Nottingham Snooker Team suffer agonising one frame defeat
Six years on from the last challenge match with Jimmy Gratton’s Derbyshire team, Steve Butler captained a strong team hopeful of bringing the Nottinghamshire v Derbyshire County Championship Trophy back to Nottingham.
The match was played at Spot On, Hucknall and teams were made up of 7 players. The home team’s players (Nottingham) stayed on the same tables throughout and their Derbyshire opponents rotated, playing one frame against each competitor.
A strong start to the match for Wayne Martin, breaks of 58 and 49 doing the damage against Jimmy Gratton. Ben Monk had a run of 44, but it wasn’t enough to beat the impressive John Giles. Lee Shanker made light work of Steve Butler with the help of a nice 46 break. Matt Wilson’s lovely 77 break helped him defeat Nav Hussain. Bash Maqsood made the day’s highest break of 78 in his win over Pete Oughton, giving Nottingham a 4-3 lead at the end of the first leg.
This was a good leg for Derbyshire, with only Joe Reynolds and Steve Butler winning frames for Nottingham. Lee Shanker had a run of 40 in his win against Nav Hussain and Matt Wilson knocked in a 51 break in his win against Bash Maqsood. Derbyshire were now 8-6 up in the match.
A bettter leg for Nottingham with four wins from 7 to narrow the gap to just one frame overall. Joe Reynolds made a 48 break in a good win against John Giles. Jordan Geldard, winning his only frame of the day against Steve Butler, made a very nice 64 break. Nav Hussain gained his first win, beating Lee Hage with the help of a 46 break.
An even better leg for Nottingham after a short break for lunch. Only Wayne Martin and John Fountain suffered defeats. Nav Hussain had another 46 break but there were no other breaks of any note in this leg. Nottingham were feeling optimistic as they took a two frame lead in the match for the first time.
Nottingham’s optimism was short lived, only Wayne Martin and Bash Maqsood managed wins in this leg. Derbyshire had now regained a 18-17 frame lead with just two legs remaining.
Strong performances by Wayne Martin and Ben Monk in the penultime leg. But Derbyshire’s Lee Shanker and Pete Oughton were on fire, both scoring heavily. Shanker in particular was playing very well, making a fine 75 break. Good wins for Matt Wilson and John Giles ensured that Derbyshire extended their lead to two frames going into the final leg.
Derbyshire needed to win three frames out of a possible seven to secure victory. Wayne Martin won his 5th frame of the day, including a run of 53, which earned him Nottingham’s Man of the Match trophy. Ben Monk and John Fountain both had good wins to put Nottingham 23-22 up in the match.
Unfortunately, losses for Joe Reynolds and Steve Butler meant that the pressure was on Nav Hussain and Bash Maqsood, who both needed to win their frames to secure victory for Nottingham.
Nav Hussain lost out in agonising fashion to Pete Oughton, the Derbyshire potter’s win securing the match win for his side. Bash Maqsood’s win against Derbyshire captain Jimmy Gratton ensured that the winning margin was only one frame. So close!
Matches between these two sides are often tight affairs and this one was no different. Every Nottingham player had frames they could have won, so the result could easily have been different on another day.
Lee Shanker was awesome, winning all 7 frames and deservedly winning Derbyshire’s Man of the Match trophy.