It was a heart-breaking debut for Longshaw as they went out of this year’s North West Small Tables Championship at the first hurdle against Blackpool’s Excelsior No 2.

It was tension from start to finish as almost every frame went to the pink or black. The visitors started strongly with K. Allen knocking in a fine 41 to take control against Tommy Hannan who couldn’t force his way back into the frame and eventually went down 68-1.

Frame 2 was the best of the night with Excelsior’s J. Shimmells dominating against Jonny Hannan, taking a 47-point lead before going in off with three reds left.

Jonny continued where he left off in last week’s league cup game and promptly cleared up with a quality run of 48 to level things.

Chris Rolfe won the third for Longshaw but K Petrak beat young Tom Whittle in the fourth to level the scores yet again.

Matt Holden took the next on the pink 57-45 before Excelsior’s N Casey beat Frank Jex on the black.

At 3-3 It was down to skipper Lee Whittle for Longshaw against L. Casey for the visitors. Whittle needed two snooker on the colours to tie and he got them and the final frame went to a re-spotted black.

And after a few nervy shots Casey confidently took on a long shot to seal victory for the visitors.

It was a different story up at the Fox where the Ewood outfit played host to Marton Institute, also from Blackpool.

The visitors took the first when J Tart saw off Adi Dugdale before Jimmy Brookens levelled things with a thrilling black ball win over A Powers. Scott Morris put the Fox ahead in the third with a 40-23 win over S Evans before Dave Harrison made a welcome return to the Ewood team to put his side on the verge of victory with a convincing 67-30 win.

Marton’s G Potter enjoyed a good share of the run to pip Fox skipper Derek Howarth and set up a tantalising last frame decider. And it was left to veteran Mick McHugh who used all his experience to battle back from 44-25 down to beat N Haslem.

Fox and Hounds will play St Andrews No 2 from Burnley in the next round.