Hatch returns to the winner’s circle on Joss Northeast Tour

Dennis Hatch

He'd won nine out of 16 events on the Joss Northeast Tour in 2008-2009, and though he'd won only three of the nine stops on the 2009-20010 tour, to date, they'd included the Ocean State (RI) 9-Ball Championship and a turn as MVP of American's Mosconi Cup victory (defeating Neils Feijen twice by a combined score of 12-4). There was a prevailing notion on the Joss tour, that with Dennis Hatch among the entrants, pretty much everyone else was playing for second place. That changed slightly in Latham, NY in early January, when Hatch suffered two quick defeats on the tour stop there that had him on his way home by the end of the first day. The change didn't last for long, though. 

Chris Orme, no stranger to Hatch, who'd taken advantage of Hatch's early exit, to go on and win that  January tournament, was back on the weekend of February 20-21 in Amsterdam, NY, looking for two in a row.  A field of 42 entrants joined him for the $2,000-added event hosted by Main St. Billiards in Amsterdam, and Hatch was among them. He spoiled Orme's bid, defeating him twice and chalking up his first Joss NE Tour win of the new year; his third of the 2009-2010 Joss Northeast season. 

Both advanced to play each other among the winners' side final four on Sunday, and engaged in a tight hill-hill battle, with Hatch moving on to face Dan Heidrich. Heidrich had just survived a hill-battle of his own against Kevin Guimond.  Hatch gained the hot seat with a 9-6 win over Heidrich. 

Orme moved to the one-loss side, where he faced Dave Grau. Grau had moved past Mike Dechaine, hill-hill, and Dave Fernandez 9-4 to get to him. Guimond was met by tour director Mike Zuglan, who'd defeated Tom Acciavatti 9-2 and Paul Dryden 9-5.  Zuglan beat Guimond 9-3, as Orme was busy sending Grau home 9-6. Orme tallied his second 9-6 win to drop Zuglan into fourth place and used a third 9-6 win to defeat Heidrich in the semifinals.  

In the opening set of the true double elimination final, Hatch came within two games of finishing it at 7-3, but a determined Orme fought back to win six in a row and force a second set. They battled to a 4-4 tie in the early going of the second set, before Hatch moved ahead to stay. He reached the hill first, ahead by just a game, and closed it out 9-7. 

The eleventh stop on the Joss Northeast Tour, scheduled for February 27-28 in Woburn, MA has been cancelled. The next scheduled stop will be the $1,500-added Mary Cappotto Memorial, scheduled for March 6-7, at Cap's Cue Club in Syracuse.