In a sport dom­i­nat­ed by men, it is a wel­comed sight to see women get­ting in­volved in the Bil­liards Sports Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Na­tion­al Pool League (NPL). Cur­rent­ly, there are sev­en women reg­is­tered to play in the NPL, how­ev­er, to date on­ly two have seen any ac­tion, Brit­ney Jagdeo of Gold­en Arch­es Snipers (once) and Up­per Deck’s Priya Gomes Mo­ra (9 times).

While for some teams women's rep­re­sen­ta­tion might ap­pear to be a to­ken, Up­per Deck has de­cid­ed to give its women's play­er an ex­tend­ed run. Of the eight games pri­or, Gomes has won two and lost six, the two vic­to­ries com­ing in dou­bles en­coun­ters. Be­ing a fierce com­peti­tor, who was in­tent on chang­ing her for­tunes in in­di­vid­ual play, she got the per­fect op­por­tu­ni­ty and on Wednes­day night, in Round 17, Up­per Deck’s con­fi­dence in her paid off.

The St James-based team trav­elled to Princes Town to take on Fear­less at the Dekko Sports Bar and af­ter a see-saw bat­tle through the first four games, the scores were tied at two apiece. At this point, Fear­less would have thought they had the match won but Gomes stepped up in the de­cider against Sunil "Elvis" Roop­nar­ine and im­me­di­ate­ly es­tab­lished that this would be no walkover. She stole the first frame with an ex­quis­ite cut shot to si­lence the home crowd. Roop­nar­ine bounced back to win the sec­ond frame and the cheers re­turned.

Frame three was a fierce safe­ty bat­tle with Roop­nar­ine pulling out the jump cue on sev­er­al oc­ca­sions but he just could not put to­geth­er any runs. Gomes pre­vailed to go 2-1 up by putting a long ten-ball. The fourth frame was more of the same with safe­ty first on the minds of both play­ers but it seemed that Gomes be­came the fear­less one and when the game fi­nal­ly opened up, she sank the eight, nine and ten balls to seal a 3-1 win and end a most mem­o­rable night for the vis­i­tors. It is the first time in the short his­to­ry of the NPL that one of the women's play­er has beat­en one of their men's coun­ter­parts in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Join­ing Gomes in win­ner’s row for Up­per Deck were Nigel St Clair who had a 3-1 win in game 2 and the pair of Keris "Pantz" Carew and Ian Mc­Call, who were 4-2 win­ners in the dou­bles en­counter. For Fear­less, Ryan Son­ny got the vis­i­tors off to a pos­i­tive start with a 3-2 win and Fear­less cap­tain, Roop­nar­ine "Din" Latch­man was a 3-nil win­ner in the fourth game. De­spite win­ning the match, Up­per Deck re­mains ninth on the ten-team ta­ble but all that pales in com­par­i­son to the thrill of that vic­to­ry on that fate­ful night at Dekko’s.

Liq­uida­torz, who leapfrogged Up­per Deck to move in­to the eighth spot in round 16, pulled off a mon­u­men­tal win in en­e­my ter­ri­to­ry. The squad from Club Liq­uidz went in­to one of the fortress­es of the NPL, the Board­room in Debe and hum­bled their hosts, Unit­ed Stars four games to one. The Stars start­ed well with Mark "Ter­rance" Can­non beat­ing Ronald Sama­roo 4-2 but that would be the on­ly suc­cess for the hosts as Mic­ah Singh, Rawle "Quar­ter­back" Ma­hadeo, Joshua Mitchell and the dou­bles pair of Richard­son Mo­hammed and Leo Chin Soong won four straight games.

The loss for Unit­ed Stars, cou­pled with Gold­en Arch­es Snipers 4-1 win over Ken­ny’s, means the Snipers are now the new lead­ers of the NPL 10 Ball com­pe­ti­tion. Snipers will play host to Fear­less in the fi­nal round, while Unit­ed Stars have a tougher as­sign­ment against The Spe­cial­ists, who are in the midst of a three-game win­ning streak. The Spe­cial­ists, led by Clint Bachan, were 4-1 win­ners over Spar Unit­ed.

The oth­er Round 17 match be­tween Reel Steel Shot­ters and Head­quar­ters had to be resched­uled and will now be con­test­ed on Mon­day.

Wednes­day's match­es

Round 18 (Starts at 8 pm)

Up­per Deck vs Spar Unit­ed, Up­per Deck, St James

Liq­uida­torz vs Reel Steel Shot­ters, Club Liq­uidz, Dun­can Vil­lage

Head­quar­ters vs Ken­ny’s, Head­quar­ters, Pe­nal

Gold­en Arch­es Snipers vs Fear­less, Gold­en Arch­es II, Curepe

The Spe­cial­ists vs Unit­ed Stars, Gold­en Arch­es II, Curepe