For the third straight year Brian Cook and Fred Slater have been crowned the Ontario Doubles Champs, defeating a stacked field of opponents all looking to gun them down. The Toronto pairing have been quite successful despite never playing together at any other tournament, with the exception of the BC Championships. Speaking of which, they have earned the right, or rather the voucher of cash prizes to travel to BC and participate in the tournament, if they so choose. If they can fit it into their schedule they will be returning to defend their BC Doubles crown and a 1-2 singles finish.
Other strong finishes in the tournament included Jason and Raymond Beierling, tournament hosts, finishing in second. Their runner-up finish means that Brian Cook and Fred Slater have won the tournament in 3 straight years against 3 different opponents in the championship match. In those 3 years, Jason and Ray have been quite successful with back-to-back third place finishes in 2010 and 2011. Finishing in third place were Jon Conrad and Barry Kiggins to back up their runner-up performance in 2010.
NCA Tour Rankings
Both Cook and Slater will also gain some serious NCA points to bump up their ranking. Cook was sitting outside the top 5, due to him having only recorded points in two tournaments where everyone else had 3. And early in the season he will be up to a total of 150 points. Another victory anywhere in the season will push his total to 200 with a chance of reaching 205 points if he wins the NCA finale, all in the effort of chasing down Jon Conrad after his massive start to the 2012-2013 tour when he won 2 world titles.
Conrad had 153 points heading into the tournament and this score will move him up to 198, with lots of room to improve on his lower scores of 43 and 45 with several tournaments left on the NCA Tour. A victory in any tournament before the NCA final will guarantee a 2nd place finish on the Tour and a fantastic chance at winning the top prize. He still retains the top spot on the NCA Tour, just ahead of Fred Slater in second place.
It's hard to believe that 7 months before the NCA finale, also known as the Ontario Singles Championship, the Tour seems as though it will be decided among 2 men. The only foreseeable way anyone else could put pressure on Cook and Conrad is by winning 3 tournaments before the NCA finale. Definitely a tough task as no tournament is without several tough competitors and only 3 Ontario events remain before the tour finals.
Meanwhile, players like Fred Slater, Ray Beierling and Justin Beierling have amassed a decent amount of points this season with a chance for many more. But if they want to do more than challenge for the top 3 or the top 5, they will have to win a few tournaments.
To come in a few days: the slightly less late review of the 2012 Scenic City Crokinole Tournament.