It's back on, the scramble to qualify for the NSW state teams. The first playoffs were held at the Coolie Hotel on Sunday the 19th February under the control of Tournament Director Geoff "silver" Atkinson. What a way to start with 37 in the men's double elimination draw and 7 in the ladies round robin draw.
The quality of the players was way up on last year and augurs well for the strength of the NSW team's in the Nationals in the Northern Territory in late October. Former Aust singles champion "Dickie" Williams along with Rusty Wheeler, Paul Borg, Barry Kitchener Jnr and Snr, ex Vic Tony Ivanov, Johnny Ishnopulos, Dean Heremai, young guns, Damian and Cameron Parker, Damian Dixon, ex NT Jason Kyranis, throw in Peter North, Graeme Teale, Craig "taffy" Johnstone and several others who weren't in the mix last year and there sure weren't any easy runs through the field.
Same with the girls field, although down a tad in numbers they were all very competitive, and with Mel Malone still to enter the fray their team is looking to have some good depth, and with the potential for more ladies to enter the battle there are promising signs ahead. Sam Teale won the playoff with the impressive stats of 25 wins out of 30 frames, Anne Mclachlan won 20, Judy Williams 17, Kirsty Teale 16, Jamie Chapman 13, Tracey Wesstling 8, and Vikki Miller 6. All in all a good start for the ladies playoffs.
Thought the informal dress code was a plus for the players (especially those coming straight from their previous nights festivities) and that will stay. Another plus was the access to 9 tables at Coolie got us out of the venue at a reasonable hour, some pretty good pool was played and some not so pretty. Peter Watt the current NSW singles champion won the winners side and Rusty who got through the losers side couldn't get him so Pete got the cash. Dickie Williams showed he will be right at his best come nationals time, using his own cue will be a plus. Rusty, Barry Jnr and Snr and Dean Heremai all showed they are right up there at the moment. Some of us also rans on the day played alright but need to lift our games to the next level to put the pressure on the top guns, this is going to be one tough team to gain selection for the bottom few spots, and the hard competition ahead will be great for us all. With Shannon and Rusty Cheshire and others still be make appearances the pace will only get hotter.
The next playoff is the Byron Bay Classic at the Grand Northern Hotel 12.00 (AEDT) start tournament director Damien Smith Ph 0418 123393. The following playoff date, the Lismore Classic has been changed to the 9th April to avoid Easter and Anzac day and so not to be to close to Hervey Bay.
To keep the local comps viable attend them. Monday Dolphins hotel Tweed heads then Coolie. Hotel, Tuesday Great Northern Hotel 7.30 (AEDT) Byron Bay. Wednesday Ferry Road Tavern. Thursday Teams comp. Friday The Shack, Surfers. Saturday Options Tavern (day) Coolie Hotel (night) for more info on these comps visit
www.gc8ba.com and click on comps.
Keep your heads down, good potting.