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Ken Doherty checks in to cap a fine season

Former world champion Ken Doherty dished out the awards and then took to the baize as the Stourbridge Snooker League put the seal on another successful season.

Ken Doherty checks in to cap a fine season

The 46-year-old from Northern Ireland, who beat Stephen Hendry to win the world title in 1997, chalked up a perfect record of six wins from six exhibition frames after handing out the various pieces of silverware.

"It was a nice end to the season," said secretary and long-serving player Tony Kidd.

"We held the presentation night at Stourbridge Institute and there were over a 100 people there.

FIrst Division title winners Kinver Constitutional B, left to right: Rob Jeffries, Paul Churchman, Dean Banks, Keith Rollinson, Ken Doherty, Graham Tranter and Wayne Whitmore

"Ken handed out the awards and then played a few exhibition frames against the league's various cup winners."

The night capped an impressive campaign that saw West Midlands Police claim the Premier Division title in dramatic fashion.

A play-off was needed after the Police and Norton Social ended the season with identical records, with the crown going the Police's way when Kev Franklin potted the last black in the deciding frame.

Kidd is now beginning the planning for next season with two new clubs keen to join.

Pairs Handicap champions Sam Porter, left, and Leigh Bennett

"Two clubs have approached us with regard to joining next season," said Kidd, who lifted this season's Over-45s title.

"Townsend Social Club (ex-Halesowen Cons) want to come back into the league and St Johns Snooker Club in Kidderminster are keen to join. A few of their players play for Chelmarsh in the Bridgnorth League.

"It's very good news to have a couple of new sides. At its zenith the league had 64 teams, but now we are down to half that.

"Like a lot of leagues, a number of workimg men's clubs have closed down over the years but we will keep trying to push for more teams.

"This season was a real success. We had a play-off for the Premier Division title for only the second time in the league's history. And the title was decided on the final black in the final frame.

Second Division Singles winner Ed Davies and Ken Doherty

"It was good to see Stourbridge Old Edwardians win the Division Three title and the KO Cup while Division Two champions Kinver Constitutional have been playing in the league for a long time.

"I think the standard is as good as ever, particularly with a young player like Taylor Fish coming through.

"Taylor is playing in the UK Under-17 championship later this month and a contingent from his club Pockets are going to support him along with his coach Kev Franklin."

A number of players and officials also ventured into the world of horse racing to pay tribute to the former owner of Pockets Snooker Club and league referee Allan Atkinson.

"Allan died in June 2015 and he was a very popular owner of Pockets who used to referee some of the league's various competitions and was also a former bookmaker," said Kidd.

"There is a race at Stratford named in his memory and about 50 of us went along to support it this year.

"I helped to choose the best turned out horse for the race and a few of us backed the winner, Thomas Wilde, which was nice.

"It was a good day out and we are looking at making it an annual event."

Roll of honour

Premier Division: Champions West Midlands Police, runners-up Norton Social.

First Division: Champions Kinver Constitutional B, runners-up Kingswinford Cons B.

Second Division: Champions Stourbridge Old Edwardians, runners-up Amblecote Royal British Legion B.

Premier Division Singles: Eliott Bastable (West Midlands Police), runner-up Maria Catalano (West Midlands Police).

First Division Singles: Wayne Whitmore (Kingswinford Cons A), runner-up Chris Cowley (Stourbridge Old Edwardians).

Second Division Singles: Ed Davies (Stourbridge Old Edwardians), runner-up Sam Porter (Kingswinford Cons C).

Over-45s Singles: Tony Kidd (Pockets SC), runner-up Kev Franklin (West Midlands Police).

Over-65s Singles: Arnie Thomas (Kinver Constitutional A), runner-up Ron Smith (Kinver Constitutional A).

Three-a-side Handicap: Amblecote Institute D, runners-up Baggeridge Social Club.

Team Knockout: Stourbridge Old Edwardians, runners-up Kinver Constitutional B.

Team Knockout Plate: Pockets SC, runners-up Baggeridge Social Club.

Top 10 breaks: Adam Ness (Norton Social Club A) 108, Balvinder Sembi (Brandhall Labour Club) 107, Mitchell Mann (Hotshots Snooker Club A) 107, Taylor Fish (Pockets Snooker Club A) 92, Maria Catalano (West Midlands Police) 88, Eliott Bastable (West Midlands Police) 86, Andrew Smith (Norton Social Club A) 82, Callum Downing (Hotshots Snooker Club A) 74, Kev Franklin (West Midlands Police) 68, Ashley Sidaway (Amblecote Institute A) 66.

Most wins: Chris Cowley (Stourbridge Old Edwardian Club) 19, Leigh Bennett (Kingswinford Conservative Club C) 18, Sam Porter (Kingswinford Conservative Club C) 17, Barry Young (Amblecote Royal British Legion A) 16, David Woodall (Stourbridge Old Edwardian Club) 15.

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