Forthomme Edges Bury in a Billiards Thriller
Roland Forthomme is the first player to qualify for the semi-finals of the AGIPI Billiard Masters, with his 50-49 victory over Agipi stalwart Jeremy Bury. The billiard loving fans that witnessed the match live in the Agipi auditorium, on the internet or on Eurosport 2, got all th action they could wish for.
Jeremy led 25-16 when a time-out was taken. In the restroom fans were chatting away that Mr. Bombastic from Belgium – Forthomme that is – could easily hit back with a big run. He did just that. When play was resumed, he kept Jeremy in his chair for nine consecutive shots leveling the score at 25-25. Forthomme’s charge loosened up his arm while causing the opposite effect on Jeremy’s. After the twenty-fifth inning Forthomme led 43-34, with Jeremy failing to make a point in nine consecutive innings.
The young Parisian had gone from looking disciplined to confident to desparate. A totally unexpected nine point run, though, brought him within four points of the victory. All of a sudden Forthomme was playing under the gun. Not that he looked troubled. The big man with the big game seems to get going, when the going gets tough. Although both players missed some relatively easy shots, Forthomme showed more experience and climbed the hill first… 49-46.
A small step for mankind, but a big step for Roland Forthomme… Forthomme tripped and Bury seized this opportunity with some beautiful shots. The last position he was confronted with, the score being 49-49, was far from easy. No more extensions left, stretching to reach the cueball and little margin of error. Had the balls been set up differently, slightly easier perhaps, France would have had its first Agipi semi-finalist. Now Roland Forthomme represents Belgium as the first player to reach the semi-finals in this 2009 edition. On Saturday night he’ll be confronted with the winner of tomorrows’ Clash of the Titans : Blomdahl-Sayginer.
Jaspers Defeats Merckx to Advance
Eddy Merckx and Dick Jaspers played each other for a place in the semis alongside Roland Forthomme. In this battle of the lowlands the two players had three World and three European titles between them… with Jaspers being the favorite in this match-up. Dick Jaspers : ‘Since my qualification two months ago i have not had much exposure. I have played few competitive matches. I have put in practice at home though and was not worried or anything, just focused and motivated to play well. I started out well, scoring seven in my first inning, but Eddy did really well to stay with me’. After thirteen innings Jaspers led 26-25. Just when Merckx thought he had gained some breathing space by closing the gap, Jaspers ran a nine-pointer….one point short for a €500 bonus, nevertheless a very valuable spurt. Jaspers stayed in the drivers seat, but when he had 49 and missed, Merckx made a great effort to turn his 37 points on the board into a menacing 44. A double kiss denied him an eighth consecutivo and had him shaking Jaspers’ hand a few moments later.
Dick Jaspers :’Yes, happy and satisfied and anxious to do better in my next match. We did not play defensively and i think i should have scored better… Saturday !’ On Saturday Dynamite Dick will be up against the winner between Kasidokostas and Caudron. Play resumes friday the 13th from 17:00 onwards with Frédéric Caudron in action against Filipos Kasidokostas, before the long-awaited clash of Sayginer and Blomdahl, programmed at 22:15.
Check out www.agipibilliardmasters.com for all infos, results, pictures
of the match.