Desperques overcomes 70-point starts twice to take fourth title in five years
FOR the fourth time in its five year history, Martyn Desperques has won the two-day Stephen Merrien Handicap Open held again at the Ex-Service Club.
Over a weekend when he twice had to concede a 70-points start, Desperques came through six matches, hit a century break and won the final against Mat Ogier on the last black of a deciding frame.
Having beaten Colin Gilbert, Desperques faced his first deficit of 70 points against Nigel Mahy, but breaks of 85 and 62 saw him progress 2-0. Desperques would drop just one frame on the way to the final, with Kelvin Du Feu forcing a third in their quarter-final.
In the other half of the draw, Ogier – more renowned for bar billiards – started his route by beating Jamie Le Cheminant 2-1, but that would also be the only time he would lose a frame on the way to a surprise final appearance.
After the semis in which Desperques struck a brilliant 107 against Scott Bradford and Ogier defeated Gavin Denning, a late Sunday final saw the snooker novice defend his 70-points start to good effect and comfortably take the first frame. Desperques can never be counted out, though, and he duly replied by winning the second on the colours.
The decider looked to be following the first frame with Ogier heading to be the third name on the trophy, but Desperques used all of his experience to take the last four colours and break Ogier’s resolve on the black.