Sunday 11th October saw Total9ball return to St Albans Hurricane Room for the 3rd Annual Scotch doubles event. The scotch doubles is always one of the most looked forward to events on the T9B calendar. In 2013 we saw the first T9B scotch doubles champions crowned as Craig Osborne and Phil Morgan took the honours. 2014 saw Chris Hall and Mark Lunn steal the show but who would be known as the Total9ball Scotch Doubles Champions for 2015?
Total9ball assigned small handicaps to each team to try level the playing field, so friends could team up and to also keep out ultra-strong teams. I have to say this was a tricky event to handicap as most teams were a complete unknown as we haven’t had the opportunity to see them play together. T9B directors Mark Parker and Phil Wildman put the handicaps together and after advise from the T9B handicap committee I think we pretty much nailed it.
The pay out of prize money for this event would start in the Semi Finals. Each team to reach this stage would first have to qualify in the top eight teams after three challenging league stage matches and then win a cut throat knockout match. 12 teams in total entered this event which was lower than expected but T9B boosted the prize fund to reward attending players.
Matches were race to seven racks with the handicaps on top which ranged from -1 to +2 racks and each match was played to a winner breaks format. The show began at 11.30am and it wasn’t long before players got to grips with the format and found what worked for their team. Scotch is such an interesting format as a bad miss can crucify a team, some found a bit of coaching before shots helped while other found it put the pressure on as it and stopped their partners playing their own natural game. Who would take down this event? Can you pick the winners from the teams below?
Breaking Bad – Brian Cassidy and Chris Seville –1
Not even 50% India – Aslam Abubaker and Rich Twomey -1
Team T9B – Mark Parker and Phil Wildman -1
Big Gay Bears – Ryan O’Neil and Terry Challenger 0
Digital Dons – Jamie Bryan and Tom Staveley – 0
The Fizzlechicks – Chris Parker and Steve Chick – 0
The Greek Mafia – Apostalis Harmas and Spanelos Apostalis – 0
Watford Power – Mark Knightley and Paul Taylor – 0
Zeus Revenge – Mikko Tuomi and Panos Roulias +1
Gladiators Don’t Run – Dave Evans and Fi Radomski
The Dominating Duo – Mark Newell and Rich Fulwell +2
United Nations – Dave Paterson and Karl Hooley +2 – This team made a 450 mile round trip to be at this event
Just two of the 12 competing teams made it through the league stages undefeated they were Digital Dons and Team T9B. Their results are below:-
7v6 The Dominating Duo
7v4 The Greek Mafia
7v3 Big Gay Bears
7v4 The Greek Mafia
7v3 Big Gay Bears
7v1 Zeus Revenge
The Fizzlechicks needed Not Even 50% India to lose their final match of the league stage to qualify in 8th position. Not Even 50% India needed any winning score line to force a playoff with The Fizzlechicks. It was looking very grim for the team of Aslam Abubaker and Rich Twomey (Not even 50% India) as they trialled 3v6 to Watford Power. The fight back was on though and Aslam And Rich showed excellent fighting qualities to take the match 7v6. T9B rules at the beginning of the event said any teams tied on matches won and racks won would contest a playoff of a race to three racks with no handicaps. Not even 50% India took this playoff match 3v1 to advance to the Quarter Finals.
At this stage of the day the Break dish took centre stage but this time with a twist. It was to follow suit with the event by being a scotch break dish but this time it was two partners drawn from the tickets sold. As all players competing were classed by T9B as amateur players, the main break dish pot was carried over from the Amateur Series. After sales were compete the pot was announced at £480 this prize would be broken down to £40 per ball potted and a £80 bonus for the clearance of the ten balls. The first player called was Steve Chick. A second player would be called after Steve made his break attempt, meaning… the second player would come to the table with the luxury of the option to collect some prize money for doing absolutely nothing or if Steve failed to pot the second player called would have the break for the second team. Steve unfortunately didn’t make a ball off the break. The second player called was the only female player in the field Fi Radomski. Fi connected well with the one ball but failed to get enough power into the shot and didn’t make a ball. T9B decided to call the 3rd player at full pot rather than the standard £5 and £50 bonus. Chris Seville was up and boy did he hit the break well, one of the moving balls dropped into the middle pocket. This meant a partner would be called to the table and that partner was Mark Parker. The table looked quite good and there were whispers around the Hurricane Room of a £480 clearance. Mark I believe tried to develop the only possible problem balls. He potted the second ball whilst trying to split the only trouble balls but didn’t land in great position on the next legal ball. £80 was available for Chris and Mark to collect. Chris wanted to shoot at the next ball and Mark agreed he could make it so the players continued. Chris looked to pump in a long shot which was a very tough shot and without guaranteed position. He missed!!! This means the pot of £480 will roll over to next Saturday’s Amateur Series E8 held once again at St Albans Hurricane Room.
