The 5th Sussex Masters 2000

John Slee is the Master...

The Masters was again played at the Inland Revenue Club in Worthing, on Saturday June 3rd. As last year there were 24 entries from across the County. Despite the absence of the No1 seed, Jim Millward, there were many a good player present.

Stage 1 is played in eight groups of 3, it’s a bit cut-throat, as with only 2 matches you can’t afford to make any mistakes.

Group 1 had the No1 seed on the day, Tony Lewes, who was joined by Steve Beach and Michelle Baden. Steve ousted Tony to progress to stage 2.

Group 2 was a tough one, with Barry Holt, Nigel Senior and Graham Lewis, 3 potential Sussex Players. Barry went through winning both his matches.

Group 3 had the 1996 winner and last years runner-up, Gareth Lloyd, along with Martin Smith and Ali Shilling. Martin had a great chance to put Gareth out, but an 11K break in leg 2 of their match by Gareth saw him through.

Group 4, group of death, last years winner, Steve Mariner, Mark James and Dave Hampton. Dave had little luck in his match against Mark, and Mark took full advantage. Steve then beat Dave, resulting in a shoot out between the team mates. Steve only started with 7K, Mark was back with 5K, then a 10K break in leg 2 put Mark through.

Group 5 had an old Billingshurst player with 2 current Bill players, Roger Taylor, Mick Johnson and Kim Wood. Kim won both his matches, which included a 12K–10K close match against Roger.

Group 6 saw Paul Barnett beat Alan Messer, easily. Gus Nunneley just beat Paul, then Alan beat Gus easily. As Paul won an extra leg he went on to stage 2.

Group 7 was also a close group with Phil Oakley taking both legs off Vernon Sparkes. Doug Mahy then took both legs off Phil, whick meant Doug needed 1 leg off Vernon to progress, he got it.

Group 8 another tough group with 3 old war-horses, current Billingshurst Singles champ, Paul Phillips, Horsham legend John Slee and the ever dependable Chris Tupper. Chris was off-colour losing both matches. John won through defeating Paul.

Stage 2 and it was the 8 group winners into the Q-finals. QF1: Barry Holt thrashed Steve Beach by nearly 30K. QF2: Gareth Lloyd played out leg 1 against Mark James with 18,450, the highest break of the day. Mark came off early in leg 2. QF3: Kim Wood ground out a tough victory over Paul Barnett. QF4: John Slee came through a battle with Doug Mahy, 13K-10K.

Semi Final 1: Barry Holt v Gareth Lloyd. Both players now at the top of their game, Barry putting Gareth in. He started with only 6K, not enough, Barry back with 8K. Then an 8K break to start leg 2, and it was Barry into his first Masters final.  Semi Final 2 Saw John Slee take on Kim Wood. Both from up country, and having played each other too many times to remember. John was focused though coming out easy winner.

The Final: John was invited to start leg 1, and put up a fine 12K opener. Barry cleared the balls and had a practice for leg 2. Being 10K down, the Masters title was well within Barry’s reach, but a mistake on 2K and he was off. John was in no mood for charity and tidied up the balls running out convincing winner, 23,000-3,980.

The plate final saw Steve Mariner (what was he doing there) knock in a 15K break in leg 2 to beat Nigel Senior.

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