Seventeen year old Ballarat player Jake McCartney defeated 2002 & 2003 Champion and former Riverland now Adelaide based player Russell Youlten by 4 frames to 1 in front of an appreciative audience of approximately 190 spectators.
Competitors were playing for $14,000 in prize-money.

For his efforts, Jake took home $3,200.00 in prize-money, together with a replica of the Perpetual trophy and also the much treasured distinction of having his name engraved on the Perpetual trophy.
The highlight and possible turning point in the final happened in the fourth frame. Jake was leading Russell 2 frames to 1 and was attempting to pot out. In his efforts to position the white to pot the black ball (that was mid table) after potting his last ball, Jake played a poor shot resulting in not having a clear shot to pot the black ball. With a maturity that defied his years, Jake calmly played the white ball into the side cushion, contacting the black ball which sent it into the centre pocket. This gave Jake a 3 frames to 1 lead. Jake followed this up by playing a thoughtful fifth frame which resulted in him potting out to win the final 4 frames to 1.

In an interesting piece of trivia, Jake’s father Wayne was runner-up to Mick Delahunty (Adelaide) in the 1991 Berri Open.
Russell did not go home empty handed, collecting $1,600.00 plus a trophy, which will help relieve some of the pain of losing the final.
Jake also received the prize of the best performed Junior from the Professional Pool Players Association. Other players to receive prizes from this Association included defeated semi finalists Geoff Gannon and Paul Pike, who are both Melbourne based players.
Three hundred and ninety players nominated in this year’s tournament, which was slightly down on the 430 players that entered the 2006 event. The event consisted of players being divided up into 40 sections, with the sectional play being held at various Clubs and Hotels in the Riverland. At the conclusion of play on Saturday, 128 players had qualified for the finals on the Sunday.

The Friday night restricted knock-out competition resulted in Mark Stone (Adelaide) defeat Steve Seebohm (Adelaide) in the Final. The Friday night Invitational knock-out No. 1 resulted in Marc Robertson (Melbourne) defeat Paul Keyser (Melbourne) in the final. The Friday night Invitational knock-out No. 2 resulted in James Delahunty (Adelaide) defeat Aleck Evreniadis (Adelaide) in the final. All matches in this competition were high class and entertaining.

The Under 18 knock-out resulted in Damian Walsh (Adelaide) defeat Jake McCartney (Ballarat) in the final. 20 Under 18 players competed in this competition and the skills shown by all players was exceptional.
The Saturday night Pot out competition was won by Russell Youlten of Adelaide. The Saturday night Ladies competition, which is always keenly contested, resulted in Joy Sullivan (Mildura) defeat Elise Mabbott (Perth) 3-2 in the final. The “Non Qualifiers” knock-out on Sunday saw Paul Edwards (Adelaide) defeat Damian Walsh Junior (Adelaide) 2-1 in the final.
Quarter Final results were:
Jake McCartney (Ballarat) defeated Brenton Collier (Adelaide) 4/1
Geoff Gannon (Melbourne) defeated Ben Nunan (Melbourne) 4/3
Russell Youlten (Adelaide) defeated Russell Seymour (Melbourne) 4/2
Paul Pike (Melbourne) defeated Jason Tucker (Adelaide) 4/1
Semi Final results were:
Jake McCartney defeated Geoff Gannon 4/1
Russell Youlten defeated Paul Pike 4/1

The efforts of Melbourne based first time player Geoff Gannon is worth a special mention. Geoff played consistently all week-end defeating several more fancied opponents before being defeated by the eventual winner Jake McCartney in the Semi Finals.
For the first time in the 20 year history of this event, the tables used in all 40 sections were manufactured by event sponsor Beta Billiards. The excellent standard of tables supplied was appreciated by all of the players competing.
At the Official Presentation, Berri Resort Hotel’s Assistant Manager David Sims assisted in the handing out of the major prizes.
The fact that this event has been held for 20 years was mentioned. All players that have competed in this event over the past 20 years, together with any player wishing to play in this event for the first time are invited to nominate for next years event to be held on Saturday 19th July and Saturday 20th July 2008 and help celebrate the 21st anniversary of this unique event.

Neil Lemmey
Tournament Director