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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - French Championship D1 group 2 round 4 - Saint Quentin (FRA)

Merckx beats Ceulemans in final sprint

Posted by on January 8, 2022

Merckx beats Ceulemans in final sprint

© St Quentin
Eddy Merckx and Peter Ceulemans before their match in St Quentin

SAINT QUENTIN - Eddy Merckx's last ball in his French league match against Peter Ceulemans was one of unprecedented beauty. The two Belgians, with a considerable difference in length, closed the match between Saint Quentin (Ceulemans) and Courbevoie (Merckx) with a victory for Merckx, who made his last point with a spectacular bankshot over one and a half lengths of the billiard table. Johan Loncelle played against Steven van Acker in the other match and won the third of four matches for Saint Quentin, giving the home team a 6-2 victory.

Courbevoie played without its routinier Richard Bitalis, who is in hospital after heart surgery.

The match was a revenge for Saint Quentin, which had lost 7-1 in Courbevoie. The local fans enjoyed exciting moments, because the victory was far from easy.

Eddy Merckx and Peter Ceulemans, who together play in a team for Belgium at the European Championship for nation treams in Ankara, played a match that was initially dominated by Merckx. Merckx led 21-13 in 13 and 32-25 in 18, when Ceulemans did not have the best start, but he came back with a run of 8. This made it 32-32 heading into the final part, however, Merckx had the best final shot. He first scored a 7 (leading 39-32 in 24), then missed the match ball. The last point, truly a beauty, saved face for Courbevoie, which was trailing 6-0 at the break. Merckx won 40-32 in 25.

Johan Loncelle immediately reassured the spectators by starting much better than his Belgian opponent Steven van Acker: 10-2 in 5 and 20-8 in 10 at the break. Shortly after the break, Loncelle ran out even further with an 8 and the match was almost played with a score 28-9 in 11. The Belgian from Saint-Quentin was unleashed! In the 14th inning he led 36-12, then missed four more times to finish 1-2-1 for a final score 40-23.

Young Nathan Duriez won the match for the home team against Vahit Kunt after a smooth start with 12-1 and 25-6, but after a long slump by Duriez, Kunt even took the lead in the closing stages with 36-32, a total reversal of the match. But Duriez managed to recover in the last 3 innings and won the match 3-4-1: 40-36 in 41.

At the other table, the scenario was more or less the same. Cédric Melnytschenko made the first attacks and led 21-8 in 10 at the break. Melny saw his opponent Echeverry come back to 35-34. After a run of 4, Melnytschenko won the match 40-34 in 28.

The decision is not yet made in this group, where Morangis takes the lead with 6 points ahead of Kozoom with 4 points. Courbevoie and Saint-Quentin follow with 3 points.

Saint-Quentin 6 (1,322)
Courbevoie 2 (1,157)

The winning Saint Quentin team with Duriez, Melnytschenko, Loncelle and Ceulemans


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