Liz Taylor scores two big wins on New England Women’s Tour

Liz Taylor, Nicole Albergaria, and Candi Rego

The New England Women's Tour held it's 2008 season finale November 30 at the Silver Cue in Woburn, MA. At stake was the Player of the Year award, the winner of which is invited to all of the WPBA Classic tour events for the 2009 season. Prior to this event Nicole Albergaria held a slight lead over Liz Taylor in tour points, so the outcome of this event would determine the Player of the Year.

Albergaria and Taylor faced each other in the hot seat match where Albergaria won 7-4 and sent Taylor to face Candi Rego in the semi final. After two games the match was tied and Rego pulled ahead with a break and run in game three. Taylor won the next four games to take a 5-2 lead. Rego looked poised for a comeback in game 7 but failed to run out when she unexpectedly missed the shot on the 8 ball. Taylor happily finished off that game. Rego was able to take game eight but couldn't rally anything after that. Taylor won the match at 7-3 sending Rego home with third place.

From there the tension built as Albergaria and Taylor re-matched in the finals.  As the undefeated player Albergaria had the advantage as in order for Taylor to win the event she would have to beat Albergaria in two race to seven sets. Taylor pulled ahead in the match 5-2 when Albergaria fouled three times in a row in game seven. Albergaria battled back to tie the match at 5-5, but it wasn't enough and Taylor won the last two games to win the first set 7-5. 

In the second set it was Albergaria's turn to take the lead and made it to the hill while Taylor had won only two games, her last win being a break and run in game three. To the spectators it seemed nearly impossible that Taylor could win 5 games before Albergaria could win just one. But Taylor simply refused to lose. A 3-9 combination in game nine and a 1-9 carom in game ten helped her get on her way, but it takes the heart of a champion to put aside fatigue, distraction, and the thoughts of the improbable odds against winning to keep grinding away in a match. Albergaria made some mistakes, as did Taylor, but she was by no means playing poorly. Taylor simply kept pocketing balls and controlling the cue ball. In game thirteen when the match was hill-hill Taylor ran down to the seven ball but it rattled the pocket. A gasp could be heard from the spectators at the thought of having such a remarkable comeback end just three balls shy of victory. But  fortunately for Taylor she had been playing position for the 8 ball in the same pocket and with a bit of luck the cue ball came to rest directly behind the 8. With the 8 ball blocking the path to the 7 Albergaria was forced to kick at it but she missed. Taylor wasted no time finishing the rack to win the match and the tournament 7-6.

Normally the story would end here but after the points from this event were calculated it turned out that Alberaria and Taylor finished the season with a tie for tour points. The Player of the Year award can not be shared, so the women had to play another race to seven set to determine a winner. It was apparent that both women wanted the prize and would fight hard to win the match. They traded games until the score was tied at 5-5. Albergaria was set to run out game eleven but in one heartbreaking moment the 8 ball hung in the pocket. Albergaria did not share the luck that Taylor had in the previous match. Taylor had a clear shot at Albergaria's hung ball and finished the rack to pull ahead 6-5. Taylor ran to the 3 ball in game twelve and had to play a safety. Albergaria was not able to pocket the ball and left Taylor a shot. Taylor ran out to win the set 7-5 and the Player of the Year award. Hats off to both players for their great performances in this event and the entire season. It was certainly a pleasure to watch them compete.

The NEWPT would like to thank all the players, room owners, and others who supported the tour and help make a great 2008 season and looks forward to seeing everyone in 2009.