We did what we do best like we were doing it for TV. TimeOut Sports bar was a hive of activity this weekend and the atmosphere was conducive as well as it was terrific. Live on StreamIT360.tv Aden was the first to grace our screens at 1pm on Saturday when he squared up against former U23 Champion Nsovo Mathonsi in a do or die relegation duel. Both athletes looked colourful and flamboyant befitting the splendid show that they put on for the fans but there was always going to be only one winner and it could have really gone either way. There were moments of brilliance and agonizing misses and some very well thought out tactical frames with a lot of maturity and class displayed by the youngsters. The total age for both these lads is only 39 yet they play like true masters and champions who have been at it forever.
Aden quickly made his intentions known from the very first frame of the afternoon and he went on to win that session. At this stage both athletes were still struggling to compose themselves in front of camera and it showed in the number of misses that they each had but a 4-1 result to Aden’s good was a good enough omen for the Mens Champ. After the breather Nsovo came back poised for attack and the session quickly ended with the same 4-1 score–line and this set the tempo for a nail-biting 3rd set. When Nsovo was leading 3-1 in that final set, even Aden had his head hung, there were only about two or three balls left for Shilolo to clear and then the unexpected happened. For lack of a better word, that was a miracle, a very well spotted foul was called by the referee (Kobus) who had to explain to the lad from Soweto that the cuff of his shirt had brushed one of the balls on the table and that then meant that Aden had to be awarded a free shot and that was the last thing Mathonsi did in that session and it was at that very moment that he knew he had messed up. The Wonderkid cleared then dished an apple and another and just like that Nsovo’s fate was decided for the day.
The Sunday match was always going to be a difficult one for Shilolo as he had to take on the unforgiving Assassin who had already dismantled Legacy on Saturday. It wasn’t exactly a one-horse race and Mathonsi put up a pretty good fight which is echoed by the 4-3 score-line in both sets. The match had a lot of unsuccessful breaks and a good percentage of the frames henceforth were tactical ones.
Sandile has hit an all-time low in the BPL and for the very first time he finds himself occupying the number 10 position, a place that had until Sunday been synonymous with Aden Joseph. Not even the livestreaming cameras could bring some luck for the struggling Madlala. Yes he played very well, but Charl got the result that mattered the most. The way these players broke was amazingly similar; for every dry break and or a sunk white on the break by Charl, Sandile countered with his own version of a dry break or the white would also go in-off. You could feel the exasperation as both players just couldn’t figure out what would work. The break is an integral part of the game and on Saturday it eluded both athletes and we were denied the pleasure of witnessing our favourite break and clearances from these top dogs. Charl won both his matches 2-0 and shot right back to his comfortable seat as the number one seed. The Assassin is 9 points clear at the top making it mathematically impossible for anyone to catch him at least not in the month of October, on the other hand Aden is out of the red zone for now after he registered his 3rd and fourth consecutive wins on the trot. Snooker players always seem to have somewhat an added advantage over the normal pool table athletes and this was the case for Charl–Aden when they took on Sandile–Nsovo.
Teams are meant to benefit every individual in them so that they collectively can achieve more. Nico Erasmus had to travel to the KZN alone after Ishmael Mthethwa finally decided that the BPL was not his cup of coffee and he has effectively quit the league prompting an exodus of players across three divisions. Thami Jabavu who was 4th on the 2nd Division log has been promoted into the 1st Division to replace Ishmael and Keenan will replace Thami, someone will have to replace Keenan in the Super League. Nico could have also underperformed because he might be lacking match fitness coming back from the break and perhaps his heart was at TimeOut where all the action was happening. The KZN boys took turns at punishing Nico and he came back home empty handed. This is a huge blow for Erasmus who was on track to getting promoted back into the Premier League and with Keagan Pillay hot on his heels, Nico should now dig very deep in order to stay relevant. He might still be number one but he should have won at least one of his matches. With Ishmael pulling out, this meant the KZN guys could only play one match each and they will have to book another date with Thami at a later stage. Fans of Thami might not exactly be in favour of the decision to take up the void left by Ishmael. Rea Vaya was currently positioned fourth on the second division log with only a few points behind third placed Juandre. Thami managed to beat both Donovan and Juandre in the first round of matches and Mabuti lost to both these players this weekend, this means that he was in a good position to fight for top honours and get promoted to the higher division next season. Now with him accepting the 10th position that Ishmael left means that he will be fighting relegation for the remainder of the season with opponents that have already found their footing and would have played the other guys at least once whereas he will be trying to introduce himself. The risk of getting relegated in this scenario is too high whereas the prospect of getting promoted was within reach if you look at the permutations. However it is done and we can only wish him well albeit with reservations.
The boys from PE brought the wind with them this weekend and they did well to blow away Mabuti and Zaid. Kara and Mbotyeni could only secure just a set each otherwise it would have been a catastrophic avalanche sweep by the boys from the windy city. Juandre is the Sheriff’s Toast of the week for his effort, he didn’t just win his matches but he managed to secure a total of 6 apples over the weekend and he finds himself in 3rd place just four points behind the log leader. Mabuti has been dominated by these contenders from the Eastern Cape which ironically is also Mbotyeni’s homeland.
THE BPL NEVER DISAPPOINTS!!!