Black Sheep’s Nanni and Goh were also fighting it out for Season 14’s title of best player. Both won their singles to ensure Nanni will take the award. Goh will not be disappointed to lose his title to a fellow teammate who makes pool look astonishingly easy while producing some scintillating play throughout the season.
With Riky and Thomas fresh from tournament successes over the holiday season, the Black Sheep team enjoyed a clean sweep of Spot Bar in the singles. In the doubles, Spot’s girls, Mimi and Dao, made Thomas lose focus to take their contest to the deciding frame, but Goh got the job done in the end with some showstopping shots.
Riky and Nanni, Black Sheep’s Italian connection, had no such distractions in their matchup against Richard and Paul. The whitewash was complete on the Champagne leg, 7-0; many congratulations to Division A’s new champions Black Sheep.
The race for runner-up is still too close to call. Shot Bar retain their second position, but it wasn’t plain sailing. Harry and Buster put Shot Bar into an early away lead against Tropical Sands, but they nearly ran aground when Craig and Andy brought the game level. Shot Bar weathered the storm by winning both doubles, despite Tropical Sands seizing the beer leg bounty. Final score there: 3-4.
White Hart remain hot on their heels in third with victory away to Future Bar. The visitors looked like they were going to romp to victory after going ahead 1-3 in the singles but Future had other ideas and won both the doubles. With White Hart on the back foot it looked like Future Bar would steal the game in the beer leg but a rare mistake by Future Bar Superstar Barry allowed the visitors in for an easy clear up, and another 3-4 ending scoreline.
Freedom Bar were heavily constrained by visitors Mango Bar, winning just one doubles-leg match on the night. Mango dominated the singles without conceding a single frame. In the doubles, Mango’s Mike and Gregg put them 0-5 ahead but Dave and Tom secured Freedom’s solitary point on the night. Unusually for Freedom, they failed to take the Beer Leg, leaving the score 1-6.
A Beer Leg decider was all that separated Black Pearl and Pita Bar. Throughout the match it was tit-for-tat with Pita’s Stefan showing no fear of Grega’s pre-match bravado. Black Pearl’s Dave, with the beautiful smile, brought the game level. Flob put Pita back in front but Black Pearl’s Bang brought the scores level by beating Grant, who drinks way too quickly to be drawn last in the singles.
It was honours even in the doubles but Pita sneaked the win with a fine deciding frame display.
Orange Bar continued their successive run of narrow defeats, this time against Massaya Bar. Massaya ensure they stay in Division A while Orange remain without a win and stay stuck to the root of the table. Masaya Bar went into a quick lead winning the first three singles, but it could have been a French renaissance when Jonathan won his singles leg for Orange against newcomer Seyfi. Pierre and Nico then got a vital first doubles leg but Masaya’s Marcus and Phil G condemned Orange to defeat, 3-4.
The second-from-last week of play in Division B won’t provide any major surprises. The Division winners and three promotion teams have been decided, so the teams are settling into a relaxed final two weeks of play.
Our opening game featured Season 14’s Division B winners and third-placed runners-up. Roses Bar hosted Black Bull in a game that was sure to include some competitive play, on paper at least. Roaring out of the gates, Roses took all four singles matches, with all but one of the games requiring a deciding frame. The doubles legs were shared, Kevin and Noom winning for the home side and Andy and Franck scoring a win for the visitors. The Beer Leg also needed a deciding frame, but went the way of the Division winners. Roses 6, Black Bull 1.
The Kilt’n Haggis ventured over to Stor Bar and managed to produce a great upset over the second-placed hosts. It was honours-shared in the singles with some very tight games going to three frames each. Stor Bar’s Ying and Taka had looked to open some clear air over the visitors with their win in the first doubles leg. But Paul and Graham kept the pressure on the hosts with a good victory in the second doubles leg. It went down to the Beer Leg, with The Kilt not giving an inch and taking a well-deserved 3-4 away win.
Neither Islander team took home points this week. Islander A hosted Baroque Bar, and were close to being knocked out in the singles. The Baroque girls took three of the four games, with only Andy M. maintaining some pride for the home boys. Some light was restored when the home side took the first doubles leg, but soon after extinguished entirely when Nikki and Oh won their doubles leg to win the match for visiting Baroque. Islander A salvaged the hard-fought Beer Leg, leaving the score on the night 3-4.
The Islander B boys made their way across to Shot Bar to face the Pink Sheep girls. It was the girl’s night, as they turned on the style to race quickly into a 3-1 lead after the singles. Only Andy, who must have been ginless on the night, managed to take some points for the visitors. The doubles were shared, and the Beer Leg was an easy 2-0 win for the girls. Pink Sheep continue their fine form with a 5-2 scoreline.
O’s Bar travelled down Viset to visit White Hart BBQ. The visitors were far from favourites pre-match, but the outcome is sure to delight their team. It was a clean-sheet for O’s Bar as they produced a 0-7 thrashing of White Hart BBQ. The hosts only managed to win two frames, and all credit to the visiting team for a fine performance.
The last match of the night featured two teams new to the Rawai Pool League this season. Moonlight Bar played hosts to The Stoned Crab. Singles wins for Moonlight’s Nonie, Patrick and Claudio, and Stoned Crab owner Sam left the score at 3-1 going into the doubles games. However, it was game-up for the Stoned Crab team with both doubles going to Moonlight Bar. A consolation drink from the Beer Leg was all that Stoned Crab took away on the penultimate night of Season 14. The last match of the night ended 5-2.
– Barry Craig and Richard Hearne
For fixtures, rankings and match scores please visit the official Rawai Pool League website at Rawai-Pool-League.com. Even better, come and watch or join in the fun every Monday. For supplies, please visit league-sponsors Phuket Pool Tables at ThailandPoolTables.com