|Amelia Hartmann - St. Jacobs Pool D Champion|
Players were reseeded for the afternoon with the prize money on the line. In Pool D, Janet Diebel made a strong push for the finals but ultimately finished third, as Allen Pengelly and Amelia Hartmann finished in the top spots. In the final, Hartmann won a tough first game and went on to win the match 6-4, 6-2 for the D Pool title.
|Cathy Kuepfer - St. Jacobs Pool C Champion|
Jeremy Tracey looked strong through the afternoon in Pool B, finishing with 56 points for the top spot, and was joined in the final by Roger Vaillancourt. Vaillancourt's score of 55 points was enough to beat out his Penetanguishene compatriot of Brian Simpson, who scored 51 points for third. In a great final, Vaillancourt came through 6-4, 6-2 to earn the Pool B title.
The hope for a dream final of Ray Beierling vs Justin Slater with the NCA title in the balance ended in the round robin phase as Ray Beierling's 44 points were only enough for 6th place (despite a tournament-high 125 20s in 11 games), missing the semifinals. Andrew Hutchinson just fell short of backing up his top 4 finish in London, as he earned 48 points for 5th place. Jon Conrad showed absolutely no rust from missing the last couple crokinole tournaments, as his 54 points had him finish at the top of the table. Fred Slater scored 53 points for second, while Nathan Walsh and Justin Slater finished with identical scores of 50 points and 111 20s (Walsh earning the edge through head-to-head tiebreaker).
|Justin Slater - 2017 Ontario Singles Crokinole Champ|
2016-2017 National Crokinole Association Tour Champ
That setup a final of Justin Slater vs Nathan Walsh, and another instalment of what has been a one-way rivalry in tournament finals, with Slater earning the victory in each Championship encounter (St. Jacobs 2014, Belleville 2014, World Championships 2016 and Belleville 2016). An early mistake where Walsh scored a 20 for Slater allowed him to jump out to a 4-0 lead, but it was cut to 4-2 when Slater returned the favour in the third round. Slater then stole the final 2 points of the game to win the first of the best of three 6-2. Slater was once again ahead 4-2 in the second game and needed only a point for the title. Walsh had the opportunity to leave 2 discs in the 5 on his own side of the board, but had to press to the win in the round. When a ricochet attempt fell short of the 20 hole, Slater made the takeout and secured the Ontario Singles Crokinole Championship.
So Justin Slater has now won 7 Ontario Singles titles, equaling Joe Fulop for the most all-time. As mentioned, the victory also earned him the first place finish on the 2016-2017 NCA Tour. He began the season with double victories at the World Championships, and also won the Belleville and Ontario Doubles titles before finishing second in Hamilton and London. This is Slater's third NCA title to go along with 2014-2015 and the co-championship with Ray Beierling in 2009-2010.
|Ray Beierling - 2016-2017 NCA Tour 2nd Place|
The third place spot went to Nathan Walsh, which equaled his best ever Tour finish from 2014-2015, and is an improvement from the 8th place finish in last year's Tour. Walsh began and ended the Tour with a myriad of runner-up results as he finished second in the World Championships, New York, Belleville and St. Jacobs. This is Walsh's 4th Top 5 Tour finish as he's finished 4th on two separate occasions.
So the 2016-2017 National Crokinole Association Tour has completed, and players only have a month to make their final tune-ups for the Tavistock tournament. That tournament will mark a major milestone for the NCA Tour as it begins its 10th season. But for now, the focus shifts away from the NCA and on to the most important crokinole tournament of the year as June 3rd is the date for the 2017 World Crokinole Championships.