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Kissendal, Big Man Corner win pool titles
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Sunil 'Termite' Kissendal and Big Man Corner from MoBay won the singles and team titles, respectively, at the inaugural Kingston Beer/Pool Tables and Billiards Supplies Ultimate all-island pool tournament, which ended recently at the Indigo Pool Bar, 120A Constant Spring Road.
In a much-anticipated singles final between the island's top two players, Kissendal defeated 20-year-old Noel "Schoolboy" Blagrove from Bigman Corner 4-2 in the best-of-seven final for the $75,000 prize and championship trophy.
Blagrove, who received $50,000 for second, gained some compensation as a member of the Big Man Corner team which blanked the previously unbeaten Hotta Shots 3-0 in the final to secure the whopping first prize of $200,000.
Leon Mellis sent Big Man Corner ahead when he defeated Dean Blackwood 3-0 in the first singles match, while Blagrove and skipper Nicholas 'Kingfish' Linton teamed up for a similar 3-0 win over Richard Thompson and Renny Barrett in the doubles. Linton then sealed the issue with a fighting 3-2 victory over Barrett in the second singles match.
Big Man Corner had earlier beaten Island Delight from Linstead 3-1 in the first semi-final, while Hotta Shots, captained by Sunil 'Presto' Newman, also beat Portmore's Cue Plus 3-1 in the other semi-final to advance.
Hotta Shots received $100,000 for second, while in the third place play-off, Cue Plus defeated Island Delight 3-1 to secure $50,000, with Island Delight picking up $25,000 for fourth. In the singles final, the 24-year-old Kissendal, who hails from Portmore, used his experience to best advantage in putting away Blagrove. He raced into a 2-0 lead and looked likely to overwhelm his opponent going into the third gam, but Blagrove fought back strongly to level the match at 2-2.
However, Kissendal won the fifth game in clinical fashion and proceeded to humble Blagrove in the sixth game, much to the delight of his supporters.
"Both of us were playing very well coming into the final", said Kissendal. "So, it came down to who was stronger mentally and having put him under pressure from early, it made things easier for me.
"I was a bit unlucky to lose the fourth game, which allowed him to level the scores at 2-2 when my cue ball backed up too far and sunk in the side pocket after playing a tough shot with two balls remaining. After that, I quickly regained focus and made no mistake", added Kissendal, who won a game against world number-one ranked female player, Allison Fisher, on her visit to Jamaica two years ago.
Blagrove, who played flawless pool up to the final, lamented his game.
"I know I could play better ... it was just a bad day for me and I would like to congratulate the new champion," he said.
In the play-off for third, Marvin Gray from Hot Shots came from behind to clip Roy Letts from Cue Plus 3-2 to secure the $25,000 prize, with Letts picking up $15,000 for fourth.
The players finishing from fifth to eighth were Rohan McDonald, Jermaine Green, Geovanni HoSang and Leon Mellis, each receiving $5,000.
The presentation of trophies and prizes took place at Hot Shots Pool Bar, 103 Constant Spring Road on Monday, with Melissa Bennett, brand manager of Kingston Beer and Anthony Ming, manager of Pool Tables and Billiards Supplies, handing out the prizes.