New pool tournament a success

Neil Whalley, of Dunedin, lines up a shot during the final of the 8ball SuperLeague New Zealand...
Neil Whalley, of Dunedin, lines up a shot during the final of the 8ball SuperLeague New Zealand South Island Open on Sunday. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON
It was all furrowed brows and careful consideration of shot strategy during the inaugural 8ball SuperLeague New Zealand South Island Open last weekend.

Bowey's Pool Lounge & Bar was filled with hushed spectators on Saturday and Sunday as 32 competitors were slowly whittled down during elimination rounds to the final two.

8Ball SuperLeague New Zealand South Island delegate Tammy Adams said New Zealand number one in the code, Simon Singleton, was ruled out in the quarterfinals as he tested positive for Covid-19 before Sunday’s play.

In the semifinals, Adam Shaw and Matthew Fisher finished third equal.

The finals saw Adam Lilley, of Christchurch, play against Neil Whalley, of Dunedin.

Dunedin grabbed the day as Whalley emerged victorious with a precise game.

He will now compete at the New Zealand open taking place at Richmond Club, Christchurch, in August.

If he continues his winning streak he could be taking a shot at a transtasman test match in November.

Whalley said there were a few stressful moments; he was knocked out in an earlier round against Adam Shaw, but the tournament provided the chance for a "second life", to play him again in an exciting game that "went down to the wire" before Whalley won in the final moments.

Playing Adam Lilley in the final was a bit of a role-reversal.

Whalley had coached Lilley previously, including taking him to China with other junior players for the World Championships.

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