Hunt and Mackay take league honours

THE annual final of the Gainsborough Snooker League took place last week between Andy Toyne and his partner Kevin Fenton against surprise packages Lee Mackay and Shaun Hunt.

In the first to three frames match and in front of a decent-sized crowd at the Melrose Club, Hunt won the toss made by referee Richard Banyard and elected partner Mackay to break.

After a slow start and both teams struggling to put a break together, Mackay came into his own, pocketing an impressive 57 break.

With Fenton struggling to find his rhythm, it was down to his partner Toyne to pull them back into the game with a 41 break of his own, including an impressive long black into the far bottom pocket, before missing a seemingly easy straight red that let Hunt in to pot it followed by a pink and another red, and that was all that was needed for them to take the first frame.

The second frame followed the same pattern as the opening frame, again with the seemingly out of sorts Fenton struggling to impose himself on the game, and some sloppy potting by Hunt and Toyne as they exchanged shots again allowed Mackay to step up to the plate and rattle in another impressive break, this time of 61 – his own personal season’s best.

A broken cue tip by Hunt as he attempted a deep screw held the game up for over 20 minutes while it was fixed, much to Fenton and Toyne’s displeasure.

Once play resumed, Fenton, following a clever swerve shot by Hunt, found himself in a snooker that he was unable to get out of, and Mackay cleared up the table from the resulting foul for a 2-0 advantage to the underdogs.

With the pressure visually getting to Mackay as he became nervous under pressure he struggled to carry on his fast, cool potting style of play displayed in the opening two frames.

Toyne and Fenton found themselves taking an early 40-point lead in the frame with some clever potting and safety shot play.

But Hunt was having none of it and, after becoming frustrated at his opponent’s understandably cautious play, came out and hammered home a fantastic under pressure century break. Needing 60 points to win and with only 25 points on the table, Fenton and Toyne conceded the frame to hand the trophy to surprised yet deserved winners Hunt and Mackay, which was presented to the jubilant pair by guest of honour Steve Metcalfe.

Hunt declared in his speech that the victory “was the greatest achievement of my life so far, and I hope to be back next year to repeat the feat.”

Thanks to match sponsor Houglands Carpets and to the spectators who raised £137 on the raffle.