A little over a year ago a group of friends got together to form a pool team, Allstars and they entered the South London & Kent Pool Alliance and as most of the players were known to the league they were able to put them in the Premier Division and Allstars lived up to their name by doing the league and cup double in their first season. 


This remarkable achievement gave them entry into the English Pool Association National Champion of Champions finals, played last weekend at Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth, where Allstars were one of two teams representing the SLKPA against over 200 other teams. 


Hotshots, the SLKPA’s other representative sadly didn’t make it out of the group stage, losing both their games, 9-5 and 11-3 however, Allstars topped their group, winning both games, only dropping one frame in the process. 


This put them into the last 32 and the knockout stage, where they faced a solid RAFA Club A, which they won, 8-5 with Paul Cook and Tony Halpin taking out some great finishes and Derek Power winning the final frame to secure their spot in the last 16 and day two of the tournament. 


Sunday started with a match against the probable favourites for the competition, TT Players, who had a relatively easy, 8-3 victory in the last round. 


Allstars rose to the occasion, with every player chipping in with some exceptional pool to dump the favourites out of the tournament by 8 frames to 6. 


In the quarter-final they faced Three Tuns A from the nearby Croydon League, who had an, 8-4 victory in the previous round, after a hard fought, 9-8 triumph in the last 32. 


Allstars incredible form continued and they made light work of their neighbours, running out, 8-3 victors, with half of those frames being won with a break and dish. 


They went into the semi-final riding high on confidence and they needed to be, as their opponents, Windmill Potters had made even lighter work of their quarter-final opponents, winning it,8-2. 


The two teams were evenly matched which made for a topsy-turvy match, with Allstars going, 3-1 down before turning it around to take a, 4-3 lead and three frames later it was all square at five all. 


Allstars went on to win th next three frames, with Craig Mallinder providing the drama and excitement, wobbling the black in the final frame before watching it drop to send Allstars into the final with an, 8-5 victory. 


The final was a north v south battle as Allstars played Southport’s Dodds `Devils, who had a tough semi-final eventually winning, 9-7. 


The Devils had a better start to the match, taking a, 6-3 lead however Allstars battled back and tied the match, six all. 


Unfortunately, Devils took the next two frames, leaving Allstars just short going down, 8-6 in the final to finish runner-up in the EPA National Champion of Champions finals.


This was a remarkable achievement considering it was Allstars first season as a team in the SLKPA and their first visit to the national finals. 


Not only were they successful but also a credit to the league, playing with a great attitude and pride, which shone through as each player recorded a win percentage of over 60% and Derek Power was impeccable, only losing one frame across the whole tournament. 


Massive congratulations go out to; Stacy Redman, Craig Mallinder, Tony Halpin, Andy Holland, Paul Cook, Derek Power, Ritchie Mitchell and Jamie Simmons, the Allstars team.  


For more information on the SLKPA including league tables visit our website at www.slkpa.com or contact our Secretary, Paul Gafa on 07443 456662 or secretary@slkpa.com with any queries.


The league is looking at potential sponsors; any interested parties can also contact Paul Gafa.