O'Connor hangs on in double elimination final split with Pina to win New England 9-Ball Series
Skip Maloney
Nov. 20, 2017
(l to r): Patrick O'Connor, Rob Pina & Kevin Brule
(l to r): Patrick O'Connor, Rob Pina & Kevin Brule
They had to be some anxious moments for Patrick O'Connor there at the end of the sixth stop on the New England 9-Ball Series tour, held on Saturday, November 18. Having successfully dispatched Rob Pina to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal, O’Connor’s anxious moments would likely have come at the end of the first set in the double elimination finals, after Pina had defeated him, forcing a second and deciding set. O’Connor weathered the anxiety storm, and won the second set to claim the event title. The $500-added event drew 43 entrants to Straight Shooters in Fall River, MA.
 
With Pina already at work on his five-match, loss-side march back to the finals, O’Connor advanced to meet Dennis Levesque in a winners’ side semifinal. Kevin Brule, in the meantime, faced Adam Blair in the other winners’ side semifinal. With Levesque racing to 5, O’Connor got into the hot seat match with a 3-3 victory, as Brule, in a straight-up race to 3, survived a double hill fight against Blair to join him. O’Connor defeated Brule 4-3 to claim the hot seat, and wait on Pina.
 
On the loss side, Pina opened his trek to the finals with two straight double hill wins; over Paul Laverdiere and Mark Young (4-4 both times, LaVerdiere and Young racing to 5), which set Pina up to face Levesque.  Blair drew Scott Reynolds, who’d shut out Rob Rogan and downed Todd Yarborough 3-1 to reach him.
 
Pina eliminated Levesque 3-3 (Levesque racing to 5), and in the quarterfinals, faced Blair, who’d defeated Reynolds, double hill. Pina chalked up loss-side win #4 against Blair 4-1, and completed his trip to the finals with a shutout over Brule in the semifinals.
 
Pina took the opening set of the finals 4-1, and although the total game score over the two-set, straight-up race to 4 final, was 6-5, in favor of Pina, O’Connor won the game-set-match-deciding second set 4-2 to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Straight Shooters, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell. Championship Cloth and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America.
 
Stop #7 on the New England 9-Ball Series is scheduled for this coming Thanksgiving Day weekend, on Sunday, November 26. The $500-added event will be hosted by Maxamillians Billiards in Tyngsboro, MA.