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Last night’s league was nearly exactly what I needed.  I got to play in the 1st round, out of necessity because 2 other players were late, but as it turns out, I think it was the best. I avoided any pre-league games with the teammates and instead opted for playing 3, 4 and 5 ball ghosts just to get loose on another table.  Each time I do this, I play well, I think it’s a sign. 😉

So, on with the match: I win the lag, break dry.  My opponent runs 3 and decides to play something of a safe and blocks a pocket where I have a dead ball combo frozen to his ball. He leaves me with this layout: (click through the 10 pages to see each shot played out)

My plan was to come off the 5 in the side, get nearly straight on the 6 in the corner, play the 2 down table off his blocker.  I shot the 5, got relatively straight on the 6 and decided to double-check my idea, so I called for a coach.  After explaining it to him, he added the suggestion that when I play the 2 off his 14, to draw back a little and ensure that I’ll have a shot at the 1, which will carom into the 11-4 combo.  So, I went on about my way, sank the 6, got a little behind the 2, but still drilled the shot, but the 14 came directly back off the bottom rail and kicked my cue ball all the way back up table.  Still, I had the shot the 1-11-4, so I called for someone to watch the hit, fired at the 1, sank the 4, but my other balls sort of jumbled up towards the bottom rail, leaving something like this:

I played the safe diagramed when I realize I had no real good offensive shot.  This would also force him to either shoot something to free up the 8, or go up-table and most likely leave me a shot on the 7 or 3.  He banked the 14 straight back trying to hide either the 3 or 7 and unfortunately hid neither one.  I played the 3 and went forward to get the 1 next.  Drew back a bit to play the 7 up-table in the opposite corner, which left me a tight cut on the 8 to pass the 12.  It barely slid by, but went clean. 🙂 

I was super excited.  It was my first win in 3 weeks, and it was a commanding win, I think. I might have broke dry, but from the moment I came to the table, I took control and I held control, I played smart, I didn’t over-think anything; when I realized I was taking too much time, I called for a coach.  I really hope that persuades my captain to play me the 1st round more often, since I told him a long time ago, I’m more solid out of the gate than at the end of the night after sitting for 2 hours.