Connor Reinman: Hello and thanks for tuning into CrokinoleCentre It is down to the final and what a final it will be The 2018 World Championship is down to just two players Justin Slater on the right as you see him and John Conrad on the left These two players met in the final of the 2012 World Championship and produced quite a classic match. Beside me again is Nathan Walsh Nathan how do you feel about about this result today? Nathan Walsh: Well, this is a Pair of heavyweights here in the crokinole world and I’m not surprised they’re facing off again for the world final Connor: absolutely and As we see the players gesturing toward the commentary booth there Justin Slater started off the the match indeed with a 20 and John Conrad couldn’t quite get that one to go He’d love to level but Slater’s left a bit of a hanger here. So Conrad to convert and level the match which he does Slater keeps the pressure right on though NathanL Yeah Conrad’s got the hammer advantage cuz he finished better in the final four. Connor: Yeah He’s made the . . . the first mistake after that twenty race Justin Slater can’t quite get the take out though So John Conrad looks to be sitting 25 points here down the 20 This is this is quite a setup here As Slater rolls that one into the 15 maybe trying to set up a double take out? Nathan: Yeah for sure Connor: John just gets that let me go Nathan: Fortunate for John to get that cuz he he needs all the points on the board that he can get. Connor: Absolutely and this is No easy feat here. There’s a couple options for Slater and as we come down toward their last shot This later can follow through and try to score at the 20 and set the round, you can you try to make the double and set the round, but neither of those are easy shots at all. Nathan: Yeah, I don’t see it double there because that Second disc he’d have to hit is Pretty much lined up straight into a peg. So I think it’s only shot as video follow through 20 Connor: The only the only way you could make the double you lose the shooter as well. Nathan: You see him lean over there because I think he was thinking about, I don’t know, maybe a slice 20, like a thin tap 20 But that’s . . . you wouldn’t even get the take out so it wouldn’t be enough. Connor: Mm-hmm Connor: And that’s that’s a good shot there just to move to move Conrad’s disc to the outside But I don’t think it’s gonna be quite enough for John Conrad just needs this take out Which he gets and that is a strong two points to open up this world final Nathan: Yeah good start for John Conrad, Squeaked that one out Just by five points even without the extra 20, able to hold on to that hammer advantage. He’s up two nothing Connor: They say two on the board is winning and John Conrad showed it right there Connor: All right, and as we settle down here for round two John Conrad is gonna take the first shot He will open up by going just short here Slater makes a really lovely little roll away there, Conrad tried for the 20 couldn’t quite get it to go Slater puts that one in a pretty good position here, bu t a nice [crosstalk] double
Nathan: Nice double Connor: Fantastic double from John Conrad to stay alive and in the round He’s gonna need a pretty good follow-through Oh, and he’s given the 20 to Justin Slater, that’s not what he wanted to see there Nathan: And Slater’s in a good spot here, with the hammer in this round Connor: Yeah, hammer and a disc on the board Yeah, this is this is this is good looking for Justin Slater at the moment Unless John can make something miraculous happened here Wow [crosstalk] nearly did it that was a fantastic shot
Nathan: Wow Connor: Slater just to roll away and he does so really nicely there Nathan: Another expert roll away from Slater
Conrad: forces it back toward the middle Slater can get a good strong takeout, we are down to two shots left each Nathan: It wasn’t there for a 20 for Conrad, he’s really got no shot in this round now ConnorL It looks like Slater’s trying something creative and it will work just well enough for him there I think Even if Conrad scores a circus 20, it’ll be an easy take out for two points. He nearly did So just get rid of the one in the ten and it’s two points apiece. So it is. Nathan: Good start here, 2-2 hoping for a long round. I mentioned that that 2012 final It’s a repeat of that 2012 final. It went to a third game tiebreaker in the 5th round so These two, hoping for an exciting match today.
