The Harper Cup was launched in the season 1953-54 and the first two seasons saw Balcombe A becoming the title holders, however, they had not won it since and this year’s final held at the Lindfield Club was an opportunity for them to secure a third title when they were up against Clayton A.
Their skipper Ian Janman gave them a great start when he delivered his silky potting skills to defeat a determined Steve West 61-8. Ben May was looking to extend his team’s lead and in the early stages of the frame against Andy Healey it was nip and tuck, it was the industrious Healey who then commenced to dominate, he confidently took the frame 61-31.
Mark Coles showed no mercy when he came out flying to produce his power play by building a 35 break then to move on to win 82-6 against Balcombe’s John Whittingham.
The audience having been treated to some exciting matchplay were kept on their toes all through the next frame when Dave Langridge was aware he had to be on top of his game to gain the equaliser against the flamboyant Tony Flynn. The latter part of the frame saw Flynn edging ahead but the brave Langridge ceased the opportunity to take the final brown and blue to set himself up to grab a pink ball win. There was total silence in the room as Langridge cued to pot the pink, alas, there was a great gasp from the onlookers as the pink ball did not drop and remained over the open pocket giving Flynn an easy pot and to send the cue ball down the table to secure a 45-42 black ball success.
Roy Tucknott, MSBSL Chairman presented the trophy to Mark Coles the Clayton skipper and congratulated his team on their 3-1 victory, he thanked Derek Budde for refereeing the final and Dennis Wakeford for being his assistant. David Page, Clayton and Dave Lewis, Balcombe were the unlucky players not to perform on the green baize.