Da Bomb Belanger pulls an explosive performance

Joanne Ashton and Denise Belanger

On November 21, 2009 the Tiger Canadian Women's Pool Tour held its last stop at VIP in Scarborough Ontario.   With $1,000 money added by VIP, Tiger Products and Jeff Bell Custom Cues welcomed 15 wonderful players for their Year End championships following the Tiger Canadian Women's Pool tour annual award ceremony and cash prizes to all the top players.  Awards were handed out for best Sportsmanship – Janet Ritcey, 3rd Place - Veronique Menard, 2nd place - Naomi Williams, 1st place – Brittany Bryant.  Most 9-ball runs goes to Brittany Bryant and there was a tie for 9-ball breaks between Naomi Williams and Brittany Bryant.  Another announcement was made thanking Carolina Fernandez, EX CEO, for all her hard work and dedication for the last 6 years for operating the CWPT and making it a successful tour.  The players and staff wish Carolina all the best in her new opportunities.

The top remaining six players were Denise Belanger, Hanna Kwon, Krista Walsh, Joanne Ashton, Grace Nakamura and Leanne Amable.  In this one long day event their skills and stamina were put to the test,

On the A side, "Da Bomb" Belanger put on an explosive performance!  Belanger's focus and determination ousted all of her opponents including Kwon (8-2), and Amable (8-0).  Belanger awaited her opponent in the A side final.

On the one loss side, Ashton, after being defeated by Kwon in the A bracket, turned her game around and defeated her nemeses Kwon, in a close hill hill handicap match (8-5).  Kwon settled with a 5/6 standing in the tournament.  Ashton could taste how close she was to the championships and was ready to play her next match against Nakumura.  During the match, Aston had some bad rolls but she was calm and collected and she was able to take Nakamura out of the championships with a score of (8-1).  Nakamura settled for 4th place. From this outcome Ashton was matched with Amable.

In this semi final B side, Amable, despite being defeated by Belanger, played outstanding in A bracket and she was up for the challenge against Ashton.  During the match, Ashton pulled out some amazing safeties; however, Amable was getting unlucky hangers and costly scratches which brought Ashton to winning score of 8-3.  Amable settled for  3rd place.  Amable has come a long way with her game over the past two years going from an amateur to a semi pro.  She is another upcoming 9 ball WPBA pro in the making.  Keep an eye out for her, ladies!

Back at the hot seat, it looked like East meets West.  Ashton being from Calgary Alberta is out in Toronto for the year to play pool and get some tournaments in, while Belanger, who's been in Toronto for most of her life, is well known to the professional and amateur pool players all around.

In this handicapped tournament, Ashton had to beat Belanger twice to be crowned Queen of the Mountain.  With the time approaching 11:00 pm, these ladies had been playing for almost 12 hours.  In the 1st set , Belanger was on her A game, and by the 8th game Belanger was on the hill (7-1) against Ashton.  But Ashton didn't give up and her skill and stamina proved to be a force to be reckoned with as she made a huge comeback to win the first set. With a score of 8-7 the second set was called.  With both ladies tired and exhausted as the clock turned 1:00 a.m. these women had been playing for 14 hours!

In the 2nd set, Belanger was not going to let the Queen of the Mountain escape her.  Belanger got off to a great start again by quickly controlling the table and leading the match at (3-1).  Belanger's hooks and safeties proved to be a struggle for Ashton.  At the end, Ashton, felt very exhausted stopped the tournament at 6-3, and congratulated Belanger for the excellent match.  By the time the tournament was completed, it was 16 hours worth of playing.  “These women should both be congratulated for such wonderful sportsmanship and professionalism”, said Sue Sepp, CEO of the Tiger Canadian Women's Pool tour. Belanger, who was recognized as Most Improved Player in the WPBA, has come out to show us why by winning the Bell Cues Queen of the Mountain.

The CWPT would like to thank all the players for a wonderful 2009 season.  Without the support of the fans, players, pool hall hosts and our sponsors, this tour would have never been possible.   Congratulations ladies for a wonderful year and the staff and I would love to see all of you for the 2010 year.