Second Merit title for Regan

Actions from the Halifax League Merit final, at Sowerby SP BC. Pictured is Mark Regan
Actions from the Halifax League Merit final, at Sowerby SP BC. Pictured is Mark Regan
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Mark Regan of Brighouse Sports won the Halifax League’s Briggs Priestley Merit at Sowerby T & BC on Sunday.

He claimed the Wilkinson Sword Trophy for a second time with a 21-14 final victory over Crossroads’ Peter Clarke.

Regan, whose first success was in 2007, signalled his intent early on, opening with a break of seven before going on to win his first game by 21-5 against Julian Dawson of Akroydon Victoria.

In his second game he faced Louis Barker of Hove Edge. After each had scored a pair, Regan raced ahead with a break of eight to lead by 10-2, going on to win by 21-8.

He faced stiffer competition in his semi-final against another Hove Edge player, Daniel Radcliffe. Radcliffe was ahead by 6-4 but Regan responded to take the lead by 11-7. Radcliffe recovered to draw level at 13 before Regan took control with a break of three consecutive pairs and went on to win by 21-15.

Clarke’s chances of success looked slim in his opening game against Trevor Gasson of Hove Edge. He was ahead by 8-3 before Gasson’s impressive break of 13 seemed to have put paid to his hopes of progress.

Three pairs brought him back into the game at 14-18 and , after Gasson had reached 19, he drew level with a break of five before snatching victory with a pair at the last end.

In his quarter-final against Luddenden Foot’s Gareth Swain, he was behind by 11-10 but jumped into the lead with a break of six and went on to win by 21-14.

His semi-final opponent was his Crossroads team-mate Richard Hargreaves. Clarke led 3-0 after two ends and, although the scores were level at 5, he was never behind and reached the final with a 21-13 victory.

In an edgy start to the final, Regan led by 4-3 then fell behind by 8-5 before taking the lead again with a break of six. Clarke was still in touch at 12-14 but four singles to Regan opened up a six point gap which Clarke was unable to close.

First round scores: G.Bradford 14 R.Holmes 21, D.Radcliffe 21 K.Spencer 17, B.Malone 10 L.Barker 21, J.Dawson 5 M.Regan 21, J.Halliday 8 R.Hargreaves 21, K.Barker 11 J.Hamer 21, G.Swain 21 D.Holdsworth 15, T.Gasson 20 P,Clarke 21.

Quarter-final scores: Holmes 18 Radcliffe 21, Barker 8 Regan 21, Hargreaves 21 Hamer 9, Swain 14 Clarke 21.