Snookerbacker

March 31, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals: Information and Further Prize Announced!

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:30 am

SB2015 A4 Poster2 (1) with amendsFor anyone who missed the Grand Finals draw last night live on Twitter I have copied it below together with the corresponding match times.

I am also delighted to announce that as well as the existing prizes in place, I have now secured a further £250 cash prize for the player that makes the highest break on Grand Finals Day.

This is in addition to the £500 overall highest break prize currently standing at 134 by Daniel Wells and the £1000 maximum break prize both sponsored by John Parrott Cuesports

This takes the overall prize fund this year to well over £8000.  

INFORMATION FOR PLAYERS:

Dress Code: Shirt, trousers, shoes and waistcoat – no bow tie required.
Match Times: Please ensure that you arrive in plenty of time for your stated match time.

DRAW: All matches are the best of 7 frames and will all be live-scored online.

10am start:

Ben Harrison v James Brown – Referee: Mark Seaman
Jamie Clarke v Martin O’Donnell – Referee: Nick Harry
Sydney Wilson v Jamie Bodle – Referee: Alan Collis
Brett Miller v Tom Barton – Referee: Martyn Royce

NB 11.30 start:

Phil O’Kane v Reanne Evans – Referee: Mark Seaman
Sean O’Sullivan v Ant Parsons – Referee: Nick Harry
Eden Sharav v Daniel Wells – Referee: Alan Collis
Mike Rogers v Paul Davison – Referee: Martyn Royce

Quarter Finals – NB 2pm

Semi Finals – NB 4pm

Final – NB 6pm – Referee: Nick Harry

INFORMATION FOR SPECTATORS:

It is free to come along and watch so why not treat yourself to a Sunday of top quality live snooker?

March 30, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic: Rogers and Barton Clinch Last Chance Wins, Order of Merit Concludes.

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:10 pm

Sunday in Gloucester saw the conclusion of the qualifying heats of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic with the final four names being confirmed to make up the last 16, who now return to Gloucester this Easter Sunday to fight it out for the biggest cash prize in amateur snooker.

The day was to see two players progress as of right and the final place being decided from the ongoing Order of Merit list which has again been a popular by-product of the event with players who had not made it through by winning an event outright. Uncannily, it was again to be decided on the final frame of the qualifiers, as it was last season.

Mike Rogers - bit of a brainbox.

Mike Rogers – bit of a brainbox.

The top half of the draw saw victory for Mike Rogers, who overcame Kishan Hirani in his qualifying final.  Mike has been an SB Classic regular now for a couple of seasons and had narrowly missed out before on making the Grand Finals.

This time he went one better and despite not seeming to realise when I walked up to him to congratulate him that he’d actually qualified, thinking he had another match to play, he was delighted once the realisation dawned that he’d actually won through.

All this might lead you to believe that Mike is a bit dim, well, nothing could be further from the truth. Mike is actually coming to the end of a very intense Maths degree at University and to say he can totally baffle you within seconds of talking about his passion for all things numerical is putting it mildly (as is the word baffle). I still remember him first showing me a mathematical graph (which I’m sure is a layman’s description for what it actually is) and looking rather shocked and perhaps a little disappointed when I wasn’t as intrigued by it as he was as I tried desperately to change the subject.

By all accounts, Mike is also a very laid back kind of guy, which possibly explains his sometimes lethargic looking demeanour around the table and his frequent sighs and outtakes of breath. But his competitive streak must be in there somewhere or else he’d not have made it through a very tough final draw against a player in Kishan that many had down as a live contender for this season’s title.

It’s great to see Mike finally get over the line, I just hope he leaves his graphs at home on Sunday and brings Whitney instead, she’s far more interesting.

Tom Barton: Late Night Thrills.

Tom Barton: Late Night Thrills.

 The bottom half of the draw saw victory for Tom Barton, who eventually came through a decider against Kent star Phil O’Kane to nab the last automatic spot after over 12 hours of snooker on Sunday.

Tom was as ever accompanied by legendary snooker hardman Joe Lazarus, a man that’s so hard that Chuck Norris wears a pair of Joe Lazarus pyjamas for bed. Joe was again on top storytelling form while watching his protege and he also wolfed down almost half of Mrs SB’s victoria sponge while everyone else just watched, far too terrified to ask if they could have a piece for fear of falling victim to a cake-raged upper cut.

