LEEK A Pool League team had their best performance for several years in the national finals in Great Yarmouth last weekend.
The Leek A squad does arguably contain most of the Leek Pool League's finest players, but captain Nick Burton had no team options as four players were unable to attend, leaving only the minimum nine to make up the side.
With 118 teams from all around England, Leek were in a group of 3, the winner qualifying for the last 32 knock-out stage.
The opening fixture was against Alton Pool League from Basingstoke in Surrey.
Leek began well, leading 6-3 after the 1st session, and went on to a good 11-7 victory.
The losing team then went straight on to play the third team in the group, Sefton Pool League from Liverpool, winning 12-6.
That meant Leek required nine frames to secure a draw and top their group. Again, Leek performed well, leading 6-3 and then comfortably reaching their target by winning 9-4.
Leek faced Chesterfield Charity Pool League, a very good side containing a number of Derbyshire county players.
Leek started on the front foot and built leads of 5-1, 6-3 and 8-4 with some excellent pool.
However, the Chesterfield team staged a superb comeback to secure a 9-9 draw by playing top quality pool.
A dramatic three-frame play-off was to follow, and Leek chose their most successful players of the day; Mark Mannion, Paul Flower and Steve Flower.
However, it quickly turned into disappointment as two Chesterfield players produced superb clearances to send their side through.
Leek had played very well, going so close to a last 16 place and playing with a great team spirit. All nine team members contributed greatly, winning important frames throughout the matches.
Leek: Nick Burton, Paul Shatwell, Ben Duffield, Colin Andrews, Brian Chadwick, Ian Campion, Paul Flower, Steve Flower, Mark Mannion.