Selsey on 6th-8th March 2009
|Oxford A||Oxford B||
Oxford Y A
|Oxford Y B|
|W Berks (L 14-12)||Berkshire (L 14-11)||W Berks (W 11-10)||Derby A (L 11-7)|
|Middlesex (W 14-11)||Staffs (L 14-8)||Derby (L 11-9)||Middlesex (L 11-8)|
|S Derby(W 14-8)||Warwick (W 14-12)||Staffs (L 11-7)||Essex (W 11-8)|
|E London (W 14-5)||Essex (W 14-10)||E London (W 11-9)||Cambs (L 11-10)|
|Bristol (W 14-11)||Middlesex (W 14-7)||Derby B (W 11-2)|
|Derby (W 14-13)||Semi Finals||Derby A (W 11-5)|
|E London (W 14-8)||Final||Middlesex (W 11-8)|
Oxfordshire A & Oxfordshire Over 40’s National County Team Champions 2009!!
Oxford started their campaign against local rivals West Berkshire. A fairly even start finished with Oxford taking a first leg lead of 5-4. Good wins for Kevin Mcllroy, Ash Fletcher and John Kinsey. The second leg though did not go quite so well. West Berkshire took out some good finishes to leave Oxford under pressure at 10-8 down. Marcus Guise and Pete Maconochie could only keep Oxford in touch as West Berkshire continued to produce some big finishes and eventually took the match 14-12. Kevin was off to a flyer with a maximum backed up with 2 wins for John, Ash and Pete.
The second match was against John Sullivan’s Middlesex. Middlesex started very well and Oxford was immediately on the back foot with a 6-3 first leg loss. However, Oxford displayed a great determination and spirit to fight back and take the second leg 7-2, led by some big frames from Adam Brown, Matty Challen and John Kinsey. Andrew Gee opened his account with an excellent win against John Sullivan. That put us 10-8 up. Oxfordshire managed to trade frames until Ash ended the game with an excellent finish. Oxford up and running with a 14-11 victory. 2/3’s for John, Kevin, Marcus, Adam & Matty.
Day 2 started with South Derbyshire. A tight first leg went Oxford’s way 5-4. Adam & Matty were certainly finding their form. Oxford pulled away in the second leg with a 6-3 win making the score 11-7. With frame difference being crucial it was all about finishing ASAP. John raced through a clearance early in third leg to prevent any further South Derby frames after Andrew had set the win up with another excellent frame. Big win 14-8. Adam & Matty recorded maximums with two wins for John, Andrew and Jamey Street.
The next match was the big one – East London, who were tournament favourites. The Oxford starting trio (Adam, Matty & Jamey) got Oxford off to a storming start. Within 3 minutes it was 3-0 to Oxford. Before East London could blink Jimmy Cairns, John and Andrew had made it 6-1. East London, clearly under pressure started to make simple mistakes. A 7-2 first leg was backed up with a 6-3 second leg win. Matty went on to record a maximum when he won the match in the first frame of the third leg. Oxford had won by a massive 14-5 score line. 2 wins for Kevin, Adam, Andrew and Jimmy.
Only Bristol stood between Oxford and the Semi-Finals. Bristol were having a good competition and proved as stubborn as ever! A good start from our openers again laid the foundations for a good 6-3 first leg win. However, Bristol hit back in the second leg to win it 5-4 and make things tense again. Just when it started to look dodgy, Adam and Marcus produced great clearances to settle the nerves and the match was quickly won 14-11. Oxford not only qualified but topped their group. The reward was a Semi-Final against Derby.
The Semi-Final was an extremely tense affair. However, the support Oxford received was excellent and certainly made a difference. Oxford certainly started better with more wins for Matty, Adam & Pete as Oxford stormed 3-1 ahead. Andrew once again performed brilliantly as he, Jimmy and John pushed the advantage home and a 6-3 lead. The second leg started equally well with Jamie, Adam and Kevin putting Oxford clear at 9-4. Derby however, started to fight back and won 6 of the next 7 frames making for a very tense last few!! Adam and Jimmy stopped the rot but at 12 all John went to table only for Derby to Break and dish. 13-12 down. Kevin and Pete were both involved in long frames. Kevin forced the mistake but uncharacteristically over-screwed his last ball and missed the black. Derby had their chance – a long straight black. Thankfully Derby rattled it leaving Kevin with the formalities. 13 all. Pete meanwhile was in a marathon. To cut a very long story short Pete forced Derby into having to attempt a very difficult skill shot which went wrong. Pete took his chance brilliantly and put Oxford in their 2nd final in three years.
Facing a team in the final you have already beaten really puts the pressure on. Facing East London again was always going to be tricky. However, yet again, our first three really set the tone. Adam started with a great clearance; Kevin and Matty followed suit and Oxford were 3-0 up. This time though East London hit back with four on the bounce. Marcus Guise and Andrew Gee though made it Oxford’s leg 5-4. The second leg started badly with both Matty and Kevin losing. Once again, Adam and Andrew produced great performances to keep Oxford ahead. This was really the turning point as within a few moments a few frames turned on their head in Oxford’s favour. Pete profited from some London nerves, John managed to pot his black from a snooker and Jimmy Cairns got over the line thanks to yet another London mistake. Jamie Street pulled out a few party pieces to steal yet another. Oxford were 11-7 up. Oxford packed their top order with everyone playing well in a hope to finish it quick. The gamble paid off as Matty made it 12-8. Both Pete and Jamie were on clearances and Oxford looked to be sailing to victory when both of them snookered themselves. Jamie managed to keep the pressure on while Pete managed to pot his last ball and fall on the black to make it 13-8. Jamie’s opponent rattled his last red leaving Jamie with 2 yellows and a black. With no fuss Jamie saw Oxford home to an amazing victory. Oxfordshire – National County Champions 2009.
It completed a great weekend. A huge thank you to all the supporters who made the latter rounds a great experience. Special mention to Adam Brown for topping the stats in his first year and also to Andrew Gee who played so well all weekend despite running between youth and A-team matches!! The result is a huge testament to the power of team spirit and determination.
Oxfordshire County Manager / Captain