On the table, Tom had early victories over Majid Khan and Matt Glasby before coming up against Andy Marriott, a grand finalist from last season. The two slogged away for over 3 hours before Tom eventually made it over the line in the decider.

Despite this, Tom only wanted a few minutes after the match to gather himself together to face Phil O’Kane in the final, which was to go to a decider again, Tom producing the goods in the final frame and marking himself out as a real stamina man with a very solid technique and cool head under pressure, this being no doubt engrained in him by Joe who still coaches to this day. Joe has never struck me as a man that needs a lot of sleep, in fact he’s so hard that sleep probably needs a lot of him.

Tom seems a quiet, unassuming lad and clearly enjoys a very close relationship with Joe, who is a master at stealing the limelight. It’s great to see a new name in the mix and it will be interesting to see how Tom gets on against other, perhaps better known names on the amateur circuit. Under the radar is sometimes a very nice place to be.

Kiss it - a KO for O'Kane.

Kiss it – a KO for O’Kane.

Phil O’Kane meanwhile had his own adventure on Sunday. He went into the day needing to win either 12 or 13 frames, depending on how scores went, to catch Merseyside’s Josh Mulholland and pip him to 2nd spot in the Order of Merit List, behind Brett Miller, who had qualified much earlier in the event but whose place could only be finally confirmed on Sunday (Brett, frame on the way on Sunday).

Phil did just that and tried his best in the final to try and make the blow a little less hard to swallow for Josh by winning through and getting him his place, but it wasn’t to be and Kent’s finest bowed out in the final frame as Josh received updates on Twitter.

Brett has really impressed this season and has only been beaten in each event by the eventual qualifiers, he’s been scoring heavily and I think he has a real chance of causing an upset on Sunday. His eventual winning tally in the Order or Merit speaks for itself and consistency wise he’s right up there with the best of them.

As for Phil, he was genuinely delighted on Sunday and is a big favourite with everyone on the amateur tour. He’s a natural comedian and a favourite with Mrs SB who thinks he’s ‘a bit of a charmer’. Very much like a nasty fungal infection, he’s grown on me over the years too. We’re both looking forward to seeing him again on Sunday and who knows, this could be just what he needs to make that step up?

I can’t leave you however without directly quoting Phil’s philokane-asophical insight into his change in attitude. Step aside Terry Griffiths, there’s a new mind guru in town:

O’KANE’ISM OF THE DAY 

Aaron Cook: ‘Phil, I don’t think I have ever seen you this focused’

Phil: ‘No Aaron, that’s just what happens sometimes when you realise you’ve made a massive fuck up of your life’ 

A big thanks as ever to all at the SWSA, all the players who have supported the event this season, my kind team of sponsors and the referees on Sunday Roycey and Chardo.

All the scores from Sunday can be found here and the final order of merit standings, grand finalists and current highest break here.

Now here is a picture of Joe Lazarus as he has just rang me while I was writing this to ask why there isn’t a picture of him anywhere. 

JOE PUT THE GEEZ IN GEEZER

JOE PUT THE GEEZ IN GEEZER

Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals: DRAW LIVE ON TWITTER TONIGHT

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:45 pm

The draw for Grand Finals Day of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic will be tweeted from 6pm this evening. To follow this as it happens you should follow me on there by accessing this account.

In the spirit of transparency, I should say that I will actually to doing the full draw automatically using the usual software a couple of minutes before tweeting it. But I won’t post the link to the draw page until I have finished the tweets. So anyone who doesn’t like suspense and prefers to be ‘the first to know’ can I’m sure find this information if they are desperate/sad/anoraky enough to look hard for it.

 

March 28, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Last Chance Saloon Gloucester

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:41 pm

Sunday sees the final qualifying heat of the Snookerbacker Classic in Gloucester where we will see the final three Grand Finalists decided.

You can keep up with the scores from the day here and the race for the 2nd spot on the Order of Merit here with either Josh Mulholland or Phil O’Kane set to take the 2nd spot behind runaway leader Brett Miller who is already confirmed as a finalist.

