The first Semi-final was more of a ‘test the water’ water type of match, both players treaded carefully as the playing conditions seemed to work against the Europeans. The table, the cloth and the balls were all new and the white skid a lot much to the athletes’ dismay.
Mark was the more composed of the two and it was no surprise that he drew first blood after Jack had broken dry in the opener. The same fate was dealt Mark in the second frame and Jack cleared straight away. The first few frames were typically characterised by mistakes from both corners but Mark made his mark early and lead 3-1. Farnsworth struggled with his break and this allowed Jack Whelan to scale back and level the scores at 3 each, and once again Mark went ahead after winning a tactical battle. Jack always seemed keen to instigate a witty tug of war but his opponent was less patient and took the game to Whelan. Mark won the match 8-6 eventually.
The second semi was a fun-filled thriller with lots of flair and pulsating clearances. Craig Marsh wowed the crowd with a break and run in the first frame, a clearance after Harry Irwin broke dry in the second frame and just like that the score was 2-0. Irwin finally got a chance to strut his stuff in the third frame after Marsh had sunk the white on the break off, he went on to clear and level the scores at 2-2. At three each, Craig set the stage alight once more with a break and finish. It then went this and that way but eventually Craig proved too strong for Harry and he will now face off against Mark Farnsworth for the coveted prize.
Craig and Mark didn’t disappoint, they were worthy winners in their respective Semis and the final had all the makings of a humdinger, both players are gifted potters and both do not like to be entangled in tactical frames. Mark took the first frame but Craig responded swiftly with a break and clearance to cancel the slender lead Mark had and he then went on to take the third frame with the finesse of a surgeon. Marsh’s creativity left many in awe but his lack of success with the break was always going to play on his psyche. He broke so poorly in the fourth frame that it inevitably became a tactical affair with Mark taking it eventually but you should have been here to witness the pot Mark pulled off to level the scores at two each. Craig denied us the excitement of hat-trick of breaks and clearances when he missed a sitter which would have taken him to 8-3. Prior to that Mark had broke and cleared and it seemed the momentum was now swinging in Farnsworth’s favour as he won the next two frames.
At the end of the day there had to be one winner and Marsh was unstoppable, his potting was phenomenal, his white ball management superb and Rolls Royce his cueing action was icing to an already very sweet cake… 8-5 it ended. Well done Craig Marsh.
THE BPL NEVER DISAPPOINTS!!!