Singles events get under way for the league’s leading players

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There were several dominant performances in the opening round of this year’s Newmarket Snooker and Billiard League Snooker Singles Knockout Cup.

Johnny Mutch travelled over to the Racing Centre, formerly the New Astley Club in Newmarket, and dominated the evening, defeating Ian Spinks and Rob Walker to go through to the last eight.

Kevin Peacock was in blistering form at the Cheveley Road Club, first seeing off Dale Jeffery, before demolishing teammate Chris Blease to join Mutch in the last eight.

In the Mildenhall draw, it was Mildenhall captain Richard Lyes who went through, beating David Bentick and Cambridge Snooker Centre club manager Tony Carr.

Last year’s losing finalist Colin Johnson went out at the very first hurdle to Jason Browes, who went on to lose 2-1 to Andy Dawson thanks to four fluke snookers in the second frame.

Cambridge Snooker Centre captain Peter Johnson took full advantage of a home draw to also go through, along with Shane Challis and Steve Debenham.

Last year’s winner Scott Claydon had to pull out at the last minute.

In the Billiards Singles Knockout Cup, last year’s champion Steve Kerr — handicapped an extra 100 points — made light work of his first-round match, knocking in a 70 break en route to beating Tony French 250-104.

Johnson and Peacock showed they are equally adept at playing billiards after beating Dave Rabbeth 150-73 and Paul Sharpe 150-88 respectively.

Karl Bursford was made to work very hard in his game by Mark Avison before winning 150-109.

Veteran Larry Wargen rolled back the years with a comfortable win over Dan Stoodley 150-90, while Bentick was no match for a rampant Browes.

Paul Jefferies was victorious as well with a fine win against Ian Starling.

In the closest game of the night, Chris Hibberd defeated snooker singles first-round casualty Jeffery 150-134.