Gympie eight ball talent on a roll
AFTER hosting the annual South East Queensland City v Country Tournament for the first time earlier this year, it seems the benefits have started to roll in for the Gympie Eight Ball Association, which sent three squads to three separate tournaments around the state last weekend.
A men's and women's team played in the Queensland Cup on the Gold Coast, a team of six travelled to Strathpine for the Country Cup and two teams of six competed in the first ever Best of the West tournament in Ipswich.
Captain of the Best of the West squad, Neil Turley, said he was proud of all the players involved across the tournaments; not only in the way they played but the way they represented Gympie.
"We've come a long way over the past 10 years, and now we have some silverware in the cabinet the only way to go is up," he said.
The Q-Cup men's team of Shane Barker, Paul Bell, Steve Bouveng, Don Grant, Sean McConville and Calyb Walsh pulled off Gympie's best ever result at the event.
Playing in division two, the team finished fifth but managed to fight its way through the sudden-death play-offs and meet Fraser Coast in the grand final.
Gympie found themselves 4-1 down after a shaky start in the decider, but regrouped well to win eight frames in a row to take the title 9-4.
The women's Q-Cup were short on luck in their division, incredibly drawing all six of their matches.
"Had a few balls dropped their way that would have catapulted them a long way up the ladder," Turley said.
"Overall it was a great effort from the girls, with some personal best results in the mix.
"The highlight of the weekend was young up-and-comer Heather Windus, who travels all the way from Kingaroy to play, winning an amazing nine of 11 games in her Q-Cup debut."
At the Country Cup in Strathpine, the local team of Ira Areora, Bryan Kross, Dion Morgan, Jim Swanson, Michael Whitley and Greg Windus made it to the grand final for a second consecutive year, before going down to the hand-picked All Stars team 7-2.
Two squads took up the challenge of the brand new Best of the West tournament in Ipswich, with Gympie sending an A and B-grade mixed side made up of Turley, Frank Davis, Peter Fallis, Nathan Jones, Samananda Sivaji and Adam Streat; and a B and C-grade mixed team of Barbara Berwick, Bec Jones, Dave Lee, Brent McLeod, John Pitt and Paul Skene.
"The tournament was a huge success, with a large number of local players playing above their normal grade," Turley said.
The division one team only missed the grand final by two frames in a close match against Toowoomba, as Ipswich went on to take the silverware against Toowoomba in both divisions.