Connor: Yes, we are These two players, of course, are even outside of that final very Experienced with each other. They’ve played each other in the Hamilton final this year which Justin Slater won in two games
Nathan: Yes that’s right Connor: Slater starts out round three with the open 20, and John Conrad responds in turn NathanL Yes, this is sort of what we were expecting to see from this match, a lot of these 20 races
Connor: Yeah Neither these players were at the top of the of the 20’s tournament, but they were both quite close And Justin Slater is the first to miss here. And John Conrad and will look to pull his shooter back here Which he’s done just a little bit. I think Slater can bring this one back off the peg. Oh but he’s hit the peg [Laughing] Tried to shoot it again there perhaps Just a little frustrated with himself, but John Conrad that hasn’t put it away either Nathan: It was a good miss from Conrad though. Just to be on the other side of the hole so it wasn’t an easy hanger for Justin He’s in a good spot here with the hammer, got three shots left, he’s just got to try to hold onto this Connor: I don’t know what you try to do with this here. That looks looks a bit close to the peg. I don’t know what’s . . . what John’s quite gonna make of this That one circled around the pegs a couple times That one slid out into the 10 Nathan: Oh good try from Slater Connor: He went for the follow-through there just a little bit short of pace Oh and Conrad leaves a leaner! How unlucky is that? And Slater converts a deadly follow through 20 he is up there But Conrad has the two discs on the board that advantage could be big here As he moves into the 15 to secure a great two points there that is Two round wins in two very similar fashions for John Conrad as he wins both with two discs on a board down a 20 NathanL Yeah, he made that last ricochet in there look pretty easy. But that is a tough shot. Like it’s pretty easy to just catch a peg and end up only in the 10.
Connor: it’s a very very small line and he hit it. He hit it like he does it every time Nathan: So Conrad just away here from winning us first game.
Connor: And what a big first game would be as well He starts it off with a 20 Slater responds as well Nathan: Justin first to miss again. He was first to miss in the last round as well. Connor: He’s on the good side of the hole though. it’s nothing easy for Conrad as he just gets that take out to go Slater peels and Now it’s off to the patented defensive strategy and that’s in a pretty good spot there Slater’s gonna need to work. He just doesn’t even think about it. Peels it right off. Nathan: Yeah, I saw Slater do this in the Hamilton final as well If it’s not there, he just shoots it right off because he knows John Conrad is gonna give him another chance Connor: Yeah, I don’t I don’t mind that play at all. But that is Slater just went Berg went for the little bump ricochet shot and he hasn’t got it He’s even left a bit of an opportunity for John Conrad right to get out well in front, he didn’t score the 20 there But the rollaways is a very strong play as well. Slater could try to move that one disc He nearly got it Nathan: [gasp]
Connor: Oh no a critical mistake for John Conrad as they are level in the 20s He’s still got a disc pretty well stuck to that peg. It looks like but a confident take out by Justin Slater Conrad’s gonna need a miracle follow-through to go here He pulls it back off a peg. So just the hit and stick and Justin Slater Breathes a heavy sigh of relief as he has stuck around at 4-4 in this match Nathan: And what a turnaround there For John Conrad’s sake I hope he is Able to just forget about that and move on to the next shot because that’s a tough one to think about He was only a couple shots away there from winning that, this first game, you know, he does have to hammer advantage though So that’s why he’s got to forget about it now and take this round Connor: That he does. He still has a still has a bit of a leg up You know, Justin Slater has a tendency to get energized by results like that These two are through quickly the first couple shots, Slater has left another one short Conrad converts to hangar 20 for the advantage And Slater makes it 2-2 back to defense See if he can do one quite as well as he did in the last round and that’s in a pretty good spot I think Slater might play with this one Nathan: There’s the risk again leaving the hanger Which is actually exactly what happened on the last round, but Justin was able to pull that one out Connor: Yeah, and now John is up the 20 with the hammer He’s gonna go right back just as easily to that defensive shot And that is I think that’s pretty much four for four on that. Nathan: Yeah, he’s really putting those in the perfect spot Connor: He absolutely is. This one though is in a tough spot cuz he’s gonna have to negotiate his own disc on the way to making this take out Nathan: Yeah, this is even worth thinking about not shooting or not even going for the takeout. Connor: Yeah even just just playing for the touch would be advantageous Nathan: I thought that was risky, especially with the fact that John Conrad gave up the 20 in the last round Connor: yeah, you gotta think that he would be he would be thinking more of work defence and conservative plays but that is Showing I guess that he’s got it’s got some confidence in his finger right now.
