It's 3 in a row for NI Champions Thatch Bar

Larne League Champions The Thatch Bar have just claimed the 2015 NIPA Blackball Champions of Champions title for the third year in a row. The competition was played in the Primacy Sports Bar, Bangor on Sunday 28th June as the NIPA calendar for 2014/2015 drew to a close. The two favourites on paper Thatch and Shooters Sharks were drawn together in the Prelim round and although Sharks fought back strongly after a slow start it was Thatch who edged over the line at 11-9. In the first round proper Thatch strolled into the Semi Finals after an 11-2 win against Ballynahinch team, The Oaks whilst Ballymena Champions the In Betweeners overcame Ards Champions Barracudas 11-9 in a tense struggle. Carrick Champions the Swift made the Semis after coming from behind to oust Ballyclare Champions McConnells by 11-8 and finally Carrick Knock Out Cup winners the Galacticos overcame the Rowallane Inn from Ballynahinch by 11-5. To the Semi Finals, and Thatch were never in trouble as they reached the Final after a comfortable 11-4 success over the In Betweeners. But what a match we had in the second Semi as an all Carrick derby seen Champions the Swift take 5-1 and 9-6 leads only for the Galacticos to storm right back and take all five frames in the last session for an 11-9 success and the local bragging rights. But Thatch weren't going to be denied and went on to win the Final 13-8. It may have been a different story though if a couple of missed blacks at crucial times by Galacticos had dropped in the pockets. The question now is, can anyone stop the Thatch making it 4 in a row next season ?

In the Plate Event Oaks gave the Sharks a scare before eventually falling 3-6. Rowallane Inn led 4-1 against McConnells but it was the latter who got over the line at 6-4 to reach the Final. And in the Bangor v Ards derby match it was Barracudas who edged it 6-5 with a special mention for a fantastic clearance by Gary Wylie in the 11th and deciding frame. The final was also a tight affair between McConnells and Barracudas but it was the Ballyclare team who edged it 8-6 to lift the Plate.

Top overall scorers on the day both on 11 points were Jonny Nelson and Gerry McCorry
Champions - Thatch Bar, Larne League
Runners Up - Galacticos, Carrick League
Plate Winners - McConnells, Ballyclare League