Snooker: Bellusci hits back to win top of the table clash

Alf Bellusci

Mark Slattery

First published in Sport

It was another busy week in the Blackburn and Darwen Individual Snooker League as the battle for a top eight place hots up.

Match of the week was the clash between the unbeaten duo of Alf Bellusci and Mark Slattery.

Mark was in superb form as he took the opener with run of 78. Once again it should have been the first century break of the tournament with plenty of points left after Mark missed.

It was soon 2-0 as Bellusci struggled to find his form but Alf is a tough nut to crack and proved it here as some top quality match play snooker gave him the next two frames.

An edgy decider was always on the cards and it was Bellusci who made it over the line to hang on to top spot.

George Holden kept his qualification hopes alive with a comfortable 3-1 win over an out of touch Bernard Clough.

Tommy Hannan beat CIU champ Ricky Hardman 3-1 but it could have been a different outcome altogether if Hardman hadn’t missed the easiest of blacks in frame 1.

It was all Hannan all the way after that as a series of 40 plus breaks saw him home. Son Jonny had to battle all the way to see off the determined challenge of Elmo Bellusci, a 3-2 win leaving him just two wins away from the top eight.

Andy Lancaster is the only other unbeaten player and despite playing well below his own high standard he was too much for Bob Mawman to handle and came away with a 3-0 win.

Joe Hanlan had to struggle with a new cue as well as opponent Nigel Holmes and it was no surprise when he went down 3-0.

Jonny Hannan’s second match of the week was somewhat easier than his first, a 3-0 victory over John Barnes. Lee Whittle moved into the top eight with a convincing 3-0 win over Matt Holden and looks to be hitting form at just the right time.

Neil Payton showed some flashes of class, including a nice 58 break in his match against Frank Jex but it wasn’t enough as Frank stuck to his task well to win 3-1.

With the qualifying part of the tournament reaching its conclusion nerves are sure to be jangling as the battle for a place in that elusive top eight continues.

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