Skipper pinches PCC pool title as Burnham's ball drops early
Wed 15-Feb-2017 
 

Toby Chasseaud sinks the ball, taps chalk to cue tip and lines up his next shot, writes correspondant Sam Howes.

Time slows, the tension is palpable.

He strikes. The ball narrowly evades the pocket, bounces off the cushion and back into the fray, leaving him open to the counter.

Ben Burnham riposts with a silky pot of his own, the cue ball ricochetting towards the centre of the table. The crowds watch on, entranced, for it is deep into the second frame of the final. There is gold and glory on the line.

Moments later, to the shock of all watching, Burnham, top seed after the round robin heats, accidentally tickles the 8 ball into the middle pocket before all his other balls had been potted, thus bowing out of a hotly contested 2017 Pacific CC pool championship final, leaving Toby Chasseaud to take the crown and the applause.

It had been a performance of grit and courage from the mindful Brighton-born batsman. There had been a mountain to climb: resistance came in the shape of James Gleddow, Aroon Korgaonkar, Sam Howes and his final adversary, in the shape of new social secretary Burnham.

His road to the final had not been an easy one, registering losses against Burnham, Korgaonkar and debutant Howes in the heats, before he conqued the 'closest-to-the-line' competition to be named second seed for the quarter finals, in which he found winning form, not losing another frame on his way to victory.

As the crowds screamed his name, he ducked off, shunning the glory but happy in the knowledge of a job well done, while Burnham was left to lick his wounds with his fellow losers at a local eatery.

The social secretary scored his second near miss of the evening, after an incredibly impassioned and intense exchange with a Spanish waitress over the ingredients of her hot sauce, which seemed to be leading to an exchange of contact details. But in a harsh parallel to his earlier performance, he once again failed to pot the black, leaving empty handed.