Nathan: Final shots here. Conrad just needs a simple take out here and he’ll win this first game. Connor: I think he’s got the 20 advantage though So that ought to do it Nathan: Right Connor: John Conrad has held onto his two points. Just he has won Game one in a tiebreaker 6-4 of this world final tell you a Nathan: I tell ya, John Conrad fans out there must be Little bit nervous right now because there was a couple nervy shots at the end of that game Connor: There is more than a couple nervy shots, but I tell you what He earned his advantage early, Slater made a couple mistakes in that tiebreaker round but John Conrad made made a few really fantastic defensive shots there and that that was really what allowed him to To win this round and this game indeed Nathan: I believe John Conrad just made a motion over to us to delete Shots from that first rock in that first game, but you’ll have no luck with that [laughs] Connor: He will have no luck, absolutely [laughs] Nathan: I mean for him though, I wonder if he feels a little Good about that too. Is that even though he made a couple bad shots he escaped with that first game Connor: yeah, and obviously the the way the way he played in that fourth round is not it’s not the way he’s used to play and It’s not the way he wants to play It’s been really though it was only one miss it was only one it was a big one there. But that was only one miss And I think he did he did pretty well in In that tiebreaker to just put that miss out of his mind and focus on the task at hand Nathan: Now if we think about the sort of psychology of I guess winning that first game, or losing that first game in Justin Slater’s case Last time Slater won won the world final in 2016. He lost the first game six to nothing, came right back He was able to pull out the victory and I believe John Conrad had won the first game in 2012 as well But Justin Slater was able to win Game two in force third game. So I don’t think Justin Slater will be too perturbed by losing that first game. Connor: Then of course Slater, even in that match was not averse to any sort of deficits as he Made a fantastic comeback in the third game to give himself a shot at the match, but now we’re back into 2018 as these players have made their first 2 20 shots of match, of the game rather As they look to of Accommodated these new discs pretty well. Slater makes a good strong take out there and Conrad has lost that disk on to Slater’s side of the board. That’s not what he’s gonna like at all Could see a long ricochet off of that one who’s in his own five Is he playing the assist shot here? No. What a great long double there He’s gonna force Slater to come through the pegs which he does Nathan: I think this one’s right in the right in the lane for John Conrad to go for the ricochet Oh wow, bounces out Came so close to that. That was a lovely shot Slater now has a chance to score 20 They are tied at two at the moment three shots left for Slater and two for Conrad who gets the 20, not the take out that could that could well be a strategic play on Slater’s part Conrad knocks the open 20 in Nathan: Last shot of the round here and John Conrad doesn’t have a straight line in it’s gonna have to be a peg Connor: It’s half a chance, but only half. Nathan: Or I wonder if he’s thinking about possibly hiding here Connor: Maybe a very risky play It is a hide.
Nathan: That’s pretty good, but I think Justin’s got a lane for it Oh [overtalk], and he loses the shooter.
Connor: Oh That is a big mistake there from Justin Slater as he gives away a point in a round He could have won as it’s now 1-1 in Game two Nathan: I’m sure Justin is kicking himself a little bit on that Because I know just the way he set up for that shot, he thought he would have plenty of room to move to And he just overhit the disc a little bit. Connor: It was a good position but it was very much hittable and that’s that’s got to be disappointing Nathan: He’s just missed on it on this first shot here. So he’s gonna be under pressure of Conrad since it’s his hammer Connor: Can’t quite get it to go. John Conrad nearly hopped out of his chair when he saw that that shot come up a little short And there one one after pair of mistakes, Slater has gone long again He just gets that take out to go barely Slater’s gonna have to make some some good plays here to get control back and that is not going to get Any sort of control Good strong stick there Nathan: Oh he went for that 20 Hanger back though for Conrad Connor: Who chooses just to Just power it through could be looking at a double. No, I’m not quite sure what Slater was playing on that shot there Although he might look for a 20 off the disc that John just shot. This goes just off the hole Nathan: So last shots for each player here, Conrad with three discs on the board with the hammer Connor: And the one he just shot there is Pretty well stuck on the peg Not a lot of good opportunities here for Justin Slater He just hit that one as hard as he could John Conrad troughs his last shot as well and he is three to one up in Game two of this world final Nathan: John Conrad is 2 points away from the world final and Justin Slater just hasn’t been able to put Conrad in too much pressure by getting a lead In the rounds so far John Conrad has been winning the 20 races in this match so far Connor: That’s that’s really been the difference. It’s just that that Slater hasn’t been able to put pressure on early so far Let’s see if John can put pressure right on each step. He does so with the open 20.
