National Finals 2011

Oxfordshire Manager takes National Singles Title

Adam Brown – 2011 National County Singles Champion

Congratulations to Adam Brown (Manager of OCPF) who won the 2011 Mens singles title at Selsey this year.

This is the first time in many years that Oxfordshire has been represented at the latter stages of the singles event. And he did it in some style, winning 8 successive rounds in the knockout tournament, coming out overall winner from over 300 entrants. He also knocked out last years champion Joe Flaherty Jnr along the way.

As Adam progressed through the rounds there were audible whispers around the venue – who on earth is the guy in the red shirt – he looks awesome!! Adam began representing England in 2010, and we are confident this will be the first of many titles to come the way of this oustanding Oxford player. Perhaps it wont be too long before he is adding international titles to his collection!

Adam played fellow local Oxford player in the final, Jason Buck (Scooby), but ultimately ran out the winner 5-3

Oxfordshire C make National Final

The ‘C’ team kicked off their tournament with a cracking 14 – 9 win over reigning Champions Hampshire. Up 6-3 after the first leg, we never really looked back and always maintained a 2-frame lead as we strolled to victory in our opening match.

We hammered Staffordshire 14 – 4 in the morning session of Day 2. The match was level at 2-2 before we pulled into another gear and won an incredible 12 out of the next 14 frames.

The ‘C’ team supporters witnessed an even bigger win in the penultimate group game as Oxfordshire played some blinding pool to beat Essex 14-2. With 11 players in the team and 11 frames that were not played, everybody picked up a bonus point due to the massive win.The last group game was against an unbeaten Cumbria and this would decide whether we finished top of our group or not. By far the toughest match of the group stage, Oxfordshire ran out winners 14-9. Confidence was high. The team were unbeaten. And 8 frames in, Jimbo was still unbeaten…

Banter flowed in the karaoke bar as it does every Saturday night on finals weekend. Staffordshire (our opponents in the semi-final) were singing louder than everyone, and the ‘C’ team replied with “You’re going home in the morning…” Oxfordshire did indeed send them packing after running out 14-10 winners. By far our closest match so far, we won the first two legs to take a 10-8 lead before winning 4 from the first 6 of the last leg. We had bettered last years position of semi-finalists. Still unbeaten. Jimbo, 11 frames in, STILL unbeaten…

We were to meet Cumbria in the final, a team we had already beaten in the group stages. I was quick to point out revenge would taste sweet and that we should not get complacent. We quickly fell 0-3 down before going on to lose the first leg 3-6 (the first time we lost a first leg) We had waltzed into the final without any real test and felt the pressure of chasing a lead. The second leg was better, winning 6-3 to take us level at 9-9. Was it to be? We quickly fell two frames down and suddenly it was 9-13. We were deflated. We were quiet. Hollis managed to grind out a frame. 10-13. Burt potted a beautiful long black under pressure. 11-13. The Oxfordshire roar was back and in full swing when Will dished up to bring it back to 12-13 before a Cumbrian had a huge slice of luck when potting his last ball and somehow managed to land square on the black. The black ball disappeared to cheers. Unfortunately those cheers wern’t from the Oxfordshire support. 12-14. Jimbo did unfortunately lose a frame (2 in fact). But his perfomances were solid all weekend and he was my man of the tournament. Cracking effort lads. Great banter, great pool. Looking forward to next season!

Oxfordshire A impress, reaching the semi final (By Adam Brown)

Arriving in Selsey I felt confident of a good performance from a team that has grown over the year as a unit and regardless I knew it would be a very enjoyable weekend.

Our first game at 11 ‘o’ clock on Friday (luckily for some) was against a Berkshire team that had recovered their star players and we didn’t get off to the best of starts – in the marquee. We soon succombed to a 14-6 defeat. The afternoon session saw us playing South Derbyshire, and with Gee out of action, Connor made an excellent showing winning his first frame for the A’s. the rest of the team banded together too and overturned our negative frame difference, beating them 14-6.

