THE quarter-finals of the Danby Auto Sunderland Snooker League Summer League involved four teams from the Winter first division, and four teams from the second division.
With the handicaps in place, and the teams drawn from a hat, considerable interest was created in the resulting matches for the semi-final places.
Lumley A played Hylton and a close match was always a prospect.
The first frame saw Paul Stove face Mark Fox with both players off a five handicap.
With the reds all falling into awkward positions, it was always going to be a tough frame bit some excellent snookers and a little run of the table helped mark take the first frame after building up a 44-point lead with only 27 points on the table.
In the second frame, a 15-start to Steven Rushworth meant Bob Boyce had to start well and after a few small breaks he managed to build up a 42-25 lead going down to the last red.
This brought a response from Steven, taking the last red with an excellent long brown, followed by the yellow, green and brown. But a missed blue with the rest proved costly as it finished over the bottom pocket for Boyce to take with the pink to win the frame.
Going 2-0 down, Lumley needed to win the next frame and Martin Ball faced a tough frame giving Kev Harrop a 20 start.
A few small breaks after an attacking safety shot by Martin soon cancelled out the head start and put him into a 32-23 lead.
An excellent long red by Martin followed with a 47 break ended the frame and gave Lumley the frame they needed.
In the doubles, Joe Nora and Martin Ball needed to beat Kev Harrop and Graham Ablett to force a deciding fifth frame, but after some excellent safety and small breaks, Hylton soon built up a 45-11 lead.
An unlucky in off by Martin proved costly as a 17 break by Graham won Hylton the frame 66-11 and took South Hylton into the semi-finals with a 3-1 win.
Steels B played Lumley B with Chris Cowie and Alex Hannan involved in the first frame, and a good start by Cowie was increased as he had a 21 break to go 37 ahead.
This brought a response from Hannan whose 37 break left him only seven behind, and he took the lead by taking the first three colours.
The fightback only failed as Cowie took the last three to win 64-53.
In the second, Jimmy Gales was on fire, and he steadily gathered the points to leave Brian Meuse in an impossible position of recovery.
Lumley needed a win to keep in the game, and this was no looking likely as Darran Browne started well and built a decent lead.
Richie Tiffin was not willing to go down without a fight, and he steadily came back into the game and it was nip and tuck going into the colours.
Browne had a good chance on the brown but the miss allowed Tiffin to gather the last four colours to win 59-46 and make it 2-1 to Steels.
The pairs frame had Cowie/Haley versus Hannan/Roberts who have been a good partnership this season and Lumley had possibilities of forcing a draw.
But Steels played well with Ken Haley solid in building up a lead that eventually took the frame to make it 3-1 to Steels and progression into the next round.
It was expected to me a close game as Green Baize, the winners of group one, visited Mill View B, the winners of group two.
With a handicap start of 10, Adrian Daniel had Dean Wilson who is a prolific potter as his opponent in the first frame.
Daniel started well to move ahead before Wilson came alive to come back into the game and look dangerous.
Chances fell to both players before good safety play from Daniel forced errors on the blue and pink by Wilson to move Mill View into the lead.
A contrast in styles in the second, had Lee Dixon an attacking player against the studied play of Peter Dambrosie.
Dixon produced some tremendous potting to move into a lead, that never seemed enough as Dambrosie is well known for his fortitude during a frame.
After a period of careful play, a great green followed by the brown was sufficient for Dambrosie to concede, and for Dixon to win 66-39 and move Mill View into a 2-0 advantage.
The third frame was vital for both teams for different reasons, Green Baize to keep in the game and Mill View to decide the tie in allotted time.
John Spence, who has been playing well, faced Jeff Burn who is renowned for his battling qualities, and the perfect man for this situation.
It was a subdued Spence who was not on top form as Burn was very steady in his play and was keeping it tight. The frame was very taut, and available to either player all the way through, before Spruce produced a screamer on the pink to win the frame and match for Mill View.
The other match was between second division Biddick B, who are always in contention but seem to miss out in the late stages and Seaham Conservative of the first division.
A 28 break by John Temple of Biddick seemed to be leading to a first frame result before Michael Monaghan pulled back to eventually win on the pink.
The next three frames were dominated by Biddick, who advanced into the semis.
Clubs are reminded that the AGM. will be held at the Victory Club on Thursday, when representatives need to attend to register their club interest in the Winter League. The players registration forms are required at this meeting.