Monday evening at STSC saw a very exciting final of the 2017 Handicap Tournament, between Jack Rivans (starting on -32) and Brandon Williams (starting on zero), playing best of 3 games.
Brandon was quickest out of the blocks in the first game as Jack struggled to make up the points difference (-20 to 8 and then -12 to 10). At this point Brandon was a clear favourite to take the game which he duly did by 15 points to 3. In the second game Jack stepped up his play from the very first point, playing tighter, harder shots and keeping the rallies short wherever possible. He even played a number of winning drop shots :-). By the time Jack reached zero Brandon had 5 points, so Jack was in pole position at this stage and ran out an easy winner by 15 points to 7.
At the start of the third game both players were looking a little tired to say the least. Jack started this game much as he had started the second, quickly bringing the points deficit down to -12 to 2. From this point Brandon seemed to get a second wind, and with Jack missing a couple of shots and Brandon hitting a couple of winners the score reached 0-8. It then progressed to 3-8 and then 3-11, putting the match in the balance before Jack made it back to 10-11. However, he then fell behind 10-13 and then 12-14 to give Brandon match ball. Jack stepped up to win the next 2 points to make it 14-14, with the game now needing to be won by two clear points. The final two points went fairly quickly as Jack served out the the match to take the trophy, though the result could have gone either way during those last few points.
Well done to both players, it was a most enjoyable match to watch and mark.
Roll on the 2018 tournaments.