WITH the Christmas break over for the Asprou Barbers Vale Pool League, the highly anticipated top of the table clash between hosts Witchill Wildcats and the Castle Dark Lords was first on the agenda.

The contest disappointed as a spectacle, with the Wildcats dominating from start to finish to seal an 11-1 victory that all but ended the Dark Lords hopes of winning the league. Gareth Foxall and Gavin Rowlands claimed the Dark Lords' only point, registering a late consolation frame in the final doubles session to avoid a whitewash.

Wildcats are firm favourites to win the league and should have their claws on the trophy come the end of the season, thanks to strong performances from Lawrence Klee, James and Ian Hill, Paul Everest, Ceri Morris , Steve Watkins and the league's golden girl, Sian Kedward.

The Libs Rejects secured victory away to Millwood Pot Jacks, claiming a 7-5 win despite a late fightback from the hosts.

The Libs quickly stormed into a 5-1 lead with James Bastow and Mike Roberts overcoming tricky opposition in Nick Parry and Gary Williams, only for Millwood to redeem the scoreboard late on and win both the final doubles to give a respectable final score. Tom Ivins claimed man of the match winning three from four.

Finnegan's match against Glenbrook Wanderers on the Island ended all square after an entertaining 6-6 draw. Finnegan's raced into a 5-0 lead thanks to wins from James Ball, Carson Martin, Kane Grindley and Joseph Ashenhurst, with Ashenhurst adding another after the doubles to put Finnegan's 6-1 up. But the Wanderers dug deep to win the next five frames with Nick Taylor , Karl Marsh and Rhodri Thomas all in top form to take the game to a black ball sudden death shoot-out. The Wanderers again prevailed to take the bonus point.

Last year's league champions Billy United won the derby encounter against their pub rivals King William IV 9-3. The King William side could count themselves unfortunate to have lost by such a heavy margin in an error strewn affair, with all frames won either on the black or by a single ball. Debutant Lance Dyer impressed for King William, while Gary Roberts, Martin Pring and Ian Roberts performed well to earn Billy United the win.

The Good, The Bad and The Ship came away with a well deserved 8-4 win at the Baruc Arms. Captain Graham Avaient steered his players to victory, with Mike Dunn claiming the man of the match award thanks to his four wins from four..

Last year the league were approached by Harry Asprou and his father Anastasis Asprou, known affectionately as Stass, to sponsor the Thursday night Vale Pool League. Both said they wanted to "put something back into the community."

It is with great sadness to announce the passing of Stass, a true gentlemen, a kind and loving man who touched every one he met. He will be greatly missed not only by his family, but also by Barry and the wider community.