It's fair to suggest Hawke's Bay cue sports hubby and wife Bayden and Tara Jackson have achieved plenty as individuals over the years.

A Havelock North mother-of-two who runs her own cleaning business in Havelock North, Tara, captured her third consecutive national women's snooker title in July. Ladz & Dads Barber Shop barber Bayden is a two-time national snooker champion and two-time national eight ball champion.

However the pair hadn't achieved much as a combination until the weekend when they won the $1400 first prize in the Taradale Club's Open Pairs eight ball tournament which attracted 80 pairs from around the country. The Havelock North Club pair beat teenagers Anthony Gempton of the host club and Palmerston North's Coen Bligh 4-2 in the final.

"We've had two semifinal finishes and a quarterfinal finish in this event in the past so it was good to get the win," Bayden explained.


"Because of family and work commitments we hadn't done any real training. In fact we hadn't played together since the same tournament last year.

"While we had no expectations you always back yourselves," Bayden said.

"We had a couple of close wins in our first two matches but then relied on a purple patch. We get on well on and off the table and we know each other's strengths and weaknesses pretty well. We played well together and had fun."

The Jacksons, who were seeded seventh, won all four of their section matches to qualify fourth for post-section play. In their last 32 match they beat Pat Fleming and Mike Gilmore of Feilding 3-0.

In the last 16 the Jacksons beat another Hawke's Bay combination of former Hawks basketballer Jamie Henare and Gempton's father Tony Gempton 3-1. In their quarterfinal the Jacksons beat Steve Pemberton and Billy McIntyre of Levin 3-1 and in their semifinal Petone's Stewart Whyte and Joe Rewiti 3-1.

They were always in front in the final.

"For teenagers Anthony and Coen displayed a lot of maturity and played really well," Bayden said.

Bligh and Gempton denied host club player Dean Garnett and Palmerston North's Dean Wells a fourth consecutive title when they beat them 4-3 in their semifinal.


Before the weekend Bayden hadn't had a cue in his hand since the Labour Weekend snooker pairs tournament in the Bay. His previous title this year was won in the Hawke's Bay Open snooker tournament in July. Tara won the plate in the same event.

Bayden's next event will be the Waikato Open snooker tournament in Hamilton next month. In February he won the inaugural Oceania Masters snooker tournament at his home club.

"There aren't a lot of snooker tournaments for me next year so eight ball will be the priority."

In March Bayden will head to the South Island for the Eight Man Challenge eight ball tournament. The country's top eight players pay $1000 to enter the event which has almost $10,000 in prizemoney up for grabs.

"We can't use the prizemoney from the weekend for that tournament as our children have already told us that money is being spent on Christmas presents," Bayden said.

The Jacksons will travel to Australia at Easter for the annual Big Guns eight ball tournament which caters for men and women. If their success at the weekend is an indication that should be enough preparation for their defence of the Taradale Club Open Pairs title next November.

Tara and Bayden represented England at eight ball before moving to New Zealand from England in 2009. When Tara won her first national snooker title in 2017 the Jacksons became the first husband and wife pair to have been national snooker champions.

Bayden made history in 2011 when he won the New Zealand Open and national snooker titles in the same year.