Eightball: Lions claim shield

SHIELD WINNERS: N.Wood, G.Williams, S.Vandersluys, D.Morrison, I.Mullen, G.Bowie, R.Mullen, G.Worsnop (captain) and S.McCarrick celebrate their grand final win.Lions claim another shield after thriller grand final with Shamrocks at Croatia Soccer Club SINGLE CHAMPION: Gordon Worsnop presents the Singles Champion of the Year to Andy Ripley.
Nanjing Night Net

The club 8-ball grand final was held at Croatia Soccer Club recently between Lions Black and Shamrocks in front of 80 players and supporters, and another 20 odd ladies darts teams playerswho were playing their regular season matches.

Lions Black were attempting to go back-to-back league champions and Shamrocks were attempting to create some history of their own-having come from sixth spot on the ladder at the end of the regular rounds.

Support for both teams was strong and the crowd was ready to witness what turned out to be a grand final of epic proportions, truly one for the ages!

Match one (Shamrocks named first) Donny Boyd vs Shaun McCarrick (ump M.Taylor).

Boyd broke the balls, nothing down, and McCarrick started like a house on fire potting four straight and even though Boyd played some sensational shots, one which was a full length double to park his ball in front of McCarrick’s two balls close to the pocket,t he start proved too much and Lions were away.

Match two Bob Gray vs Robert Mullen (ump G.Docherty).

Mullen broke, nothing down, Gray missed a difficult cut into the middle pocket and Mullen was away and seemingly in a comfortable position, whittling away while leaving his opponent very little to go for.

Suddenly, Gray exploded and potted five on the trot with sensational play and left himself a gettable shot on the black, Iknow my heart was ready to leap out of my chest and probably most people in the room were in the same boat but unfortunately the black didn’t fall, and Mullen, like the very good player he is potted the three required to win and Lions players were estatic – they had the perfect start and led 2-0.

Match threeGraeme Marsland vs George Bowie (ump Anton Babich) and match report by D.Boyd.

Marsland broke, again nothing down and it was a tense start for both players with so much pressure, particularly on Marsland who potted the first ball of the match and setting another ball over the top left pocket.

Bowie responded by also potting one ball and then left Marsland with a touching ball, setting the scene for the first of the real cat and mouse games of the night with both players leaving bugger all for their opponent and setting balls over pockets at the same time.

This match went right down to the wire between two bloody good players but it was the old guy Marsland’s shot on the black which although not going in covered the pocket and Bowie’s extremely difficult shot to attempt a full length of the table snooker with just the one ball left and on the back cushion to boot that didn’t quite work, (Ican’t print what he wrote then) that ultimately won him the match and Shamrocks were on the board 1-2.

Match 4 Warren Macdonald vs Norm Wood (ump Tommy Flannagan).

Wood broke, again nothing down and Macdonald missed, Wood potted three and then Macdonald went in-off.

Wood potted another three and needed just the one plus the black and Macdonald still needed six plus the black and it appeared his goose was cooked with nerves coming in waves as big as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the pressure so intense as a Lions win would make it very difficult for Shamrocks to come back and Wood was affected with nerves as well by now.

The expected comeback from a man of Macdonald’s ability came quickly and his potting was almost unbelievable and now both players needed just one and the black, then Wood went in-off-two shots to Macdonald who potted one then missed the black which allowed Wood a double.

He didn’t get it, left Macdonald a double and Houdini’s name was mentioned a few times when he potted it and the crowd went wild with excitement.

Shamrocks were level at two all and we had one hell of a final on our hands.

Match 5 Steve Warren vs Scotty Vandersluys (ump Bailey Jones).

Warren broke and by hell still nothing down but leaving nothing as well and the next extremely tactical game unfolded between last season’s champion and Lions Vandersluys who is very good in these tight situations.

This was a gut wrenching game, not only for the players but supporters of both sides as well and hearts were beating at 100 miles an hour-nip and tuck all the way through with neither player able to gain an ascendancy due to nerves and also brilliant tactical play.

Vandersluys prevailed by one ball in the end and so ended a great game and Lions were deservedly estatic and had regained the lead.

Match 6 Steve Brooks vs Ian Mullen (ump Jimmy Mair).

I can’t remember a final where not a single ball was potted in the singles but it happened this night when Mullen couldn’t get one either and yet another gut wrenching, soul tearing, cat and mouser developed, absolutely riveting stuff, Brooks was brilliant at times but no-one saw the five ball pot out coming which had everyone in the room with sore hands and throats (again) and Shamrocks wouldn’t go away, levelling the singles at 3-3.

A fantastic supper was provided by Croatia, and there was so much of it as well.

Very well done to all who were involved in providing it to us!

Match 7 1st doubles John Coulter/Donny Boyd vs Shaun McCarrick/George Bowie (ump Tim O’Neil).

Boyd potted a ball off the break to everyone’s delight and a real head banger game developed.

The crowd were wondering where some of the shots played were coming from but the players knew what they were doing, not always potting but setting up and leaving nothing was again the order of play and it was quite a long game with Shamrocks needing two and Lions needing three with the master in Coulter to play.

What happened next drew an expletive from me as Iwas in awe of how he made such perfect position from a seemingly impossible angle-setting the white right on the side cushion 16 inches from the black on the same cushion and Shamrocks had hit the front for the first time in the match 4-3, people were going ballistic!

Match 8 Steve Warren/Richard McEvoy/vsNorm Wood/Scotty Vandersluys (ump David Stirling).

Wood broke, nothing down and Shamrocks had the upper hand early with Warren in good touch but the Lions grit shone through and they dragged the game back to level terms and another fascinating match unfolded with lady luck showing her flirtatious ways with both teams and again, this match ebbed and flowed until Vandersluys potted out brilliantly and Lions had drawn level at 4-4 with just the last doubles to play-what a final!

Match 9 Steve Brooks/Graeme Marsland vs Robert/Ian Mullen (umpAndy Ripley) – match report by Donny Boyd.

Brooks broke, nothing down R.Mullen potted two smalls for Lions, Marsland potted three for Shamrocks then went in-off after a cannon.

Ian Mullen played two ripping shots, one to remove a Shamrocks ball which was right over the south east pocket (Ireally don’t know how he worked that out) and potted a ball in the opposite pocket at the same time, then potted another, a brilliant shot also, but missed their final ball.

Shamrocks had a great chance when Brooks had a golden opportunity to produce a five ball pot-out but only two fell and then it was snooker after snooker, enthralling stuff until indecision struck Shamrocks and Marsland didn’t strike the ball well when trying for a topspin snooker instead of a long white down the bottom of the table, Ian Mullen played another good shot,the black was easy and Lions had won a beauty 5-4.

Gordon Worsnop presented the Singles Champion of the year to Andy Ripley and the shields to the respective captains and a great night and final was over. See you all next year!

– MarsyThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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