Shot captain Harry put the first points on the board, but Black Sheep managed to share the singles with both Kevin and Luke racking up points. From this point it was all Black Sheep who secured both doubles games and the match win without conceding a frame. There was no consolation Beer Leg for Shot either, and the final score was 5-2 in favour of the current champions.
The champion’s sister team – newly promoted Pink Sheep – played their first ever Division A match away to White Hart. The all-lady team couldn’t find last season’s form and lost the first two singles matches to Jig and Phil F.
Noi started a come back for Pink Sheep, but Neil then stopped Lucky in her tracks.
With the scoreline 3-1 to the hosts, Jig and Phil cleared the table to finish off the match in their doubles. White Hart were just too strong, and despite a good Beer Leg consolation for the girls, the score ended White Hart 5 – Pink Sheep 2.
Newly promoted Black Bull were visitors at Pita Bar. The Division A newcomers went ahead early with Markus claiming a strong 0-2 victory over Grant. Pita Bar’s Stefan – fresh out of bed and only just in time – performed second-to-none against Andre. Dangerous Ding then stepped up to re-earn his nickname, securing his 2-0 victory. Pita’s newly returned Andy played his former team captain Franck in the last singles, taking a strong 2-0 win over the Black Bull owner.
Both sides took a point each from the doubles, giving Pita their first victory. The Beer Leg also went to Pita, to leave another 5-2 scoreline on opening night.
Further up Viset road, Black Pearl hosted promoted side Stor Bar. Black Pearl owner Dave opened play on his favourite table, and surprisingly lost 0-2. Black Pearl knew then they had a battle on their hands. The three remaining singles went to the home side, with Grega, Bang and Chris all winning without a frame dropped. The doubles both went Black Pearl’s way, with stand-out player Bang then finishing the Beer Leg with a superb cut on the black. Black Pearl move top of the table with a big victory against Stor Bar: 6-1.
Down on Rawai beachfront, Freedom Bar hosted Roses Bar – another promoted side. The Division B winners were looking to start their Division A run with an opening win, but an away fixture to Freedom Bar was always going to be tough. Luckily, the hosts had a cold start, and the visitors took a 1-2 lead after three singles matches. Popeye must have forgotten his spinach this Monday, and Mike continued his fine form for Roses to beat the Freedom owner 0-2. Christian and Tom pulled the score back to 2-3, but Rose’s took the last doubles and the Beer Leg to complete a 2-5 victory.
Monday night’s final Division A match saw Masaya greet guests from White Hart BBQ. Newly promoted White Hard BBQ had few answers in the singles, and the hosts were soon up 3-1. Only RPL scorekeeper Eric kept the visitors in the match. Victory was sealed in the first doubles, and Masaya went on to take the Beer Leg also. Final score 5-2 to Masaya Bar.
Division B welcomes five new teams to the Rawai Pool League in Season 15: Black Panthers, Cosmo Bar, Diligaff Bar, Happy Jack and Tamarind Pool Bar. Also joining the lower division this season are the 3 relegated teams from Season 14: Lulu Bar (ex. Orange Bar), Spot Bar and Tropical Sands.
Our first match featured the B division’s only derby, with Islander B and A teams duelling it out at their home bar. It was a case of “not enough shots” and not “pool shots” for the A team as they cruised to victory with a 1-6 scoreline. Only Terry managed to win a leg for the B team. Everything else went to the A players, who welcomed new team-player Flob to a good opening victory for Season 15.
Tropical Sands hosted newcomers Diligaff Bar. Diligaff had played in the Rawai Pool League under previous owners years ago, and the bar is well known to many RPL players. It was a finely balanced contest, but in the end, Diligaff got their season off to a better start. The sides shared singles and doubles, and it required the final frame of the Beer Leg to separate them. In the end, Diligaff secured a victorious debut.
Without a single win in Division A last season, Lulu Bar (ex. Orange Bar) may have hoped for a positive start in Division B. Opponents Happy Jack are new to RPL, and their players displayed some fine pool skills to lead 1-3 after the singles. Lulu looked to come back with a win in the doubles, but, alas, Happy Jack scored the victory in the second doubles. A consolation drink was in order for hosts Lulu Bar, but they suffered a 3-4 losing scoreline.
Kilt’n Haggis hosted Cosmo Bar, a new side from the Laguna complex. Another close match was in the offing, with all legs shared over both singles and doubles. The Beer Leg wasn’t so close however, with the newcomers Cosmo Bar winning the free drink and the match. It was a good 3-4 scoreline on Cosmo’s opening night.
O’s Bar welcomed Black Panthers, yet another new team featuring in Season 15, albeit with some well-known players. In yet another Beer Leg decider, both teams managed to stay neck-and-neck throughout the singles and doubles. And yet again it went to a deciding frame in the Beer Leg to provide the victor, and a first-ever match victory for Black Panthers.
The opening night’s final match saw name-changers Tamarind Pool Bar initially playing under the Black Duck bar name, only to switch names within 12 hours of the match. They travelled to Rawai beach for their match against hosts Moonlight Bar. They also got their season off to a good start with a strong win, although they surrendered the Beer Leg to the hosts. Division B’s final match on the opening night ended 3-4.
Inaugural Friendly Match
The RPL has introduced a new feature in Season 15 – weekly friendly matches between teams from Division A and B. With 13 teams playing in both Divisions, one team from each Division has no opponent each week. So it made perfect sense to allow some extra roaming, with a friendly played between those teams.
The inaugural friendly match was played between Mango Bar from Division A and Spot Bar from B. Despite a one-sided scoreline, both teams reported that the format worked very well and an excellent time was had by all players. We hope the friendly matches will continue to feature during Season 15.
– Gregg Bremner and Richard Hearne
For more information about the Rawai Pool League, visit the official website: http://www.rawai-pool-league.com
And Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RawaiPoolLeague/