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May 1st, 2019 in Notice Board by admin

There were many who suggested a village pool tournament, but only Chris Barratt stepped forward to organise the event.

There were 16 players, randomly drawn into 4 groups with the top 2 in each group going through to a knock out stage. All players were encouraged to play their matches on a Thursday, partly because Chris told them they had to, but also because there was a great atmosphere as: occasional players locked horns with members of the two White Hart pool teams. There was an added benefit in that Daniel provided welcome sustenance on each of the Thursday nights. In fact all, bar one contestant, behaved themselves by appearing and playing on the required Thursday.

Conscious of previous feedback, I will go straight to a profile of the semi-finalists

Julian McQuillan Cragrats:-     Won his quarter final against Simon Trace 2 – 0. By his own admission, has, like a couple of historic football teams in the North West, not realised his full potential during this pool season, but definitely has the all round game to beat anyone on the day

Richard Speake Cragrats:-      Won his quarter final against Mark Tottman 2 – 0, and viewed by many as the clear second favourite, but with a game that could give the favourite a real run for his money

Leigh Birrell Cragrats:-            Won his quarter final against Tom Berry 2 – 1. By his own admission very much a potter, who has yet to fully master the dark arts of safety and the ability to “tuck one’s opponent up” However his quarter final win demonstrated that there is the potential to develop this area of his game

Chris Pearson White Hart:-    Won his quarter final against Chris Barratt 2 – 0, and viewed by the well informed, as the clear tournament favourite, after a season, where most weeks Chris won more matches than he lost.

The first semi-final saw Leigh take on Chris. Leigh broke and Chris, with his first visit to the table took the first frame. The second frame, whilst a little longer in length, followed a similar theme to the first frame and we soon had our first finalist

The second semi-final was a tense affair. The first frame was well over half an hour long, when both players declared a re-rack. An example of how well the two teams get on, is best illustrated by a number of the Cragrats deciding to create a San Miguel (other lagers are available, this just happens to be Chris’s drink of choice at the moment) fund to keep Chris well lubricated prior to the final. After the re-rack it was fate that the match went into a deciding frame which Julian finally emerged victorious after a titanic tussle and Chris had been well looked after on the beer front.

The first frame of the final was won by Chris and the question was, could Julian re-group and take the match into a decider?

Playing pool at the White Hart is a bit like playing cricket at Lords. This is because, whilst the White Hart is a Mecca for pool enthusiasts, there is like the slope at Lords, a challenge to normal pool playing conditions, in that the room is just not wide enough to play a pool shot with your own pool cue, if the white ball is close to the cushion.

Julian had engineered for himself an opportunity to take the frame, but as he went to take his shot, you could see him grimace, as he realised that he would have to use a smaller cue. This made a reasonably hard, but makeable shot, that little bit harder. Unfortunately the pot was missed and Chris usually only needs one chance to clear a frame, and this was no exception.

A couple of minutes later, Chris was holding the trophy aloft as he became the new White Hart Pool Champion.

Thanks must go to Daniel, for providing and serving excellent beer throughout the tournament. In addition it should be noted that Daniel also provided excellent food on each of the 4 Thursdays.

Thanks should also go to Chris Barratt for organising the whole event. It was well planned, well supported, but Chris made sure that everyone played their respective matches (nearly) on time.

On a personal note I would just like to say that as a relative newcomer to Thursday night pool I have thoroughly enjoyed: the pool, the beer, the food and the company, so if you are at a loose end on a Thursday evening, why not pop down and see what it is all about. You are guaranteed a warm welcome.

Simon Trace

Author: admin

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