Nathan: Yeah, Justin Slater’s got to answer here Gets it to go.
Connor: If he missed that We could already than spelling his doom, but that is a mistake from John Conrad and one right back from Slater Nathan: Yeah, this is worth going for for John Conrad Connor: This is definitely worth going for yeah, that could give him the 20 up in a critical round. Oh no and an error Gift 20 will give Justin Slater a big big swing here Nathan: Slater’s got the hammer in this round as well.
Connor: Yeah puts that in a good place Conrad just touches it. I’m not sure what the plan was there precisely Nathan: I’m also a little bit confused by John Conrad’s play because he doesn’t have the hammer in this round he’s down a 20 Connor: Yes, he needs to make offense here Nathan: So a little bit trickier of it takeout I guess for Justin I just still don’t quite get what John Conrad’s doing Connor: It’s if he’s trying to force force the error with play With board play on Justin side of the board. That seems like a losing strategy Nathan: Agreed now hear me out cuz it looks like Justin Slater is gonna go on to this But I wonder if John Conrad knowing that he’s gonna have the hammer, since Justin Slater is gonna shoot first in round four I wonder if John was just like “let’s not give Justin Slater any practice shots at an open 20” Which he would have had if you know Conrad had started peeling there. Connor: Absolutely. That is that is some really interesting potential mind games coming from from the two-time world champion Conrad Nathan: We are at 3-3 hearings. John Conrad still just two points away from the final, from the World Championship He wins this round. He’ll have it. Justin Slater to shoot first Connor: Slater of course can win this round and force a game three, but he’s gone long on the first shot of the round Conrad takes a moment to deliberate on this disc selection as he’s put that one right between a pair of pegs there Oh Slater went for the comebacker 20 couldn’t get it to go. Just to roll the way now for Conrad and he’s put that right between a different pair of pegs there Nathan: Tough leave that’s a good takeout from Justin Slater to stick that, it’s a little bit of tricky spot for Conrad Connor: It’s a very nice spot John went for that one I think It’s just sat down for him, he could Possibly look at a double here, but he’s not Taking not taking any risks that he doesn’t need to take There’s a very very wise way of playing this round.
Nathan: Mistake from Slater. Connor: That’s a potentially large mistake there He just went right through the house Missed the discs even Nathan: Three shots left for each player here. Justin Slater . . .
Connor: This is crunch time for Slater He needs needs to make some big shots quickly and the shooter lost there He’s gonna give John Conrad a big chance Nathan: Big shot John leaves the hanger though, Slater still in it two shots left for each player here Connor: Two discs on the board for Conrad with with hammer It’s definitely gonna be an uphill battle. Nathan: I wonder if Justin Slater because if he just gets a single takeout and a 20, it’s gonna leave John Conrad basically An open 20 shot for the win I wonder if Justin Slater is thinking about going a little bit riskier and going for the double takeout and 20 Connor: This point he knows if he doesn’t get at least a point in this round He’s he’s out of the match. He’s lost it so I think you’ve . . . at some point you have to start going for some big shots We see Justin Slater understandably taking some time on this shot this is This is a big one The future of of this world title could well, hang on these couple shots [Applause in background] Connor: We hear some applause one of the other finals wrapped up, I believe it’s the recreational singles final Slater scores the takeout 20, he may have if John does not move this And he scores the 20 there. So if Slater can make the take out 20 happen here He will guarantee a point and he has. That is fantastic. John Conrad to tie the round and it doesn’t go So another mistake there from John Conrad has allowed Justin Slater to claim Game two And he is excited about that result Nathan: What a finish to that game there, like, Justin Slater had to make 2 shots, and he made it Connor: He made them both Nathan: Under pressure, and yeah, fist pump Connor: Fist pump completely earned there Nathan: Yeah I saw Fred Slater with a little wipe of the forehead from the sweat there because he knew The match was on the line there These two guys delivering another great world final here. We’re going to Game three Connor: Absolutely in about a minute ago we said if Justin Slater doesn’t make some some really fantastic shots He could find himself out of this match and he