Hawick snooker aces Lee McAllister and Mark Riddell nailed their colours to the mast for the third year in succession in the Border Billiards and Snooker Association Championship.
Playing at Hawick Burns Club on Sunday, the dynamic duo lifted the Borders Snooker Pairs crown for the fourth time overall.
The Teri twosome had to pull out the stops though to gain their victory as they faced tough opposition in both their semi-final and final outings.
Representing Hawick Conservative Club, McAllister and Riddell faced fellow Conservative Club men Dave Clark and Davie Amos in what was to be a very keenly fought semi-final.
The title holders were to earn a final place through a 3-1 triumph, but were made to go every inch of the way.
In the other semi-final, Rob Scott and Brian ‘Catchy’ Callaghan of Kelso Legion hit top form to topple Hawick Burns Club’s Michael Hogg and Billy Ford.
The scene was set for an exciting final – and that’s just the way it turned out to be.
McAllister and Riddell began in high-flying style in winning the opening three frames. With the first to hit four emerging the victors, it was looking good for the Hawick duo.
The Tweedsiders, however, were to throw a spanner in the works by staging a dramatic comeback and, with tension mounting, Scott and Callaghan won the next frame. They then went on to gain the honours in the fifth and a real game was now on.
In the sixth frame it was nip and tuck until McAllister changed the flow of matters. The Hawick Singles champion, who had notched up a break of 74 in the semi-finals which was to be the highest of the day, had a break of 25. This proved to be a real turning point and McAllister and Riddell duly went on take the frame and the championship.
Reflecting on their title success, Riddell told The Southern: “It’s great to win the championship again, but it was hard going.
“In the semi-final we could quite easily have went down 2-1 against the two Davies. I was very fortunate to make a good clearance shot though and this got us out of trouble and we went on to win the frame as well as the next.
“When we were 3-0 up in the final it felt a bit cosy, but Rob and Catchy fought back brilliantly to make it 3-2. If they had made it 3-3 who knows what would have happened in the last frame as they were starting to play very well.
“There is a fine point between winning and losing, and we just managed to get that win. I am very fortunate to have a great partner in Lee, as he is a class player.”
Callaghan commented: “We had a good win in our semi-final, but we didn’t get a run of the ball in the first three frames of the final and Lee capitalised on this.
“However, we began to play well after this and after winning two frames I thought we were in with a real chance of doing something. This wasn’t to happen, but we gave it a shot against two very good snooker players.”