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    Ashley Watts, Warrnambool, playing division 1 in the third annual Wimmera Friendly 8-Ball Invitational.

Organisers to build on 8-ball success

Organisers of the third annual Wimmera Friendly Eight-Ball Invitational expect to attract even more of country Victoria’s best players to next year’s event following a successful tournament at the weekend.

About 250 players converged on Horsham, for this year’s competition, with teams from as far as Geelong, Swan Hill and Mt Gambier joining Wimmera outfits from Ararat, Stawell, Dimboola and Horsham to compete for cash prizes.

Thirty-two teams across four divisions took to pool tables at Horsham’s Royal and Commercial hotels on Saturday and Sunday. Horsham Eight Ball Association secretary and event co-ordinator Darren ‘Deadly’ Duncan said at least eight people approached him at the weekend to ask if they could submit additional teams in 2021.

“It was a great weekend had by all,” he said. 

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PHOTOS: Wimmera Friendly 8-Ball Invitational


“Everyone I spoke to said they would come back again, and that plus people asking about entering extra teams means we will be in for an even bigger event next year.”

Mr Duncan said the event would go ahead in 2021, despite needing to find a second location due to the Commercial Hotel changing hands and being set for redevelopment. “We will still have two divisions at the Royal, I’ll just have to find somewhere for the other two – but I have a couple of ideas,” he said.

Mr Duncan said he was impressed with the standard of competition this year. 

“It just keeps getting better,” he said.

“A team from Dimboola won division three, so it was nice to have some local winners.”

Shark Squad, comprising players from western Victoria, won division one; Melzer, featuring players from Central Highlands Pool Association, CHPA, and Geelong claimed division two; and a CHPA team won division four.

Mr Duncan said two-time Australian title holder Michael Scerri played well, but his team was knocked out in the first final.

“Even though it’s hard for people to watch others because they are focused on their own tables and their own divisions, having someone like Michael there is particularly good for the young players and spectators because they have an opportunity to watch what he does,” he said. 

Participants raised $600 for Horsham CFA throughout the weekend.

– Sarah Scully

The entire January 15, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!