Foss doubles his tally of major senior-level titles
BEN FOSS kept his calm in a nervy final at Monday night’s Capelles Open to lift his second piece of major senior-level silverware.
Within three months of his milestone triumph at the Whistlers Open, the 18-year-old got the upper hand against Josh Stacey in five hard-fought sets.
That he faced off against a Stacey twin was unsurprising – Lawrence being the 2019 winner – but the build-up had featured a number of encounters that could have gone in another direction.
Foss had found himself with some work to do against fellow teenager Ryan Bichard in the quarter-final, eventually coming back from one down to win 3-1.
Phil Ogier then took their semi-final into a fifth set before Foss improved his game to edge the win.
On the adjacent table, quite the brotherly duel was unfolding, one reminiscent of last year’s final, except for the outcome.
Josh had lost the first two sets 8-11 to Lawrence before mounting a comeback to take the next three and book his final spot.
The Foss-Stacey match-up went clearly in the latter’s favour in their last league encounter – yet this fast-paced final would reverse their fortunes.
The Stacey twin initially had the upper hand, though the younger player turned this around to win the next two sets.
Stacey had prolonged his fate by winning the fourth set and he then forged ahead in the decisive fifth end, leading 5-2.
But ultimately, Foss regained his composure just as errors began to seep into Stacey’s game and he went on to take the decider 11-8.
The victor had been rightly pleased with his form but also glad for that of his fellow Sarnians ahead of teaming up for the CI Top 12 and the next British League, where Ravenscroft I look to climb from their current third in National A1.
‘Second big one, which is nice, and I feel like I played well, which is the main thing,’ said Foss.
‘I felt like Josh was playing well and we’ve got British League in about a month, which is quite important... if we’re all playing well, it puts us in good stead.'
After reflecting upon a period of downtime over Chrismas, he added: ‘I feel refreshed and feel like I’m enjoying it, and when you enjoy something, you do it better.
‘It was tough – 5-2 down in the fifth and I was thinking it’s up... then you relax a bit and start playing better.
‘You get close and start getting nervous again, and we’re both playing quite similar standard, so it’s whoever could hold their nerve better.’