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John Owen runner-up in Balgreen One Ball

I travelled to Balgreen for the Spring One-Ball Handicap tournament which was won last year by Bill Strachan, who was unable to defend his trophy. It was dry in Aberdeen, but dreich in Edinburgh, gradually becoming drier during the day. I started against the improving Stefan Colling who had never played one-ball before, but beat me 13-9. I then had three wins and a loss, before taking on James Hopgood, whose handicap for this tournament had been adjusted to -6. I managed to use my bisques well to get a lead, and after going through penult I roqueted his ball then saw that I still had one bisque left in the ground. I rolled both balls to rover and took position in front of the hoop, then told James that I would take my last bisque. He said that I had already taken it (at 3-back) but he hadn’t taken the bisque out of the ground. I had forgotten having taken it, and after much discussion, we agreed that I had been “playing when misled” when I rolled the balls to rover, so I replayed the break from that point without the comfort of an extra bisque. I still managed to win 13-4 and had another 13-4 win against Chris Martin. I then came up against Peter Martin whose handicap was 24 and had never played one-ball before. By the time he played me, he certainly knew what he was doing as he had won all his games, so I knew it would be a difficult game. However, after a slow start, I managed a 7-hoop two-ball break and closed out a 13-7 win with two of his bisques still standing. It wasn’t enough to stop Peter being a worthy winner of the tournament. After a final game 13-10 loss to Roger Binks, my record of 6 wins from 9 put me second equal.

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