really made two two top-notch shots to keep this alive So John Conrad will have the hammer in rounds one three and if we need it five And his defensive shot seems to be working especially in that first game As these players get re-acclimated to their disks from game one This is shaping up to be a very exciting third game of this world final Nathan: I’m still thinking about that second game And I wonder if John Conrad and Justin Slater are too because what a finish that was. Connor: That was absolutely fantastic Yeah, and again John the last time John made made a mistake that cost him around he bounced right back immediately and And held his hammer to take Game one Let’s see what he can do here in Game three with everything on the line Justin Slater starts out round one with an open 20 Conrad is up to the task But first miss comes from Justin Slater there after three straight 20s for each Conrad is gonna slide off to the left to try to make this hanger conversion and he gets it He’s four three up with the with the hammer and [laughs] Justin Slater motions he was expecting that to drop Nathan: Nice shot from Conrad Connor: Another top-notch conversion there. Slater finds his rhythm once again Conrad here will deny the perfect round as he was maybe a little bit lucky on that version of his defensive shot Nathan: Yeah he overhit that one, I was a little bit disappointed he didn’t keep going for that perfect game Connor: We’d always like to see it especially from a Defensive minded player like John we’d love to see a perfect game But it was not to be he’s got to play the percentage game and right now the percentage games his defensive play. Oh and Slater nearly scores a circus 20 there Gives a little happy reaction to that As its quickly John Conrad puts game 2 right behind him and scores the first two points on his hammer Nathan: Yeah, obviously you sort of expect a player with the hammer to get the points but But when it’s in the 3rd game of a World final, it’s uh Feels like a big win just to win your own two points on the hammer.
Connor: Absolutely Nathan: John Conrad had the good form in the open 20s in that first round See if he can continue it here into round 2 Connor: He starts it off just as you’d like him to, Slater the response he gets it Conrad goes 3-2 up SLater didn’t like that setup. So he resets and goes just long Nathan: John Conrad has had the better of these open 20 races, always had the lead Connor: He has been stronger, but that is a mistake Justin Slater’s gonna have two discs on the board with his hammer and that’s a really solid position in between these two pegs But John makes a classic double take out. Slater could see the Ricochet 20, but he’s just under hit it slightly Nathan: Oh and Conrad went for it
Connor: He did and that’s the only place he couldn’t leave it Right over the hole and Slater naturally. Two shots left each in this round three three in the 20s John Conrad with the first two points a couple big shots coming up here John Conrad nails it Pressure on Justin Slater here to respond and he’s come up short John Conrad the takeout to guarantee a point and he scores that 20 for 2 He is now four nothing up in Game three of this world final He needs just one point more to defeat three-time world champion Slater Nathan: And John Conrad would actually be going for his third world championship title Yeah, it’s in the last game. He had a couple rounds where he was just a win away from The world title and now he’s just one point away from the world title. He’s got two rounds to do it Connor: This is going to be the best chance to make it happen where he is on his hammer Just needs to make his open 20s as he has done Nathan: Yeah, he’s done it basically all match long. It’s rare to see that Justin Slater is not winning these open 20 races John Conrad, we don’t have the stats in front of us, but he’s hardly missed Connor:And just as we say that [laughs] the commentators curse Nathan: Good spot
Connor: Slater has the advantage That’s a nice nice position here Connor: Ooh
Nathan: That’s close Connor: That is close, Conrad shoots off to his left Take out in the 20 to restore parity. It’s very close. We’re gonna have to bring the referee in. I think Slater thinks it’s off Referree: It is touching the line Justin Slater: Oh is it? [Unintelligible conversation between Ref and Slater] Slater: Alright Connor: This could be a big disc to have on but it comes off Nathan: Good chance for Slater here to score another 20 Connor: Yeah, if he makes this it’s gonna be very difficult for John to come back He doesn’t score the 20 but still a bit of an uphill battle Nathan: Good try from Conrad two shots left for each player Conrad’s down a 20 but he only needs the tie.
