Jeff Burn and Craig Kane keep pairs title

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JEFF BURN and Craig Kane retained their Sunderland pairs title with victory against Darren Dowell and Lee Dixon of the Duck.

The Green Baize pairing, as reigning champions, had to give a start of 17 to the Duck pair, who had performed well in the earlier rounds beating some strong teams along the way.

A steady but slow start by both teams in the first fame was to be expected, but slowly the Baize reduced the deficit and a difficult plant by Kane failed after a break of 14.

With only one red left, the Duck took the early colours and played some excellent snookers to come back into the frame before Burn took the last three colours to take an early advantage.

Missed chances by both teams in the second suggested they were unsure of the speed of the table, and it was rather scrappy for long periods of the frame. Burn, with a 15, and Kane, with a 16, inched their team 13 ahead with one red on the table and it was Burn who sealed the frame by holding his nerve by claiming the colours.

The Duck made a fine start in the third frame, building a lead of 27 before the Baize responded to reduce the deficit.

Burn then had a 27 break to go 13 ahead but a revived Dixon was unlucky when his break broke down on 16, although he had reclaimed the lead.

A fluked red helped Kane and it was anybody’s frame with the last three colours on the table.

But Burn again rose to the occasion and clinched the frame to retain the title for the Baize.

 The last final of the season in the knockout competitions involved Bob Boyce of Hylton playing Gary Ablet of Woodside at the Avenue.

All the frames produced good snooker and tight finishes.

The highlight of the game was the long potting of Ablet that rescued him on occasions and shook Boyce out of his stride.  A bad run of the balls saw Boyce lose the first frame on the black and the second on the pink, with several in-offs contributing to the result.

Boyce bounced back, though, compiling a 32 break in winning the third frame.

A nip and tuck fourth frame was open to both players before Ablet finally took the frame and title.