What a day, what a match, the IPA contingent went head to head with their South African counterparts in Johannesburg in what was a match made in pool heaven, a dream come true for many a pool fan and local promoters. The BPL (Billiard Premier League) team was taking no prisoners and they wanted to make sure that they make a long lasting impact and show the whole world that they are up there with the best. Craig Marsh, Jack Whelan, Harry Irwin, Mark Farnsworth and Chris Bowron all tried hard but came short against South Africa’s Charl Jonck, Kyle Akaloo, Yazeed Ace Salie, Paul Bennett and Yulan Govender who stamped their authority throughout the match.

The first two frames were breaks and clearances and the crowds went crazy but lack of luck on the breaks dampened the spirits of the athletes and we had to settle for tactical frames here and there and the mistakes started creeping in. Team BPL was in its usual best, they kept the visitors on the back foot and in their seats. I am not making excuses for the visitors but the table was way out of their comfort zone, the speed cloth took the wind out their sails, they lost the white ball on many occasions and they only settled down too late in the match.

Craig Marsh was outshone by the likes of Yulan and Paul, Mark Farnsworth struggled too, and Chris was in such in a hurry that he wasted valuable chances. Adrenalin got the better of Bowron, and Jack was out of it completely. The match was lost and won in the second set, the first set went the way of the visitors 3-2 and that may have caused complacency to creep in. In the second stanza the visitors took their feet off the pedals and something big hit them dead. The set ended 5-0 and just like that the IPA armour was chipped and there was no coming back for them. If there was ever any doubt about the prowess of the local guys then this event was full testament that they are just as good as the World.