The referees for the day will be Martyn ‘Rolls’ Royce and Nick ‘Chardo’ Harry.  

March 25, 2015

SB Classic Last Chance Saloon: Lowdown for Players

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:07 am
It's a big day for Kent's finest on Sunday.

It’s a big day for Kent’s finest on Sunday.

Sunday in Gloucester sees the final 3 Grand Finalists decided for this season’s Snookerbacker Classic as the qualifiers and the ongoing Order of Merit list reach their conclusion.

The draw for Sunday was done last night and is here.

Anyone drawn to play in Matches numbered 1-8 will be commencing at 10am. Anyone drawn to play in Matches numbered 9-16 should arrive no later than 11.30am to the venue.

The usual rules apply for late arrivals. Dress code is collared shirt or polo with trousers and shoes.

All the information about this year’s tournament is here, including links to reports from all of the qualifiers so far.

The ongoing Order of Merit can be viewed here. As things stand Brett Miller is already comfortably through to Grand Finals Day with second place being currently held by Liverpudlian, Josh Mulholland.

Although Josh is level with Ryan Causton, he holds second place as his performance in his best event, the first Liverpool qualifier, was narrowly better than Ryan’s performance in his best event, the second qualifier in Gloucester. Josh won 14 frames to Ryan’s 12 and had a ‘frame difference’ of +4 to Ryan’s +3. So by virtue of that single frame, he may squeeze into the Grand Finals.

As Ryan is in Malta and was unable to enter on Sunday and a lot of the chasing pack are also not playing it means that only one player, namely Phil O’Kane who is 12 frames behind Josh can possibly catch him. To do this Phil must reach his section final and depending on frame scores in his earlier matches win at least one frame in that final. Otherwise, it is Josh who will progress to the Grand Finals on Easter Sunday. 

Can I also remind players that the clocks go forward an hour on Saturday evening. Yes Phil, I am talking to you.  

March 16, 2015

SB Classic Liverpool: Davison Dominates at Scotties

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:30 am
Paul with his prize

Paul with his prize

Saturday saw yet another big name put himself in the running at this season’s Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals as York’s Paul ‘Snowy’ Davison made it through to Gloucester on April 5th with a display that saw him lose just one frame all day.

The first round saw 4-0 victories for John Whitty, Alex Taubman and Josh Mulholland as well as Davison, with Josh compiling the first of four centuries on the day, 105. Wins were to follow for Andy Marriott, Anthony Jeffers, Rhys Williams and young Sean Maddocks from Liverpool who scored an impressive victory over Jack Bradford.

Sean is one of the recipients of the Eden Resources/ Snookerbacker Scholarships that have been in place this season to help youngsters gain valuable tournament experience by granting them a free entry into the Classic, it’s great that this season we have seen one of them come out with a win to boost confidence. Hopefully, Sean can use this as a springboard.

Sean was to lose next round against the impressive Mulholland who with that win rose to joint 2nd in the Order of Merit List with Ryan Causton. Unfortunately Josh and Ryan can’t play the final event in Gloucester so the chasing pack have a fighting chance with a good run.

Davison in the meantime was scoring consistently heavily and ended Josh’s run in the semi-final compiling two centuries along the way and making the final having not lost a frame.

In the other half of the draw a courageous clearance from Alex Taubman from 62-0 behind in the decider ended John Whitty’s chances of making the Grand Finals for a second consecutive year and John’s fellow scouser Anthony Jeffers was to set up a meeting with Taubs defeating Andy Marriott in a decider from 3-1 down.

Jeffers, a quarter-finalist in the Classic Grand Finals last year, began to get into the groove in the semi final and looked to be peaking at the right point in the day. Taubman being another who, though well placed on the Order of Merit, cannot enter the final event in Gloucester and is set to miss out on the Grand Finals.

The final saw Davison lose his first frame of the day but in truth he never really looked in danger and rode out a comfortable 4-1 winner over Jeffers under the watchful eye of Peter Bennett the referee and Rob Spencer, the scorer, who again kept order during the day.

