THE start of a new season can give players renewed optimism and spirit.
And so it proved for Carmarthen Dragons A Inter-League pool team, who at the end of last season were bitterly disappointed to finish runner-up to Pembrokeshire, seeing their big chance of promotion slip away in their final fixture by a single frame win.
Nevertheless, the slate has been wiped clean, and that gives everyone the opportunity to look forward and impress on the team management that they could be a regular starter during a new campaign in West Division One.
This proved to be the case for two players in particular during the 2013 curtain raiser against newly-promoted Port Talbot Druids.
Jon Bartley, who until now has always been a very capable squad member of the Dragons A set-up, is now starting to bring his practice game to the match table.
And having been given the nod in all four sessions against the Druids, he responded with a clinical three wins from four played.
He was extremely unlucky not to finish with all four wins, as the black in his final frame was the only ball he missed all afternoon.
Ray Barney endured a miserable run throughout 2012 by his own very high standards.
However, after three months of heavy practice, it finally paid off as he stormed to four superb wins and the deserved man-of-the-match award.
If Barney can continue in this vein, there are not many better than him in the division.
He received fantastic back-up from the talented duo of Sean Pemberton and Lee Thomas, who both notched up three classy wins.
Overall, the opening match at the Railway Club was a wonderful team effort from the Dragons, with no fewer than ten players starting the season with a 50 per cent winning percentage or better. All four sessions of nine frames were taken, 6-3, 6-3, 7-2, 5-4, resulting in an emphatic 24-12 victory.
Next up for the A side is the short journey this Sunday to take on nearby rivals St Clears in a local derby. Cue-off is 12.30pm.