BOOTHAM 'A', who were hoping to consolidate pole position in York Conservative Clubs' Faber Shield Billiards League, suffered a shock 6-1 defeat to bottom-placed Acomb.

Paul Clark, Ian Gillies (21 break), Keith Myers, Bob Ventress and Keith Bowser - who ran out with a 22 unfinished break to beat Ken Taylor by 18 points - put Acomb 5-0 ahead. Barry Rankin won the last game for Bootham, but Acomb took the aggregate point by 30.

Fulford defeated Bootham 'B' 5-2 to move level with Bootham 'A' at the top of the table on 40 points but with one less win. Brian Bickerstaff (26 break), Roger Gibson, Alan Reed and Richard Stroughair won for Fulford. Tim Fillingham and George Long won for Bootham 'B', who are one point behind in third place.

With only one match left the title could go to any of the first three teams, although Acomb could affect the final positions as they play Fulford, having beaten them twice already. Bootham 'B' play Bootham 'A' in the other match.

The three leaders in the Cameo Engraving Player of the Year competition all won this week and are tied on nine wins from 11 games. They are George Long, Barry Rankin and Richard Stroughair.

Heworth 'A', with an eighth consecutive title in sight, stepped up a gear when whitewashing Fulford 'B' 7-0 to stay clear leaders in York Conservative Clubs' Carlsberg-Tetley Snooker League.

They are 11 points ahead of second-placed Bootham 'A' with only two matches left to play.

Heworth's winning team was Richie Burdett, Kevin Gall, Keith Lawrence, Jason Milner, David Taylor, Clive Whyte (48 break) and Neil Wood (32 break).

Bootham 'A' team's winners in defeating Acomb 'B' 6-1 were Brian Coulson, John Darley, Mark Darley, Don Pringle, Colin Robinson and Ken Taylor. Ken Bowser won for Acomb.

Third-placed Fulford 'A' were in trouble as Brian Birch, Mike Braithwaite and Colin Richardson won the first three frames for Heworth 'B'. However, Simon England, Phil Oliver and Richard Stroughair levelled the match and Peter Stroughair won the last frame to secure Fulford 'A' a 4-3 success. But the three points have lifted Heworth 'B' off bottom spot for only the third time this season.

Acomb 'A' suffered their fourth consecutive defeat, going down 4-3 to Bootham 'B', who moved up to fourth place. Jeff Brown, George Long, Chris Granger and Ray Stamp won for Bootham, with replies by Paul Clark (27 break), Keith Myers and Gary Robinson.

Clive Whyte's 48 break this week was the second highest of the season. His 60 unfinished earlier in the season keeps him in the lead in the North Wolds Printers' highest break competition.

Acomb returned to winning ways in York Conservative Clubs' Slate Cup Snooker Pairs League after three straight losses.

They lost the first frame of their match against Heworth on the black ball but then won four frames in a row. Heworth gained their second point from the last game but Acomb secured the aggregate point for a 5-2 success. They are six points clear with one match to play.

Second-placed Bootham maintained the pressure with a 5-2 win against Fulford, who were two players short.

Bootham won the first two frames and went 35 points ahead in the aggregate scores. Fulford won a close third frame, but Bootham's Peter Henderson and Ken Carling won the fourth by 44 points. Fulford won the fifth frame on the black but had to concede the last frame and 21 points, which meant that Bootham won 5-2.

Updated: 09:42 Thursday, March 20, 2003