played at the Otaki RSA on 27th & 28th May 2017
There were several surprises in section play. Capital City's Mark Hannah caused the first upset of the Tournament with his confident win against Waikato's Darren Taylor. Darren Taylor failed to qualify. Capital City's Ross McNab now has the nickname "The Giant killer" when he played very well to get a victory against Derek Gibb (CC).
Local Lad Mark Hannah has always shown promise in Billiards, his Dad- Robbie Hannah, a wonderful Billiard player himself having been the Otaki RSA Billiards Champion 39 times, has coached his son in both forms of Cue Sport, Snooker & Billiards. Adesh Shekatkar flowed when beating Derek Gibb in their section play match. Another very popular qualifier was Russ Delahunty who also with his computer, recorded the results and set games in motion so his performance was indeed meritorious. Mark Taylor was also in a tough section, but he did play very well and earnt his place in the last 8.
Quarter finals (2 hours) had Zac Guya (CC) getting up against "Giant Killer" Ross McNab (CC) 351-198, Mark Hannah(CC) bt Russ Delahunty(CC) 353-273, Wayne Carey (AK) bt Derek Gibb(CC) 286-150, Adesh Shekatkar(WK) bt Mark Taylor(WK) 518-337.
In the 2 hour semi's, Mark Hannah stayed with Zac Guya for some time with Guya's experience helping him to conquer Hannah 350-256. The other semi had Adesh Shekatkar always playing better than Wayne Carey and the score didn't reflect the dominance Shekatkar had while winning 400-349.
The 2-hour final had the current Waikato Champion Adesh Shekatkar taking the early lead with the popular Zac Guya, a past North Island Billiard Champion, trailing most of the time. Guya's long losers weren't happening and these let him down badly but the reflection of the final score showed just how close the game became, Shekatkar winning 368-353 and getting his name for the first time on this time honoured "North Island Billiards Championship" Cup. Highest break went to Derek Gibb with a nicely constructed 111.
Adesh Shekatkar, originally from India, with a high tournament break in his home Country of 278, is an exciting prospect for NZ Billiards as he got his NZ Citizenship on 5th April 2017. His results will be closely watched when he competes in this year's NZ Billiards Champs at the Woolston Club at Christchurch in July.
Also worth mentioning is that the ... whisper is out ... that a few of the Snooker players will be dabbling in Billiards after this year's NZ Snooker Champs . a wonderful thing to happen and once they get the "BB" - (Billiards Bug) they could quickly climb the ladder and some may become "dual NZ Reps" which some of our "greats" have already achieved.