Testa comes from the loss side to down Shea in finals of Stop #2 on the JPNEWT
May 6, 2018
May 6, 2018
L to R: Erica Testa, Kia Sidbury, Judie Wilson, Nicole King, Chari Slater, Linda Shea
While it’s still a little early to be talking about tour rankings, and who might or might not advance to be the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour champion at the conclusion of its season in November, the tour’s second stop, held on the weekend of April 28-29, did result in a bit of shuffling at the top of those rankings. Erica Testa, who entered Stop #2 in second place behind Kia Sidbury in the single-event rankings, came from the loss side to down Linda Shea in the finals. Testa moved ahead of Sidbury into first place. In the absence of Heather Platter, who was ranked second, Sidbury, who finished in the tie for 5th place, moved into the second spot. Shea’s runner-up finish moved her from 5th to 3rd, while Judie Wilson’s third-place finish kept her in the #4 spot in the rankings. The event drew 18 entrants to Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.
After an opening round bye, Testa downed Chari Slater and Anita Sowers to draw Shea in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Wilson, in the meantime (also after a bye) defeated Suzanne Sellet and Melissa Jenkins to meet Sidbury in the other winners’ side semifinal. The four women in those two matches were four of the early-tour’s six best players (Heather Platter and Cheryl Sporleder did not compete in this event). Shea sent Testa to the loss side 7-4, as Wilson was working on a double hill win over Sidbury. Shea claimed the hot seat (her first of the early season) 7-1 over Wilson and waited on the return of Testa.
Over on the loss side, Testa drew a re-match against Slater, who’d defeated Tina Marinelli, Sharon O’Hanlon (double hill) and Melissa Jenkins 7-4 to earn that re-match. Sidbury picked up Nicole King, who’d originally been defeated by Shea, and gotten by Elaine Wilson 7-3 and Nicole Nester 7-2 on the loss side.
Advancement to the quarterfinals was hotly contested with both matches going double hill. When the double hill dust settled, King and Testa had advanced. Testa eliminated King 7-5 in those quarterfinals, and then, spoiled Judie Wilson’s bid for a re-match against Shea (and movement up the rankings ladder) with a 7-3 win in the semifinals.
It was an ‘extended race to 9’ final. Coming from the loss side, Testa had to beat Shea to seven racks, to extend the race to 9. She did so and added two more for a 9-6 win that gave her the event title and sole possession of first place in the tour rankings.
In addition to the Open event, on Sunday, the tour added its second Amateur event, open to players with skill levels at “4” or below. That event was won by Shelah Joner, who, in addition to $40 in cash, was awarded a paid entry into the next JPNEWT event. That event, scheduled for the weekend of May 19-20, will be hosted by First Break Café and Billiards in Sterling, VA.