

Sparey then won the first frame he played for his hat-trick to make the final score, 9-6. 

Despite their great victory it wasn’t quite enough for Sundridge Park to achieve promotion, but they have had a great first winter season in the league. 

Could Goodfellows or Farmhouse catch Hurricanes and secure the last promotion spot?

It was an outside chance for Farmhouse as they needed a, 15-0 whitewash, but it wasn’t going to be easy for Goodfellows either, as they needed to score at least ten frames, and that’s exactly what they did, with a 10-5 victory over Farmhouse to secure promotion alongside Tigers and The Con Men. 

In the SLKPA Premier Division the excitement was at the bottom of the table, with none of the places already decided. 

The bottom two played each other, as Bellegrove A hosted New Eltham New Stars, with twelve points between them, so Bellegrove needed a big win to avoid relegation, and unfortunately for them it didn’t happen, with New Stars winning, 10-5. 

Not only did this result condemn Bellegrove to relegation, but it lifted New Stars out of the relegation play-off spot above Eltham Terrace Nuthouse by two points, and Nuthouse didn’t have a game this week. 

This put Falconwood Club into the play-off place, needing five points to lift them above Nuthouse, and they hosted Pickwick this week. 

There was only eight points and two places between the teams, and this game was very close, with Pickwick just edging it, 8-7. 

This was enough to lift Falconwood into sixth, nine points behind their opponents and leave Nuthouse in the relegation play-off spot. 

Having won the league title last week, Hotshots went to second place Sharks with them needing three points to hold on to the runners up spot.  

As expected, this was a close game with each set being won by the odd frame, 3-2. 

The first set swung one way then the other, before Danny Kelliher took the set deciding frame to put Hotshots in the lead for the first time in the match, 3-2. 

Hotshots were determined to hold onto the lead, taking the first three frames of the second set to go, 6-2 up. 

Paul Cook and Alex Biggs won the last two frames of the set to bring the score back to, 6-4. 

Tony Gear won the match for Hotshots with his third win of the night in frame twelve and Elliott Giles made it, 9-4 with the next frame. 

The last two frames went to Sharks making the final score, 9-6 which was more than enough to keep them in second place. 

Just behind Sharks were Rugrats in third and Bellegrove in fourth and they played each other this week. 

Going into this match these teams couldn’t have been closer, as they were both on 122 points and Rugrats were ahead by just one more victory. 

This was reflected in the match, with each set going to a deciding frame. 

The first set swung to and fro before Dan Heinink won the deciding frame to give Bellegrove the first set, 3-2. 

Dylan Suggars and Pat Firth won the first two frames of the second set to push Rugrats into the lead for the first time in the match. 

However, Nick Steadman, Adam Coppen and Heinink won the next three frames to give Bellegrove the set and a, 6-4 lead going into the final set. 

Sean Hennessy and Coppen took frames eleven and twelve to give Bellegrove the match. 

Shane O’Reilly and Aaron Shepherd tied the set, before Heinink won his third frame of the night to make the final score, 9-6 and put Bellegrove in third with Rugrats fourth. 

That’s the end of the SLKPA league season, congratulations to all the winners, as the league look towards the culmination of the season with the cup competitions and play-off. 

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

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