I can’t sign off without mentioning the four Scottish boys who came along on Saturday, they left without a win between them but happy nonetheless as Stevie Baillie’s request for a cake ‘just for us’ in return for entering was met by the gracious Mrs SB, she even put a Scottish flag on the top. They’d had a nice time the night before and loved the club, Stevie saying that if he ever opened a snooker club himself, he’d want it to be like Scotties.

So, it’s Paul who joins Jamie Clarke, Eden Sharav, Martin O’Donnell, Syd Wilson, James Brown, Sean O’Sullivan, defending champion Ant Parsons, Daniel Wells, Ben Harrison, Reanne Evans, Jamie Bodle and Brett Miller at Grand Finals Day. We now await the final 3 who will all be decided at the Last Chance Saloon in Gloucester on March 29th, two qualifiers on the day and whoever finishes second on the Order of Merit list.

March 11, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic: Saturday in Liverpool

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:52 am

SB2015 A4 Poster1 with amendsSaturday sees the latest penultimate qualifying event take place at the George Scott Snooker Centre in Liverpool and the draw can be viewed here where updated results will be posted on the day.

All first round matches will commence at 10.00am with the usual rules applying for late arrivals. Dress code is collared shirt or polo with trousers and shoes.

All the information about this year’s tournament is here, including links to reports from all of the qualifiers so far.

The ongoing Order of Merit can be viewed here, the top two from this list who do not make the Grand Finals by another route will also make the Grand Finals. Brett Miller has already claimed top spot so the race is now on for second place with Ryan Causton currently in pole position. 

You can view the full terms and conditions of entry here.

March 9, 2015

SB Classic Derby: Ruthless Bodle Joins Grand Finalists

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:20 am

A very happy Jamie with his prize

Sunday in Derby saw local man Jamie Bodle, an England International and former tour professional, join the cracking line-up in Gloucester for Grand Finals Day on April 5th.

This heat was something of an odd one as it’s only the second time that myself and Mrs SB have not attended a qualifying event in the 4 years we’ve been doing the Classic. We had a family occasion to attend and were ably assisted by Mark Jones, who stood in as tournament director for the day and Andy Guest of My Snooker Stats who showed up to do a bit of live scoring for us.

Also present were referees Rob Spencer and Peter Bennett to make sure the day carried on regardless, even though there was an absence of cake that at one point threatened to lead to a mass mutiny, led by Joe Steele’s dad and cake-addict Garry. 

Many people’s favourite for the day was Paul Davison, but the Yorkshire man was beaten in Round 1 by Alex Taubman. It was quite an incredible achievement by Alex who is recovering from a seriously debilitating illness which threatened to rule him out for the rest of the season as recently as a fortnight ago. But he was to lose in the following round to Ryan Causton, who himself has one foot in the Grand Finals courtesy of the Order of Merit list, with just 2 more qualifying events left.

But it was Jamie who stole the show, in a display described by one pundit as ‘almost flawless’ he was to end Ryan’s run 4-1 in the semi-finals, compiling two centuries and racking up a 97% pot success rate in the process, as good as you will see at any level.

He faced Callum Downing in the final, who himself had seen off John Eames, Hugo Tomas and Adam King to get there, but Jamie proved too strong and by all accounts was a very worthy winner.

The Bald Truth: Mark Jones and Jamie.

The Bald Truth: Mark Jones and Jamie.

Mark has asked me to make a few further points and speaks very highly of the venue and the tables, which were prepared very early in the morning by Terry Salt, the club was extremely accommodating of the SB Classic and that’s really great to hear.

Mark also says that the referees were very professional as you would expect and that they added an air of kudos to the tournament. He also wanted me to say that he replaced the glass in the prize that smashed in the post with one of his daughter Hannah’s prized certificates. Proving that when it comes to the SB Classic, there is no level you shouldn’t stoop to in order to ensure the day runs smoothly. I just hope Hannah has stopped crying now.

I’m not going to mention that Mark himself thought he did a much better job than me as his big bald head will only expand further and we both know it isn’t true. 

A personal big thank you from me to everyone at Cueball for again hosting this event and a special thanks to Diana Schuler, Jamie’s other half, for taking the photographs. Remember that last year, this venue produced the eventual champion Ant Parsons, will their 100% record remain in tact?

This Saturday we are back on the road and land again at Scotties in Liverpool for a really high quality heat. And yes, there will be cake.