Saturday morning pitted us against a decent Flintshire side, and though they stayed close until 6-6 we managed to pull away and come out 14-9 winners. Our next match was what we thought would be the match we had to win to qualify for the semi final, against East London. Ufortunately they raced to an early 5-0 deficit proving too much to catch up, although we did share the rest of the frames coming out eventual 14-9 losers…frame difference back to zero.

At this point our chances of progressing through the group were slim, needing Berkshire to lose to Cheshire in their final game on the Sat afternoon and us to catch them up on frame difference. Our last game on the Saturday was against Staffordshire, a side who topped the Central region. for once we got off too a flyer and were quickly 5-0 up. An excellent performance saw us close the match at 14-7 and rumours floated over that Berkshire were 6-0 down… Our hopes looked to be dashed when Berkshire caught up and took the lead at 11-9 but in another turnaround they ended up losing 14-13. We then knew we had to win at least 14-8 against the saem side that they had just lost to to progress.

Awaking early Sunday morning full of confidence at the chance to knock out Berkshire and move into the semis, we started the match well againsoon moving into a 9-3 lead. As the match came to the end, tension built as we were split onto 4/5 tables needing one of the first two frames to finish to win the match by enough. Mansell held himself together and clinched the winning frame… 14-7

Hoping for a repeat of two years ago, we started the semi against Derbyshire in good spirits, but a few early mistakes cost us and we quickly trailed 9-3. In spite of a late comeback, we came out eventual losers 14-10.

Congratulations to the whole team on an excellent weekend, i’m very proud of our performance as a whole and though we couldn’t win it this year i’m sure we’ll be back again next year even stronger now. At least we lost to the eventual winners too, and we were very competitive against them – I think it was only the dodgy start that cost us. Well done Nick Mansell espescially on topping the A team stats – great performance.

 Oxfordshire Seniors dip out on final on last frame decider (by Dave Crawford)

Three games on Friday started off our weekend, first win would to be Berkshire 11-7.

Next up was London and another good win 11-5. A slip in the third against Bristol and a loss 9-11 to end the first day.

Day 2 gave us only one game against Essex A. This was to be another good win 11-4.

Sunday mornings first game against Warwickshire was a closer game but we came through 11-8 winners. Then the final group game against the unbeaten and very confident West Yorkshire. They were right to be so and beat us easily 5-11.This made us qualify second in our section.

Next up winners of the other section Cambridgeshire. A very close game coming out at 10-10 and into a playoff. Andy Lucus against Kevin Mc Ilroy both had chances and mistakes but unfortunately Andy Lucas came out winning.

Overall an excellent performance by all of the Seniors team, next year we will be stronger. Thankyou Seniors for making my job easy and enjoyable.

Oxford Ladies A step up their game (By Jaz Venning)

Yes the ladies did miss out on a place in the semis, but our performance over the weekend has filled us with confidence for the future of Oxford ladies team.

We stormed the group stage on the first day, beating East London (a team with a strong billing of England A players) 11-7, Wiltshire 11-5 and Derbyshire B 11-5. Confidence was sky high and our team has never looked so good. Everyone was winning their fair share of frames so these wins were a genuine team effort.

We then needed to win just one of our remaining two games to make it through the group. We struggled on Day 2 against West Berks our local rivals, and lost a disappointing 8-11.

On Day 3 it was a effectively a play off between Oxford and Staffordshire as we were joint on points going into our final group game. Whoever won would go through to play Hampshire in the semi. We got our noses in front early and remained a frame or so clear for the first half of the match. Staffs clawed it back in the second leg, catching us up at about 5-5, and pulled several frames ahead to 9-5. We then caught up several frames in a row to get back within sniffing distance at 10-8, but it was too little too late and we ultimately lost 8-11.

So we just missed out, but this felt a much more positive performance than I’ve seen from Oxford in recent years. As it happens Staffordshire did then go on to make the ladies final. But I think Oxford were good enough to have equalled that this year. I’m looking forward to next year already.

Special mention to Conny Meisenburg, who was our top female player, with three 3/3’s… Carrie Francombe also had a great tournament. Well played girls