Totton Rec have won the Usher Team Billiards Handicap Cup after beating Park Gate RBL in a thrilling final game decider at Shirley Cons.
The match started well for Totton as Lee Fitzpatrick (receive +75), fresh from his billiards doubles final success with Tony Aldridge, made a 36 break to help beat Park Gate’s improving Ian Finch (receive +60) 200-119. This gave Totton an 81-point advantage in the total points scored format final.
Park Gate were trying to win the trophy for the third year in a row. A feat that has never been completed so expectations were great The second game had Paul Lawrence (receive +20) facing Totton’s Mick Kunzi (receive -60), a repeat of the Senior Billiards quarter final clash. Lawrence played fluently in the first 15 minutes to keep his handicap advantage but back came Kunzi, making breaks of 32, 34 and 36, made up of some fine long in-offs and cannons. However Lawrence held his nerve and eventually won by 200-169. The aggregate score was now at 369 to 319 to Totton.
So Park Gate were still down on the aggregate points total, but were finding the form that helped them achieve second place in the Southampton billiards league. Park Gate's captain Chris Pullen (receive +120) then beat Brian Cannons (receive +110) by 200-168 to leave the aggregate arrears to 519 to 537 in Totton’s favour.
In the penultimate pairing, Park Gate’s Paul Tavender (receive +20) kept tabs with Tony Aldridge (receive +55) but eventually lost by a nail biting six points, 200-194. This left the team aggregate points total wonderfully poised at 713 to Park Gate and 737 to Totton.
The last game between Totton’s Steve Allen (receive -50) and Park Gate’s Chris Christodoulou (receive +60) had both players giving their all to win the prestigious trophy. They treated the audience to some fine scoring shots and some nervous misses – acceptable under the circumstances!
Just as it looked as if Christodoulou was going to give his team the win, Allen found his form and made a 36 break, and went on to gain the required 176 points to win the match and then nudged his way to a 200-195 points game win, for a team aggregate points win by 937 to 908. Well done to both teams for a wonderfully exciting final evening.
Churchills Eastleigh V WINNERS Park Gate RBL
D Foster 200 (30) V I Finch 147
S Green 200 V S Boterhoek 178
P Adams 139 (43) V P Tavender 200 (30)
D Baker 145 V C Christodoulou 200
M Henstredge 160 V C Pullen 200
Chandlers Ford Central V WINNERS Totton Rec
Danny Zagaroli (74) 200 Mike Kunzi 97
Terry Azor (58,31) 59 Brian Cannons 200
Dave White 200 Lee Fitzpatrick 174
John Mullane 51 Tony Aldridge 200
Trevor Thorn 185 Dan Stone 200
C/Ford 695 Totton Rec 871
USHER CUP TEAM HANDICAP QUARTER FINALS GO TO THE WIRE
The Southampton Billiards league’s Usher team handicap cup cued-off with eight teams vying for the prestigious trophy. The tournament is played with five players on each side, with individual points handicaps, trying to reach the required 200-point mark. The winning team is the one with the highest total points at the end of the evening.
Shirley Cons visited Churchills Eastleigh after beating the same opponents in the league the week before. It started well for Shirley, as Malcolm Willis beat Simon Green by 200-169, but then Churchill’s Mike Henstredge played superbly to overcome Mike Thatcher by 200-142. Shirley’s Keith Castles then gave his team the aggregate advantage by 542-530 as he beat Derek Foster 220-161.
Churchill’s Dave Baker had a fine tussle with Sid Hunt and eventually won by 200-188 to leave the total team aggregate score level on a tantalising 730-730. This set up the last pairing as a winner takes all game. Churchill’s Paul Adams then made breaks of 66, 40, 31 and a 15 hazard 45 to beat Mark Emm by 200-128 and seal a wonderful victory 930-858.
Another close game had the current trophy holders Park Gate RBL at home to Hamble Social. Park Gate's Ian Finch beat Luke Castle by 200-175, but Hamble’s Mark Spridgeon overcame Chris Christodoulou by 200-189. Park Gate’s Paul Tavender then beat Shaun Murphy 200-180, but back came Hamble with Paul Knights overcoming Paul Lawrence 200-167, to leave the aggregate with only one point in it at 756-755. Park Gate’s captain Chris Pullen was up to the test as he beat Will Mildenhall 200-163 for a fine team win.
Totton Rec had it a touch easier as they beat hosts Curdridge RBL by 981-876. Curdridge started well with a 200-181 win for Rob Smith against Brain Cannons, but then it was Totton all the way as they reeled off the last four games. Dan Stone overcame Brian Bull 200-144, Mike Kunzi (48 break) beat Nick Alford 200-163, Tony Aldridge beat Derek Fry 200-177 and Steve Allen pipped Gwen Gamblin 200-192.
A late detailed result in had Chandlers Ford Central beating Sarisbury Social 920-868. With wins for Daniel Zagaroli (36, 106, 32, 32), Terry Azor (75, 44) and Trevor Thorn (37 unf) against Kas Remzi, John Oldfield (35) and Jeff James. Winners for Sarisbury were Geoff Knapp (31) and Norman Bradfield (30) over Dave White.
CHURCHILLS EASTLEIGH V SHIRLEY CONS
S Green 169 V M Willis 200
M Henstredge 200 V M Thatcher 142
D Foster 169 V K Castles 200
D Baker 200 V S Hunt 188
P Adams 200 (66, 45, 40, 31) V M Emm 128
PARK GATE RBL V HAMBLE SOCIAL
Ian 200 Luke 175
Chris C 189 Tony 200
Paul T 200 Shaun 180
Paul L 167 Paul 200
Chris P 200 Will 163
956 v 918
CURDRIDGE RBL V TOTTON REC
Rob Smith 200 Brian Cannons 181
Brian Bull 144 Dan Stone 200
Nick Alford 163 Mike Kunzi (48 break) 200
Derek Fry 177 Tony Aldridge 200
Gwen Gamblin 192 Steve Allen 200
Totton win the aggregate 876 - 981
CHANDLERS FORD CENTRAL V SARISBURY SOCIAL
D. ZAGAROLI 200 V 138 K.REMZI 
T. AZOR 200 V 144 J.OLDFIELD 
T.THORN 200 V 186 J.JAMES 
G.HOLLICK 126 V 200 G.KNAPP 
D.WHITE 194 V 200 N.BRADFIELD 
T.T. 37 UNF