Pool players make a break for last eight

The Borders '˜A' pool team headed recently for Fife to contest the Super 15s Competition, featuring three days of competitive pool against 15 other regional teams from around Scotland.

The Borders 'A' pool squad
The Borders 'A' pool squad

Captained by Kevin Swinton, the 16-man team consisted of hand-picked and in-form players who had earned their spot through multiple qualification events.

The Borders ‘A’ challenge began in a packed eight-table venue in Kinghorn, against nearby rivals Berwick ‘A’.

With winning contributions from Erin Coltman, Craig Reid and Scott Simpson in the first three frames, the Borders team built on this good start, quickly ensuring a 10-5 victory.

Borders ‘A’ then went down 9-6 to Coatbridge ‘B’ and 8-7 the next day to Edinburgh ‘C’.

However, against Dundee ‘C’, with the scores tied at 7-7 and one frame left to play, Andrew Stavert held his nerve to claim the victory for Borders ‘A’, strengthening their position in the group table.

Borders ‘A’ then lost 11-4 to Perth ‘B’ – but their next match, against Thurso ‘A’, started at 11pm and continued long into the early hours, as yet another final frame decider was required to split the teams. Renowned tactician Alan Marshall was unluckily defeated by his Thurso rival.

Borders ‘A’ were in sixth place going into the last day’s final match, needing a win to guarantee their play-off qualification.

And win they did, defeating Kilmarnock ‘C’ 8-7. The strong Borders form continued with an 8-5 win over Dunfermline ‘C’ to reach the quarter-finals – and a re-match with Thurso ‘A’.

Playing on the live stream tables, Borders ‘A’ lost the first five frames in a race to eight.

Erin Coltman pulled a frame back, with Brian Allan making it 6-2 shortly after, and it looked as if Borders ‘A’ had started to pick up a bit of momentum.

But, in the end, Thurso proved too strong second time round and qualified for the semi-final against Edinburgh C. Edinburgh went on to play Perth ‘B’ in the final, with Perth coming out on top 8-5.

The Borders ‘A’ team was sponsored by Jedburgh firm Abbey Bridge Cherry Pickers & Stove Centre, which provided the team shirts.

Pubs all around the Borders host Border Pool League matches every Monday night – check details on Facebook.