You can view the results from the Derby qualifier here and view all the Grand Finalists, the updated highest breaks and Order of Merit table here.

There are still a handful of places left in the final qualifier in Gloucester, to enter click here and follow the instructions.

March 6, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic: Sunday in Derby

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:00 pm

SB2015 A4 Poster1 with amendsSunday sees the latest qualifier at the Cue Ball Club in Derby and the draw can be viewed here where updated results will be posted on the day.

All first round matches will commence at 10.30am with the usual rules applying for late arrivals. Dress code is collared shirt or polo with trousers and shoes.

All the information about this year’s tournament is here, including links to reports from all of the qualifiers so far.

The ongoing Order of Merit can be viewed here, the top two from this list who do not make the Grand Finals by another route will also make the Grand Finals.

You can view the full terms and conditions of entry here.

The only few places left this season now are in the final qualifying event in Gloucester on Sunday 29th March which will decide the final two qualifiers for the Grand Finals as well as the conclusion of the Order of Merit list standings. 

If you would like to enter this event press Add to Cart below, then Checkout, then Pay with Credit or Debit Card and follow the instructions.

ENTER GLOUCESTER LAST CHANCE SALOON

Select Event and Add to Cart



February 23, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Gloucester: Wells, Evans and Harrison Join Grand Finals Field

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:08 pm

The weekend in Gloucester at the always excellent South West Snooker Academy saw three more players added to the Final 16 with a further player guaranteeing himself a spot by virtue of his Order of Merit status, leaving the race for the second place on that list wide open.

Saturday's Winner Daniel Wells

Saturday’s Winner Daniel Wells

Saturday saw a win for Welshman and former tour professional Daniel Wells, a first time entrant to the Classic who also managed to set the standard for the tournament highest break in the process.

Daniel went into the day as most people’s favourite to progress and indeed it was clear from the off that he wasn’t there to mess around, knocking in a 133 in his first match having received a bye in the first round. Putting him firmly in line to nab the £500 John Parrott Cuesports Highest Break prize at the end of the event, he was later to add a point for good luck, by compiling a 134 in his semi-final against Brett Miller, a match that Brett led 3-1 before being pegged back and beaten in a decider.

Last year’s Grand Finalist Callum Lloyd, another Welshman, in the meantime was progressing nicely through the top half of the draw, with wins over Phil O’Kane, Matt Glasby and Zack Richardson to progress to a final against his fellow countryman. The final was a rather one-sided affair and Callum never really got going as Daniel coasted to victory at the first time of asking, a trend that has been a common trait of the past 3 SB Classic champions and he I’m sure will be bang up for it on April 5th.

His 134 was also to remain the highest break of the weekend and won him the £100 prize generously donated by SBAT.com.

Off the table, there was the usual light-hearted chatter and snooker talk. Phil O’Kane again providing the entertainment along with his long suffering girlfriend Amy. Indeed the snooker wives and girlfriends are becoming a more regular feature at the SB Classic with a lot of the boys deciding to bring along their other halves. And you know what? I think it really adds to the event as a whole and I hope it continues, maybe Mrs SB’s feminine touch is encouraging the SWAG’s to come along, let’s hope so.

Anyway, Daniel left with a wide smile on his face and it was great to meet him. He’s a great lad and I’m sure he’ll be full of confidence come Grand Finals Day.

All Saturday’s results can be found here.

Reanne has qualified for the Grand Finals for the first time

Reanne has qualified for the Grand Finals for the first time

 Sunday saw a busier, more bustling vibe in Gloucester courtesy of the 32 player field (as well as the SWAG’s) and it was Reanne Evans, the Ladies World Champion for the past 100 or so years and last season’s semi-finalist and current English Amateur Champion Ben Harrison who booked their places in the Grand Finals on Easter Sunday.

Reanne received a bye in the first round because Aaron Cook had been taken ill and Mrs SB and I both wish him a speedy recovery, I’m sure his dad Rob will look after him. After this she was to gain revenge on Zack Richardson, who had beaten her on Saturday before overcoming Phil O’Kane, the newly crowned Kent Amateur Champion, a title of which he is most proud, who’d lost in the ‘Last 16′ the previous day….before coming up against that man Brett Miller again, Reanne producing a fabulous clearance when it looked for all the world like Brett was about to force a decider, to win 4-2.