Connor: This could be a bit in the wheelhouse here Nearly got it to go. So Justin Slater just to take out And he’s rolled that one off the board. (Conrad) still needs a miracle. Conrad hits the 10/15 line, but that’s it Justin Slater has won the two points back against the hammer. It’s four to two Nathan: Yeah he stays alive once again, he’ll have the hammer in this 4th round Connor: Shades of 2012 come up yet again Nathan: Yeah I believe in that final as well, John Conrad went up 4-0 in game 3 before Justin Slater tied it 4-4 Connor: I believe so, boy, would we ever love to have two of those matches on the record? Slater makes his open 20 as well to match Conrad’s Conrad has gone just long Slater makes a good take-up puts that in a solid spot Nathan: Yeah this isn’t close enough for Conrad to score a 20 off of Connor: Slater makes a good hit and stick there to just keep play on his side of the board Conrad is a bit lucky that that one stayed on Nathan: Oh big miss Connor: Big mistake there from Justin Slater. I don’t think he even really needed to play that shot there if he just shot off Conrad would have had to play for his Oh but he needed to make that 20 So all the drama coming up here in round 4 as Slater gets that take out to go over the hole Nathan: I mean Conrad only needs a tie, if you he can somehow grab a 20 here He doesn’t even need a take out really but he’s going risky here, going for the promotion Connor: Raise shot here Can’t quite get it to go there. Nathan: So for Slater. I think the play here, takeout the 15, lose the shooter Connor: Yeah Nearly got it If John Conrad can see a double, I don’t think he can It’s just Slater’s disc. It’s just a little bit too far Nathan: Yeah, he’ll have to try to come into the middle here Nathan: [overtalk] Oh wow that’s pretty good
Connor: Oh always played to clear [Applause in background] That’s a that is a classic shot there as you hear some uh some people applaud in the background Justin Slater needs to hit and stick to extend the match Nathan: It’s just such a tough shot cuz it’s he’s got to go over the hole and he’s gonna stick it Connor: It’s right over the hole and Justin has missed one of these long take outs already to secure the secure point, I believe Nathan: Yeah he’s gonna take his time with this one. I just can’t believe we’re getting like such these pressure shots here for the world final Incredible stuff.
Connor: This is everything you asked for when you when you come into Tavistock Slater’s lining up the shot. Nathan: Oh terrific Connor: Absolutely clutch and sticks that and players . . .
[Applause from spectators] players spend spectators applaud all around as they should that was a really excellent round of crokinole and now Just as it was in 2012. It will come down to one single round of crokinole to determine the world champion in 2012, John Conrad won it Can Justin Slater get his revenge? Nathan: Incredible Another fifth round tiebreaker, one round, all the marbles. Winner of this is the world champion Connor: Again, another just fantastic comeback by Justin, from for nothing down to steal and then to hold that last round as well Some tremendous shot making from both players here Slater starts off this tense final round John Conrad has gone short Hanger left here for Slater and he converts it The first 2 20s of the round go to Justin Slater and John Conrad hits the open 20 just as he needs it Slater keeps the pressure on He needs to miss for John Conrad to have any shot in this round It’s 4-3 halfway through the round Nathan: What around this would be for Slater to pull out a perfect game Connor: And he’s good through six Nathan: John Connor just keeps putting the pressure on too, so Slater is under pressure every time Connor: Through seven. He’s guaranteed at least a point in this round if Justin Slater can score 20 He will win the World title [overtalk] and he has with a perfect round
Nathan: Oh wow Connor: Justin Slater has snuck out the fifth round tiebreaker the 2018 world champion for the fourth time [Applause’ Record equalling win Justin Slater fantastic match Fantastic championship and an excellent excellent conclusion to this day’s events Nathan: These guys can score twenties, but to score a perfect game, fifth round game game 3 for the world title that is incredible stuff Connor: And that is exactly what you’d like to see from the finale of the 20th World Crokinole championship in Tavistock, Ontario Fred Slater (in audience): I can’t believe he won Fred Slater (in audience): I can’t believe he won
Connor: Justin Slater has equaled the record set by the great Brian Cook in 2014. He is won three of the last four world singles titles with the only blip being Robert Bonnett last year and He is proved yet again that he is absolutely dominant in Tavistock [Crowd noise] Ray Beierling (coming into frame): Unbelievable guys