GREEN Baize triumphed in the final of the Westoe Removals Sunderland Snooker League Summer competition ... after a long battle!
The first frame was between Robert Cougle, of Seaham Conservatives, and Green Baize’s Dean Wilson.
Wilson was giving away a 30-handicap start and soon showed his intent as a good long red led to a 14 break.
Cougle could only watch as Wilson continued his inspirational play to soon overtake the handicap and it was a surprise when he missed a simple black to go into a lead.
During the frame, Wilson fluked a red and played a beautiful snooker that brought a brilliant response off three cushions by Cougle.
It was looking likely that Wilson would clean up after potting a good green, but a stutter saw him miss the brown, yet still retain a 15-point lead.
Cougle then forced Wilson to go in-off after laying on a good snooker and then take the opening to pot the brown and blue.
Wilson surprisingly missed a pink for the game into a bottom pocket. When most of the players were expecting a safety shot, Cougle cut a very fine pink into the pocket, but was not in a perfect position for the black.
He took on another risky shot, but won the frame as the ball ended up in the bottom pocket, to put Seaham into the early advantage.
A second frame had Peter Dambrosie, of Green Baize, endeavouring to level the match.
Les Pinder, of Seaham, had a 25 start and he soon showed that he was not going to be tied down and he started the frame in a positive manner.
He increased his lead before Dambrosie took a black, followed later by a pink, but a poor shot saw him go in-off leaving Pinder still holding a lead of 31.
Dambrosie adopted an ultra-safe approach, but it was Pinder who grasped the frame by the scruff of the neck to move 53 ahead with only two reds left on the table. Dambrosie required two snookers and after a small attempt that failed, Pinder settled the situation by taking a red that forced Dambrosie to concede and move Seaham two ahead.
Michael Monaghan needed to win the third frame to win the match for Seaham, and Jeff Burn was in a must-win situation for Green Baize and needing to reduce a 25 handicap start.
A long period of safety play by both saw the reds all collected in a bunch at the bottom of the table and the colours at the top end. After the referee had brought the time taken to both players’ attention, Burns eventually scored 19 before a bad miss.
With only 25 on the table, Burn had a lead of 19 that was reduced as Monaghan took the green and brown to come back into the game.
After a foul by Burn on the pink, it was now wide open for both players with three balls left. A shot on the pink by Monaghan fell short, leaving Burn with the easiest of chances to claim the frame.
The advantage had now swung towards Green Baize in the pairs frame, with Burn and Wilson already having had a singles frame on the table while Gordon Elliott of Seaham had just returned from holiday and Will Cowell had had a long wait.
It was nip and tuck with the lead alternating. Cowell, who had been a star in the semi-finals for Seaham, was not showing the same form although he was contributing with some good safety play.
Going into the colours, the match was still available for both teams until Burns took the blue and pink to make it all square 2-2 and force a decider.
The draw for the final frame had Robert Cougle with a handicap start of 30 playing Peter Dambrosie off scratch.
It was now desperation time with the clock showing 10.50pm, and the referee wondering if he was catching the last bus or the first bus in the morning!
Dambrosie soon showed his matchplay with an opening break of 16 to reduce his deficit, while Cougle was still settling in. A fluke on a red for Dambrosie led to a well-constructed 30 break, that showed his true capabilities and made his negative approach seem pointless.
With time running out, chances were now being taken by both players and Dambrosie held a lead to eventually win the game for Green Baize.