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INTERLEAGUE KNOCKOUT CUP 2006
Pre-Event Report

The Interleague knock out cup is now just around the corner and the booking in process is now well under way. The lucky qualifying teams are getting ready to do battle once more, as always, the current crop of the cream of England’s pool players will be putting in an appearance at Vauxhall Holiday Park, the theatre of dreams, for just about every pool player who wants to play at the highest level.

This knock out cup will be a bit strange again this year as like last April there will be no Triangle. To those who don’t know triangle was the “dream team” of the Interleague and they will be sorely missed. This year we have lost more blue chip teams, in fact, over the past year we have lost 5 five of the all time top 10 teams. We lost Wolverhampton Wednesday A last year, followed by Triangle in April but this time round we will be without London’s finest Imperial I, whose team has collapsed, just at the time when they looked the strongest they have ever been. I don’t know the reasons for the collapse but I have heard that they were struggling to field a team in their county’s Interleague structure.

Ollerton has also fallen by the wayside, a victim of failing to supply their documents on time. It would appear that the team has struggled to keep up with things since the departure of long time servants Geoff Wilson & Dave Buckley.

Mexborough will be missing for the same reason as Ollerton so you could be forgiven for thinking this could be a well under strength event this time round. Well no, its not we still have Trent Trophies A, Leicester, East Herts, P.J.'s Stourbridge, Dawley, Brighton, Coventry, Sun Valley & Rochester to name a few.

What the missing top teams will mean is an opportunity for the other teams to step up to the plate and stake their claim for a place in the top ten of the nation’s Interleague teams.

Another point of some interest to people attending is the plan to film the event for later transmission on T.V. Well it is sad to report that will not be happening in October now due to the technical difficulties of getting everything in place in time to allow it to take place. We have taken the view that we want to do it as best we can so rather than risk a sub standard event it has now been put back to April to allow us to get it as best we can.

To keep everyone up to date with our progress so far, the funding is now in place for it to happen and the contracts are nearly ready to sign. Once they are out the way it only leaves the practicalities to sort out. All the data the teams have supplied so far will be used in a presentation to potential sponsors at the knock out cup weekend.

This weekend is not just about the Knock out cup though, there is the matter of the national singles championships that is played out over the Knock out cup weekend for a prize fund of over £5,000 and the title of the National singles champion.

Last year we saw Andy Richardson (West Yorkshire) beat London’s Dean Wisher 8-3 in an excellent final but those were the last two still standing. When you look at the quality of players who dropped by the wayside you can see how strong the event really was. Bayden Jackson (Nottinghamshire), Jason Norris (Surrey), Danny Miller (Hertfordshire), Jordan Church (Kent) all failed to negotiate the first round

Whilst Kev Seaman (Northants), Carl Clack Norfolk Paul McNeil (Sussex) got through the first round only to dip out in round two.

By the time the third round started the big guns were starting to fall as the pressure was applied, which proved too much for Dave Preece (Halesowen), Lee Bridge (Wigan), Iain Aldous (Cambridgeshire), Ian Davenport (Wigan), Rob Rasey (Hampshire), Scott Higgins (Nottinghamshire), Scott Willers, John Kelly (London) & John Astill (South Yorkshire)

Then in round five we lost Liam Farrell (Warwickshire), Kevin Barton (West Yorkshire), Mark Blackshaw (Staffordshire), Jason Hill (Lancashire) all that was just to get to the last 32 which will give you some idea of the strength of the field.

I you want to enter this event this year you can find a PDF entry form but you will need to be fast as the closing date for entries is set at the 10th September.

As always the knock out cup will provide all teams with a roller coaster ride of emotions all packed into a weekend. Some will be in a state of depression by 11:00am on the Saturday of the event as they realise they have a mountain to climb to keep themselves in the event. For others it’s all plain sailing as they won the first math and can sit back and see how the other match will pan out before they are called into action again.

Then there are the ones that draw there first match. For them it’s a nail biting time as both teams know that the draw hands the advantage to the third team in the group because they will know that a will make them favourites to progress out of the group. For the team they are playing it will be only a win will be good enough to keep their hopes alive.

The team not playing in the group will be praying for a draw because it will put one team out and leave them with a head to head with the third team with all to play for. It can be that tight. So tight in fact a single frame in 54 frames scheduled to be played in a group can and is sometimes the only difference between three teams. When things are that tight you can see why it becomes a roller coaster ride one minute you are in, the next you are out, then you are back in, then its looking bleak then suddenly its all rosy again.

The ones who come out of the group to continue their quest will start to celebrate around 4pm on the Saturday. Not to hard though, they may have won the group but they are going to be playing one of the other 31 group winners as both teams are definite group winners. Then it all starts again only this time there is no hiding place because the event then changes to a straight knock out where only 16 teams will be left by the end of play on Saturday.

Then it’s into Yarmouth or Vauxhall’s starlight room to party away Saturday night for those that are out of the event its brakes off time and go full on for fun. If your team is still in the event you know that you are going to have to up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 9:00am on Sunday morning. So for you it’s a how much can I get away with and still be ok in the morning equation.

The reality of getting that one wrong has been seen so many times before that it’s best to have an early night.

One thing is for sure we are going to have another great event and whoever comes out wining the final match on Sunday 7th October will have been tested to the limit and be worthy winners of the National Interleague Knock Out Cup.

To all those of you going I am sure you will not be disappointed and I will see you at the bar at some point.

Tom Fahy
Tournament Director

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