Ballarat 8-ball team keeps Kim McCartney Memorial Shield

BALLARAT has continued its dominance at the Victorian Country Cup 8-ball championships, defeating a high-quality Geelong outfit in Sunday’s grand final.

The team featuring Jake McCartney, Mark Gottlieb, Jamie Stevens, Mark Curwood, Graeme Wright, Nick Young and Don Colbert ousted the hosts 4-1 in the best of seven pennant-style match held at Geelong’s Slade Pool Lounge.

The side retained the Kim McCartney Memorial Shield for the second straight year of its existence after winning the division one section of the two-day event.

Team captain Colbert was pleased his players, including McCartney’s son Jake, could rise to the occasion and honour the late Ballarat icon.

“We’ve never wanted to win it (the shield) as badly as we did last year, given that it was the first time that it was up for grabs, but we still wanted to hold onto it again,” Colbert said.

“We’re committed to see how many years we can win it in a row – it’s a privilege to hang onto this shield and there wouldn’t be a player on this team who doesn’t know how special it is.”

Ballarat has now extended its lead over Geelong to 13-7 in the event.

The Country Cup started in relative modesty in 1992, with just six sides – Ararat, Bacchus Marsh, Horsham, Mildura, Warrnambool and Ballarat – playing for the honours at the Golden City Hotel.

Now in its 23rd edition, the event is highly regarded across the state.

More than 36 teams and clubs contested this year’s Country Cup, and Colbert is hoping that Ballarat can attain hosting rights for the 2017 edition.