Halifax Men’s Merit: Slattery is unstoppable

Neil Slattery
Neil Slattery

Neil Slattery won the Halifax Association’s Men’s Merit at Hill Crest on Sunday, thrashing Alan Forrest by 21-1 in the final.

Slattery opened with four consecutive pairs in his first game against Ted Horsfall and went on to win by 21-5.

He maintained the same form in the quarter-final he raced to a 12-1 lead against Martin Murphy and remained in control to lead by 18-5. Murphy rallied but Slattery went on to win by 21-13.

In the semi-final he faced homester Phillip Holroyd and again began well to lead by 9-0. Holroyd fought back to level the scores at 10 but Slattery reclaimed the jack and dominated the rest of the game to win by 21-14.

Forrest made a similarly impressive start to the day taking an early 13-2 lead against Tom Robertshaw. Robertshaw recovered some ground to reach 13 before Forrest completed a 21-13 victory.

In the quarter-final, against Ian Crossland, Forrest was ahead by 11-7 but then ran out with a break of 10.

By contrast, his semi-final against Brendan Malone went to a deciding last end. Forrest was the early leader, by 12-3, but Malone fought back to reduce the gap at 10-14. After Forrest had extended his lead at 17-11 Malone again recovered to draw level at 18 and then reach all-but with a pair at the next end. Forrest regained the jack at the next end and held his nerve to snatch victory by 21-20.

In the final, Slattery was relentless, peppering the jack and allowing Forrest little chance to score.

Forrest finally found a way in at the penultimate end to score with a single but the day was Slattery’s as he claimed the title by 21-1.

First round scores: S Robinson 21 F Clissitt 16, B Malone 21 J Dawson 6, I Crossland 21 G McCafferty 19, T Robertshaw 13 A Forrest 21, T Horsfall 5 N Slattery 21, M Murphy 21 M Page 11, B Hildred 9 P Holroyd 21, S Page 21 R Buxton 13.

Quarter-final scores: Robinson 17 Malone 21, Crossland 7 Forrest 21, Slattery 21 Murphy 13, Holroyd 21 Page 11.