Reanne is obviously a great addition to the Grand Finals line up and it’s great to see her there having got so close in the past. When she’s on her game she is a match for any of the top boys and despite nursing a sore leg throughout the day, she finally did what she’s been threatening to do for the past 3 years. She’s also won something that doubtless her very cute daughter Lauren, who spent hours entertaining us on Saturday, will write all over when she gets it home.

Ben with 2015 prize

Ben battled away to make his second Grand Finals Day

     In the other half of the draw it was Ben Harrison who landed the spoils with wins over Alan Harvey, Tom Barton, Mike Rogers and Dan Ward. Denying finalist Dan the chance to join his partner Reanne on Grand Finals Day.

Ben is the current English Amateur Champion but hasn’t been in a position to give snooker his full attention recently and is now working full time, making his achievement on Sunday all the more impressive as he hasn’t been putting in the hours that he would like to. His SWAG Charlotte looked on as Ben did his thing, again proving the old adage that behind every good man is a good SWAG. Just ask Mrs SB. 

I think Ben would be the first to admit that he wasn’t exactly ‘flying’ but sometimes you have to just bide your time, not get frustrated and play solid match snooker to win and Ben showed that he is a very mature match player these days by getting the right results when not at his best, a great quality to have as a player. That gives him plenty to build on for Grand Finals Day and it’s clear the win meant a lot to him and was a massive confidence boost.

Off the table, myself and Mrs SB were being entertained with tales of the old East End by none other than Joe Lazarus, a legend in the snooker world who’s rubbed shoulders with and probably broken a few shoulders of, snooker’s great and not-so-good.

Joe, now in his seventies though looking exactly how I remember him in the late 1980’s, recounted tales involving red-hot pokers, Bulgarian’s not behaving themselves to his high standards in hospital car parks, hiding up trees and lots of other stuff I dare not write about on here as he has my phone number, while we sat transfixed at the life he has led and experiences he has had.

He also revealed that he holds the award of Basildon’s ‘Unsung Hero’ having raised thousands for children’s charities, as he joked that he has a bit of making up to do now he’s getting a bit older. He’s clearly very proud of this and rightly so, he’s a real character and an old school gent when it comes to the ladies, apologising unreservedly when he let a profanity slip within earshot of Mrs SB. But I like to think that even this softer version of the hard man I remember probably still chews chunks of granite when he’s feeling peckish, 75 or not, you’d want him on your side if you got cornered, trust me.

Mrs SB however, could not resist telling Joe that she expected him to be ‘a good boy’ from now on and to ‘stop being naughty or you’ll have me to answer to’ and I think this might have sunk in, it’s the first time I’ve seen the man who eats nails for breakfast and could knock down a tower block with a right hook have a slight look of fear in his eyes, Mrs SB’s glares can do that. Again, trust me.

Anyway, the day was rounded off with a trip to Gloucester Quays with some bloke called Craig who keeps following me around for a bite to eat and a bit of wine. Oddly on leaving we bumped into another Grand Finalist Eden Sharav and gave him a lift home, Gloucester is a small place…

It’s Derby next on March 8th before Liverpool on 14th then it’s the Last Chance Saloon back in Gloucester on 29th, that is the only event now with any spare places available and you can enter by clicking here and scrolling down to the Paypal link.

All Sunday’s results can be found here.

A big thanks to all at the SWSA and to referees Nick Harry and Clive Brown.

ORDER OF MERIT LATEST

Following the weekend, it is now mathematically impossible for Brett Miller to be caught in the Order of Merit so Brett will also be joining the qualifiers at Grand Finals Day. He will not be entering any more qualifiers.

There remains however one more place on this list up for grabs and it is currently headed by Zack Richardson on 26, with Jason Tart (not in any further events), Josh Mulholland (entered Liverpool) Ryan Causton and Matthew Day all in the 20’s with lots of others within touching distance, including Paul Davison who is in both Derby and Liverpool.

Last season the last place went down to the last frame of the last qualifier. I wonder if this year we’ll see a similarly tense finish? 

 The latest standings can be found here.

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