THE final of the Dromara J&L pool competition was held in Raymond Jess’s pool room at Lepogues, just outside Dromara on Friday January 13 starting at around 8pm.
The main organizer of the fixtures and events was Mr Laurence Armstrong from Dromara who also plays out of the Stove Bar Team.
This was the main event as all the teams that played throughout the year were eager to witness who this year’s champions would be between the two finalists - the Strikers A team and Turley’s Bar.
The team captains shook hands and tossed for the break. There were at least six frames to be played or the first to win four to collect the trophy. The atmosphere was tense and the growing crowd were now interested in every shot. Would Strikers win for the first time or would Turley’s put a stop to it and claim the cup? Game on!
The atmosphere at Raymond’s was now tense as the cup final was just about to start as Laurence set up a few items to raise funds for the pool league. This kept the atmosphere flowing all night.
Everyone was now excited and rooting for the team they wanted to see win. There was a lot of activity upstairs now in Turley’s Bar as the first game was about to begin.
The first two to meet at the table were Neil Beggs from Strikers and Andy Boyd from Turleys with Andy breaking. This was to set the precedent for the final and each player took their time with lots of concentration and tactical shots. The game went on for over 25 mins with Neil finishing all his balls and aiming for the black, which he just missed. It bounced off the cushion, leaving Andy to tap in his remaining red, followed by the final black to steal the first game..
The second to play were Aliboo and Physco with Aliboo to break. A tense game from the start with a few good safety shots from both players. Clive (Physco) kept the pressure up until a long yellow wobbled in the jaws to leave Aliboo a clean up with a great black to win the frame. The scores now even
Third match was between Cauley and David Boyd. After David broke the balls seemed to be in a great position to finish. David was potting well until he made a mistake and ran out of position, leaving Cauley to steal the frame with another good finish and cheers from his team mates and the spectators there to watch. The score is now 2-1 to Strikers.
Raymond’s gaff was now full of people keen to see the final and the craic was fantastic with lots of banter from all sides, especially guided to Laurence, but that was like water off a duck’s back for him. Game on!
The fourth game was between Huckle and Roy Boyd. Huckle broke and left most of the balls in a great position for Roy. After a few shots Roy took the lead and potted the remainder of his balls and finished with a great shot on the black to win the frame score now 2-2.
The next game was between Wayne Beggs and Mervyn with Mervyn to break. The game opened up slowly but after a couple of shots Mervyn held his nerve and took on a few great shots to finish with the best pot of the night on the black by doubling it into the bottom pocket to take the lead. A brilliant pot and that was acknowledged by all in the pool room. The score was now 3-2 to Turleys
Match six was between Hoc and David, with Hoc breaking. This was another quick game with good shots and good pots but still a close game with Hoc finishing the game again with a double on the black to win the frame. The score was now a draw at 3-3.
The spectators were now quite excited with the fact that it was a draw and it was down to the last game to win the cup. Boisterous would be the word for some as Laurence put the prices up yet again as the party was in full swing.
The final game was between Mal and Ian with Ian to break. This was to decide the winner for the J&L Cup and everyone gave a cheer for their team as the break had commenced. You could see the tension from Strikers as they were not expecting the match to go this far.
Mal took the lead and left just a couple of balls on the table and let Ian back in for a shot. Ian then potted a few and missed one to leave Mal an easy pot to start and then cleaned up and doubled the black to the middle to clench the game and the title.
Raymond’s place erupted with cheers as Strikers had won the J&L Cup for the first time. Applause came from the rest of the spectators as Neil grabbed the cup and cheered “Go on.”
After the photos the Strikers left in fantastic form knowing they were the champions cheered the whole way out to their cars. Well done the Strikers!!