LAST weekend saw inter-county pool played at three different levels in Scalloway and Lerwick.
The four-day event began at the Scalloway Boating Club on Friday. First up was the under-21 flyer, which 28 players entered.
The semi-final results were: Andrew Stout (Shetland) 3, Bobby Hutchison (Shetland) 2; Stuart Sinclair (Shetland) 3, Leslie Drever (Orkney) 1. In the final Andrew defeated Stuart 3-1.
Next up was the under-18 inter-county. Shetland went into this event as defending champions, but as a year is a long time in pool and young players can progress quickly, there wasn’t a favourite.
Play consisted of 10 players in each team, playing three sets of two frames. In the first set Shetland went into a 14-16 lead. The second set was very tight with Shetland winning 11-9 and in the third Shetland played very well and took another 14-16 win to retain the trophy by 39 frames to 21.
Top scorers for Shetland Andrew Cheyne and Andrew Stout got six out of six and captain Bruce McCulloch got five out of six. For Orkney Sam O’Hagen got four out of six.
Next was the B county flyer which was a warm up for the proper county. Despite a poor turnout from the senior players, 36 entered.
The semi-final results were: Lee O’Hagen (Orkney) 3, Luke Johnson (Shetland) 1; Ryan Duncan (Shetland) 0, Ben Kerr (Shetland) 3. This set up an Orkney v Shetland final and the result went 3-0 to Orkney with big Lee on very good form.
On Saturday at the Scalloway Boating Club the first event was the under-18 singles trophy.
The quarter final results were: Bruce McCulloch (Shetland) 2, Scott Henderson (Shetland) 3; Chris Burton (Orkney) 3, Grant Fullerton (Shetland) 0; Mitchell Cross (Shetland) 2, Keir Johnson ( Shetland) 3; Luke Johnson (Shetland) 3, Aaron Shearer (Orkney) 1.
The first semi-final saw Scot and Chris battle it out to the end with Scott winning 3-2. The other semi saw Keir beat his brother Luke 3-0. The final was a tight affair with Keir beating Scott 4-2 to become under-18 singles champion.
After a small break for mince amd tatties the B senior county began. This consisted of two teams of 12 playing three sets of two frames.
After the first set things were all square at 12-12 with good wins of 2-0 to Bruce Park (Shetland) and Derek Duncan (Shetland).
The second set saw Shetland take a two frame lead, again Derek and Bruce winning 2-0.
In the third Orkney kept it even until Mitchell Cross (Shetland) won 2-0 and Derek Duncan got is third 2-0 win and Paul Johnson, captain, took the winner. Shetland went on to win the set 14-10, winning overall 39-33.
It was an excellent win for Shetland as Orkney fought hard and the result could have gone either way.
The Shetland team was Keir Johnson, Kenny Henry, Mitchell Cross, Sandy Henry, Bruce McCulloch, Derek Duncan, John “Square” Williamson, Carl Cross, Bruce Park, Paul Johnson (captain), Richard Manson and Colin Irvine.
At night everything moved to the Norscot Angling Club for the programme event between the Scottish number three and UK number six Alan “Renzy” Reynolds and Alan Cummings. This was played to a smaller than expected crowd which made the atmosphere quite tense and showed in the play early on. Once the players got a few frames in, the spectators saw some very good attacking, as well as safe, play. Alan came out on top 11-5.
Thanks go to Bruce Park for refereeing the match and Neil and Alan for taking part. All the youth players picked up so much from watching them, which was noted in all their safety play over the next two days of the tournament.
Sunday started with the under-21 county. Orkney went in as the defending champions, with their under-21 players who had been selected for the B county playing very well the previous day, perhaps slight favourites.
The format was two teams of 10. Shetland got a good start with Bobby Hutchison, Stuart Sinclair, Keir Johnson and captain Andrew Stout all winning 2-0 to gain a lead of 11-9. Shetland won the second set with Ben Kerr, Mitchell Cross and again Bobby and Keir all winning 2-0 to go 23-17 up. Halfway throught the final set Orkney pulled two back with Sam O’Hagen winning 2-0 and the other four being draws to make it 26-22 to Shetland.
Andrew Stout played next, winning 2-0. Grant Fullerton drew 1-1 leaving Shetland needing two from eight frames. Mitch won 2-0 and Keir, who had not lost a frame, won 2-0 for Shetland to reclaim the under-21 trophy.
Next was the Alan Reynolds exhibition. He started by challenging some of the Orkney and Shetland players, winning the first set 14-0. Bobby Hutchison played next and took out a very difficult finish to win the second set 1-0. In the last game Gary Chalmers (Orkney) also took on a very good finish to win the third set 1-0. The aggregate score was Scotland 14, Orkney/Shetland 2, with Orkney/Shetland winning two sets to one.
Alan then went on to give an exhibition of trick shots and also donated a cue to the winner of a fun speed pool competition, which went to Gary Chalmers of Orkney.
The last main event was the under-21 singles on Monday at Norscot Angling club which 29 players enetered. With the first round played the previous night it didn’t take long to get to the semi-finals, which were an all-Shetland affair. Results were: Ben Kerr 3, Stuart Sinclair 1; Andrew Stout 0, Bobby Hutchison 3. In the final Bobby was unstoppable and won 4-1 to become the under-21 champion for the second time.
In the under-21 plate competition the final was all Orkney, with Alex Kansour betaing Damien Sutherland 2-0.
Next was the doubles competition which was decided to be mixed this year. This was won by Alex Kansour (Orkney) and Andrew Stout (Shetland).
Speed pool results winners were: under-18s Orkney; under-21s Shetland; and B senior county Shetland.
Lastly came the most prestigious tournament of all, the carers cup, with seven carers took part in this year’s event – Diane Davies, Caroline Duncan, Sean Bockie Smith, Lee “Hound Dog” O’Hagen, Steve “The Slam” Duncan, Carl “Bunny” Cross and Ryan Duncan.
With three Duncans from the same household, Lee being the B county flyer champion and Carl the defending champion, competitiveness was running high. The first round saw Steve just managing to beat his mother 3-2, while Bunny in very confident mood beat Bockie and Ryan beat Diane.
In the semi-finals Ryan took out Bunny 3-1 and Hound Dog beat The Slam 3-1 to give an Orkney v Shetland final. This was probably the fastest final ever as both players really went for it, with Ryan winning 3-0.
A spokesman said: “We would like to give a special thanks to Alan Reynolds (www.rda.cues.com) and Neil Cummins (www.maximum break.co.uk) for taking time out to come up to Shetland to coach the youths and juniors and make this such an excellent event.
“Thanks also to Lee, Sean and all the Orkney players for an incredible four days of pool and also the Norscot Angling Club and the Scalloway Boating Club for hosting the event, and to the Mid Brae Inn, Hughson Bros. and J. W. Gray & Co. for their support.”