Jessica Barnes Claims First Fury Win

Colleen Russell and Jessica Barnes

Sixteen ladies showed up for the Fury Ladies Amateur event held at Strokers Billiards in Palm Harbor, Florida on April 2, 2005. This marked the second season event and brought out most of the regulars as well as a few new faces.

One tour favorite, Niki Rasmussen and fellow Orlando player Jessica Barnes traveled to the event only to draw each other first round, after having a sparring match the night before in Orlando. The morning match went Barnes' way and she went on with a 7-4 win, sending Rasmussen left to face Amy Poulter. Meanwhile Barnes went on to play another strong player, Stephanie Mitchell. Though the breaks didn't go her way, the run outs did and Barnes pulled through with a 7-1 win to move on to play strong-shot Jennifer Nelson to see who would play in the hot seat match. Nelson took and early lead at 3-1 but Barnes got back into the match to win 7-5, sending Nelson left to match up with Rasmussen.

Making her way through the bottom of the winner's bracket was recent tour addition and ever-strengthening Colleen Russell. Russell started the day with wins of 7-4, 7-1 and 7-4, bringing her to meet Barnes in the hot seat match. Neither player had ever made it into the finals; it was sure to be a test of will and skill as both players were breaking the balls wide open and going all-out for shots to see who would get the spot.

Russell took the lead early at 3-2 but Barnes pulled it together to take the lead 6-3 and then finish off the match 7-3 to make her first-ever trip to the finals.

Over on the B side, Rasmussen was busy polishing off players with landslide scores and was now ready to face Nelson. The match was tense as all of the regulars have established their own rivalries through out the years and Rasmussen and Nelson were only 4 points apart in standings. This time Rasmussen was the one that got into the game and she took the match, 5-3. This set up a match between Rasmussen and S. Mitchell to determine who would play in the semis for a shot in the finals. Both players turned in fine performances but it was Stephanie Mitchell who won 5-3.

In the semis, a still-cheerful Russell breezed through Mitchell with a score of 5-2 to get into the finals, leaving Mitchell in 3rd. The race to 9 rematch between Barnes and Russell started off with Barnes taking a 7-0 lead. It looked like it might be a shutout but Russell made some sharp shots to take the next 5 games in a row, tightening the score to 7-5. This threat seemed to get Barnes back in gear and she took the next 2 racks for a 9-5 win and her first Fury tournament victory. Barnes also received paid entry into the next Spirit tour event courtesy of Kings Bay Promotions.

1st Jessica Barnes $290 + $50 Spirit Tour qualifier
2nd Colleen Russell $170
3rd Stephanie Mitchell $100
4th Niki Rasmussen $60