The NSW 8ball singles title was fought out at the Oxford Hotel at Casino over Saturday and Sunday and attracted a field of 23 for the best of 11 double elimination event.

Before I get into the pool, all and sundry agreed (a first ever for a group of pool players) that the Oxford Hotel was the very best venue they had played at, high praise indeed, and the meals were outstanding, that praise coming from a couple of lads that are pretty good on the tooth. So our heartfelt thanks to the owner and staff for making the event a pleasure to play in. The hotel provided 4 excellent tables, and along with numerous prizes provided by the NSW 8ball organisers (no doubt heavily subsidised by The Pool Shop man  who has the best and most competitive prices in Australia without a doubt, if he hasn`t got it he will get it for you, or it can`t be got) throughout the day, it was an event to remember. My only regret was that work commitments caused me to miss a great weekend.

A NSW ladies singles was played in conjunction with the mens and Mel Malone was to classy for the girls and won with ease, the rest of the girls shouldn`t despair Mel finished top 16 in the world singles at Manchester a couple of years back and Tracey Wessing did a good job to rip a frame off Mel. All the girls Sharon, Kristy, Paula, Tina, Tracey and Mel deserve a pat on the back for travelling and playing in great spirits.

No real surprise that the Pinball Wizard Peter Watt took out the title 6-3 from Courtyard Marriott team mate Damien Smith, who is to be my partner in the Gold Coast Doubles Title on Sunday, I can only hope he holds his great form and carries the old fellow.

Besides Watty being in a class of his own, there were heaps of personal bests achieved over the weekend. Mel and Damien always compete (Geoff Atkinson didn`t appear, hope it wasn`t an allergy to Watty ) , but some of the other cueists really did play above themselves, The Pool Man Greg Dingle (although from reports Steve Chapman was in danger of losing his title, for pushing the 30sec rule) played the best pool he has played ever, Billy Crompton what can I say, I rang for a progress report on sat night and Bill wanted a race result (surprise surprise) knowing Williams form on the punt I just said it didn`t win without looking, (ran 4th) however young William was playing when the NBM TV cameras appeared earlier and apparently his chest (which has never been seen before) appeared and he proceeded to pot balls off the roof, I have to combat Billy in the masters playoffs next weekend (Dolphins Hotel, Tweed Heads, Sunday midday 28th August, anyone over 50 welcome, under 21`s same day (must be over 18) same ball game all welcome to play, under 21`s start 10.00am) and I will be keeping the tv cameras` away for sure.

Daniel Woods improved a lot and to reach the last 8 was brilliant. Terry Stevens (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) gets into playoff contention every playoffs but just fades a tad. The mad pom, how can I duck here? God bless Brett Lee`s batting ability is all I can say, god forbid, the poms look to be favourites for the ashes, however there must be a god somewhere, and with 2 tests to go we can only hope all catches go to Peiterson. Come on Aussie.

The playoff system has proved to be very successful, not only to get the best team to represent NSW but also to improve the game of the young guys, who are improving in leaps ( Creddo might step instead of leap) and bounds, Callum Wade will be seeded in the playoffs and that is a great performance from Callum.

That is it for another event, next stop the playoffs at Coolangatta Hotel  3rd, 4th September to finalise the NSW team.

Cheers Poppy