So at this stage of the Main Event just eight teams remained with each knowing there team were now just one win away from some prize money and three wins away from the top prize money, trophies and the winners photo. The biggest victory of the Quarter Finals saw the impressive Digital Dons defeat Dominating Duo 7v3. There were two 7v5 score lines in the Quarter Finals as Team T9B and Watford Power eliminated The Greek Mafia and United Nations respectively. Breaking Bad completed the results from this round with a good 7v5 victory against Not Even 50% India.
The Semi Final line up was complete and two mouth matches were about to begin. Digital Dons vs Watford Power and Team T9B vs Breaking bad. The matches were close throughout whilst similar in the fact that both were close right to the finish with each match twisting and turning of who would be the eventual winner. Watford Power made a great start and lead to the mid-way point of the match. Digital Dons fought back and looked to reach the Final but Knightley and Taylor had other ideas, a few missed pots by Digital Dons and Watford Power prevailed after a tense hill-hill rack 7v6. In the other match there was never more than two racks in the match. Break bad lead by two and Team T9B would reduce to a one rack deficit but then couldn’t capitalize on breaking the next rack until the tenth rack. Wildman sunk the 9ball to tie the match up at 5v5. Finally now after getting on level terms the pressure seemed to swing and suddenly is was Breaking Bad who were missing the pots and making mistakes. Team T9B ran out 7v5 winners. Neither team really played well but it was a very dramatic match.
The Final – Team T9B vs Watford Power. The final match of this event was played in great spirits and from start to finish Watford Power played a near perfect match. When Watford Power did miss a pot and this was few and far between they seemed to have the pool gods well and truly in there corner. Team T9B battled hard until the end but just couldn’t get back into the match. Tough pots where hitting the middle of the pocket time and time again from Watford Power as they really did put on a first class potting display. T9B reduced the arrears to 5v6 but a lose push out shot by Wildman left Taylor a just off combo, again this was potted… never in doubt with Taylor at the table and as always the shot was played with perfect shape on the next legal ball and another clearance was to follow, Mark Knightley played the only shot that could of gone wrong after this point as he hammered a long eight ball into the top left pocket with an abundance of top spin to leave Taylor the easiest nine to seal the deal. The match ended 7v5 to Watford Power. What a fantastic performance from Watford Power to take down this event, so solid all day with minimum mistakes made by both players. Great to see two of the nicest guys you could meet playing brilliantly and working so well as a team. Deserved event Winners and it they will take some stopping at next year’s event.
Once again another 1st class event put on by T9B. There is always such a buzz in the venue when the Scotch Doubles event is in progress. This event will defiantly be back for its 4th year in 2016. A massive thank you our sponsors Dynamic Billard and Hurricane Room and to all the players who supported this event.
Dates for your Diary
Saturday 17th October – Amateur Series E8 – St Albans Hurricane Room – Limited spaces remaining so act fast if you want to play
Saturday 14th November – Champion Of Champions Final Qualifier – St Albans Hurricane Room – Cheap entry. Final chance to get your ticket to the Champion of Champions events (Over £2000 Prize pool held 5th Dec)
Saturday 28th November – T9B Amateur Series Grand Finals – St Albans Hurricane Room – invite only (players must have played 3 of more Amateur Series events this season and be ranked in the highest 32 available players. Over £500 added to the prize pool)
Saturday 5th December – T9B Champion Of Champions Event – St Albans Hurricane Room – Invite only, Max 16 players, event winners from 2015 only. Still three chances to qualifier. Am Series E8 Winner and all other spaces given away at the Champion Of Champions Qualifier