Double act Lee and Mark bang on cue for Borders pairs title

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HAWICK duo Lee McAllister and Mark Riddell lifted the Borders Pairs Snooker Championship title on Sunday at the Burns Club.

The Conservative Club partnership impressed throughout, during a tournament that conjured up some excellent snooker.

McAllister and Riddell began their glory day by defeating Hawick Burns Club men Rob Bell and Davie Halfpenny by two frames to nil in the semi-final.

This set up a final clash against Kelso Legion’s Rob Scott and Norman Lowrie, who had earlier toppled father and son team Jake and Ian McCombe from the host club in the other semi-final.

Defending the crown they won a year ago, Scott and Lowrie got off to a bad start in losing the opening two frames. The Tweedsiders, however, recovered extremely well to take the next two frames and draw the match level.

The stage was set for a dramatic last frame and what a finale it turned out to be as the dynamic duo of McAllister and Riddell pulled out the stops to take the top honours.

Giving his thoughts on their splendid triumph, Riddell told the Hawick News: “I’m glad I’ve got a partner as good as Lee. He’s a class player and was the main man today.

“In the final I was very nervous as there was a lot of pressure on. We got off to a great start in winning the first two frames, but the Kelso boys came back really well.

“During the last frame I was even more nervous. I was able to concentrate on the game though and we pulled off a very good win.”

And McAllister, who had the highest break of the tournament with a score of 46, dedicated their win to Ian Robson, chairman of the Border Snooker Association, who died recently.

He said: “Ian was a a great guy and a true gentleman. He did a lot for Borders snooker and will be sorely missed by everyone.”

Staged annually in the Burns Club, and sponsored by Bellhaven Breweries, the Borders Pairs is one of the main events on the local snooker calendar. And it’s an occasion enjoyed by all ages, as Sunday’s oldest competitor, 80-year-old Jake McCombe, proved.

The former World and European archery champion more than holds his own against top players on the snooker table.

He said: “Snooker is a great winter sport. You can keep dry and get out of the rain and snow. What more could you want?

“It doesn’t matter what age you are either. I still get a lot of enjoyment in playing and I always have done.”

n Brown Brothers Peebles Honda Mazda Border League (February 3): Premier Division – Selkirk ‘A’ 2 Peebles 4; Hawick Burns ‘A’ 5 Jedburgh 1; Kelso 6 Border Club 0. First Division – Hawick Con ‘B’ 4 Selkirk ‘B’ 2; Hawick Burns ‘B’ 6 Innerleithen 0; Jedburgh ‘B’ 0 St Boswells 6.

League tables: Premier Division – 1, Kelso 67; 2, Hawick Con ‘A’ 64; 3, Hawick Burns ‘A’ 59; 4, Peebles 57; 5, Selkirk ‘A’ 39; 6, Border Club 34*; 7, Jedburgh ‘A’ 32. First Division – 1, Hawick Burns ‘B’ 93; 2, Hawick Con ‘B’ 65; 3, St Boswells 58; 4, Selkirk ‘B’ 57; 5, Innerleithen 56; 6, Jedburgh ‘B’ 25. *Eight points deducted.