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2011 GB9 British Grand Prix – Event Report »


The 2011 GB9 season has come to its conclusion with Jayson Shaw, Craig Osborne and Darryn Walker coming away with the final spoils of the year. With this being the final event of the season, and indeed with just under three months until the 2012 season is due to begin, this was the last chance of the year to soak up the atmosphere that GB9 creates until the curtain rises again in February.

WIZARD SPELLS THE END OF SEASON CLIMAX

Just as the final divisional tournaments of the season were coming to an end, along came the opening gambits in the weekend’s main event – the British Grand Prix. The event was certainly a grand affair, with the new GB9Live scoring system given a debut trial run before being rolled out as standard for the 2012 GB9 season.

Jayson Shaw - 2011 GB9 British Grand Prix Champion (© Andy Warden)

The first player to book his place in the final was Scotland’s Jayson Shaw. Already having one gold, two silver and three bronze medals from this season, he was looking to add one more to the gold tally before the season came to a close. He started with a defeat of outgoing GB9 Chairperson Jonathan Mathers, a 9-6 win spelling the end of his season. This set off a ruthless streak in Shaw’s game which saw Robin Cripps’ campaign come hurtling back down to earth, going down 9-1 to the Glaswegian. Shane Appleton, out in the last 16 of the Pro Cup on the Saturday morning, also left the British Grand Prix at the last 16 stage – a resounding 9-2 sealing Shaw’s place in the quarter finals. The quarter-final and semi-final matches saw him come up against both the Northern Masters and Southern Masters champions. First to take up the gauntlet was September’s champion Kevin Uzzell, who was hoping to extend his ongoing run of GB9 main event victories to ten. After his 11-4 defeat to Uzzell last time around however, Shaw was adamant on revenge – a 9-7 victory was enough then to see him into the semi-finals. This scoreline was repeated in the semi-finals, where Craig Osborne’s own eight match winning streak across the weekend came to an end. Shaw had fought his way into his fourth final of the season and was in no mind to stop there.

Imran Majid’s season has been one of sheer consistency right from the beginning of the season in March. Only he had more medals around his neck than Shaw – four silver and four bronze – coming into this tenth and final competition of the season. That one gold medal of the season was eluding him, however, and knowing this was his final chance of the season to strike gold he took no chances in eliminating Mark Hughes in the last 64 by a 9-2 scoreline. Craig Dixon soon followed in the last 32, with the man from Hemsworth heading home 9 racks to 3. Majid matched this scoreline against Neil Margossian, who saw a terrific season come to a close with a defeat to the same score. A different game altogether on paper at least was waiting for him in the quarter-finals, as the darling child of Darlington Phil Burford came up against the Maharaja. Burford’s heroics in this season’s Midlands Classic weren’t to be repeated, however, as Majid eased to a 9-4 victory and sealed his ninth semi-final of the season. Here he met European number 2 Chris Melling in a repeat of this season’s Paul Medati Trophy final – a player who will be spearheading Europe’s bid in December’s Mosconi Cup in Las Vegas and was only playing his third GB9 weekend of the season through other international commitments. This ended up being a homecoming to forget, however, with a heartbreaking 9-8 defeat seeing Majid through to final of 2011 – a victory which meant that he would play a part in half of the ten finals in the Pro Cup and main events combined.

The final itself was, perhaps, surprisingly one-sided. The drive for gold simply didn’t turn up for Majid in the final and, for the fifth time in five finals, he saw himself on the wrong end of the scoreboard. Jayson Shaw roared home to an 11-4 victory, sealed his place as British ranked number 2 and took home the final gold medal of 2011. Congratulations must go to Imran as well, who consolidated his provisional ranking as British number one and ensured he will retain that as his official ranking for the 2012 season.

As well as all the winners over the weekend special mention must also go to CueSportTV, who rounded off a fantastic season of live streaming coverage of GB9 tour spots with another superb production from the event. Thanks goes to Pete and Angie Williams, from all the GB9 team, who encourage everyone to tune into CueSportTV to watch GB9 , as well as a multitude of other CueSport action at www.cuesport.tv

So, that is it from GB9 for 2011 and indeed for this fourth season of the tour. Every tour player will be hard at work over the Christmas period looking to sharpen up their games for the start of the 2012 season in February, and many new 9-ball players will be gearing themselves up for the new season’s qualification tournaments taking place in January. Dates for these qualifiers will be available very shortly, but in the mean time GB9 would like to thank its fans across Great Britain itself, the continent and indeed the world, for their continued support of the tour. We hope you’ve enjoyed every rack of this season and look forward to seeing you once again in February.

See full event results

In 2011 GB9 was proudly sponsored by Barceló Hotels, SAM Leisure, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls and CueClubInternational.com which together made the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.

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