WHITBURN’S Stephen Burdis and Phil Freeman triumphed in the Danby Autos Sunderland Snooker League Pairs final at Mill View Social Club.
Jeff Burn and Craig Kane, of Green Baize, have proved their credentials by taking part in four of the last five finals, winning twice due to their tenacious style and uncompromising attitude.
Burdis and Freeman are both naturally talented players, with Freeman winning the Open title on previous occasions in the league and a previous winner of the pairs.
Whitburn’s Burdis was first to take the iniative with some impressive potting as he built a break of 22.
A good safety shot saw Burn squeeze a pink past the black, over the middle pocket, leaving him the simple task of pinching the frame.
A bright start to the second frame saw the Whitburn pair in a positive mood, and Burdis had breaks of 24 and 16 to open a decent lead.
With Whitburn still attacking, a loose shot helped Burn build a break of 28 to get back into contention.
After a safety shot went wrong, Burn potted the brown and blue to take the Baize into a two point lead.
The recovery from a 41 deficit was completed as Kane cut a fine pink into a middle pocket to put them two frames up.
Freeman made a decent break in the third, which was added to with a 12 soon after.
Kane responded with a 14 break to reduce the lead, but a missed red, by Burn, left Freeman an easy task to put Whitburn into a 29 point lead.
The chance of a comeback, and a repeat of the earlier frames was on the cards, as Kane took the last two reds, with colours to leave the Baize only 11 behind.
It was Burdis who scored the sufficient points to pull one back for Whitburn and a start a recovery.
Good safety play by both teams restricted the chances of a frame winning breaks.
Kane took a chance to pot two blacks to bring the score close, before the tension started to show from both teams.
It was now a battle to establish a winning lead, but it was Burdis who siezed the chance on the colours.
He calmly moved into a 27 clearance with good positional play to take the frame and make it all square.
In the final frame, it was Kane who opened the scoring with a 14 break, and Freeman was unfortunate, when a red was cut into the middle pocket only to find a nudge had covered his expected colour.
A good safety shot put Freeman into difficulties, and he was forced to take on a difficult red to escape, leaving a simple opening and he was unlucky when nothing was available.
A brilliant long red by Burn saw him complete a break that took the Baize into a 26 point lead.
Another period of safety followed, before a well controlled 26 break by Freeman put Whitburn three ahead.
Burn took the last red with a brown, but lost position on the next red.
An opening was created by Burdis who stepped up to clear up and complete the fight-back and give Whitburn the title.