Rivals meet again in 8-Ball final

By Jared Smith

Whanganui's Sam Haapu competes in the quarterfinals of the RSA's annual 8-Ball Open on Sunday.
Whanganui's Sam Haapu competes in the quarterfinals of the RSA's annual 8-Ball Open on Sunday.

Two champions resumed their rivalry in the final of the Wanganui RSA's annual 8-Ball Open on Sunday as Tokoroa's Matt McInness regained the title from Queenstown's Simon Singleton.

Last year, it was Singleton who defeated the 2015 defending champion McInness in the playoff game, but 12 months later McInness was able to turn it around with a four games to two victory.

It seems extraordinary that a tournament consisting of 75 players, capped from 113 entries, would come down to the exact same two finalists as last year, which was an 85 player field with no NZ Masters Games to compete against.

The rematch stands as a testament to both players abilities to make through the sudden-death main event section of the 16 top players for the second consecutive year, while Singleton had also previously won the tournament other than 2016.

Early games in the tournament are the best of five games, while the top playoffs are a best of seven.

Best of the locals was Sam Haapu, who made it to the quarterfinals before being eliminated by Singleton 4-3.

McInness had to work hard to overcome Harry Haenga 4-3, but after that was in strong form with clear wins over Brent Wells (4-1) and Colin Cameron (4-0) to make the final.

The Flight section was won by Jason Martin, who defeated Patrick Tara 3-1 in the final, while the Plate section was taken out by Phyl Wilkinson with a 3-0 win over Ben Stiglmayer.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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