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2017 British Grand Prix – Event Report »

KARL BOYES took his tally of GB9 Main Event victories to 7 with his victory in the 2017 British Grand Prix, his fourth straight success in GB9 events he has entered and third successive event.


Main event

Another year draws to a close, and with it the 10th season of GB9 went out with a bang.  There were break and runs, hill-hill thrillers and surprise upsets galore across the weekend which concluded with a very familiar face taking home the Main Event prize.

The round 1 matches broke off, with Jamie Brennan, Terry Davies, Daniel Wells and none other than Craig Osborne all going straight to the one-loss side after hill-hill opening matches.  Louis Callaghan and Elliott Sanderson looked particularly impressive, defeating Osborne and Kevin Uzzell respectively, and Marcel Price’s performance against Robin Cripps caught many a spectator’s attention, completely freezing out the talented cueist 9-1.

Barry French survived a gritty early round match with Alan Coton, who despite hanging in there couldn’t take the chance he got in the final rack to run out.  Dave Garden and Julian Roper also battled on impressively, with Garden taking out John Beesley convincingly and Roper showing his grit and determination to survive yet another finale rack decider, this time against Lee Watt.

As the weekend went by the big guns started to meet, and there were some standout performances.  Kurtis Weaver, despite playing well with two break and runs couldn’t squeeze past Louis Callaghan, and Dave Nelson continued his quest for a Main Event title by holding his nerve against Mark Foster.  Form player Marcel Price was also stopped by Tom Staveley, who went on to take out Michael Beeston as well before falling to Elliott Sanderson.

Chris Fraser made yet another quarter final, taking out Kurtis Weaver and GB9 stalwart Andy Worthington, and it took GB9 legend Karl Boyes to stop him, who himself defeated Elliott Sanderson and Marcel Price in the final, pipping Craig Osborne to the top spot in the UK rankings in the process.  Well done Karl! 


Pro Cup

With some GB9 format changes next year as part of the evolution of the tour, this was a chance to make a little bit of history and take down the final GB9 Pro Cup event.

Stepping up to the plate were some of GB9’s best, and right out of the gate David Worrow, Lee Rigby and Dave Evans felt the heat of a confident Barry French, Craig Osborne and Karl Boyes. Their wins were convincing and meanwhile, Kurtis Weaver was readying himself for a battle with Kevin Uzzell after surviving an opening hill-hill scare against Dave Evans. He will no doubt have felt confident after scraping through, as with three break and runs he probably deserved it. But old-hand Uzzell, back in the UK for a short while soon froze out Weaver, who consistently took two games to Weaver’s one.

Kevin then went on to sneak past Karl Boyes despite making one break and run less, before meeting Craig Osborne in the final.  The quality was high, but the break was the difference, with Osborne consistently either making a ball and gaining opening position, or being able to lay a tight safe. Uzzell meanwhile was cueing well, but always on the back foot, and maybe knew it wasn’t his day when he lost a rack through three fouls. Ever gracious in defeat however, he was first to congratulate Craig Osborne on his deserved win – a fitting winner, considering he has only missed one GB9 weekend! 


Challenge 1

Another strong field in the Tier One Challenge Cup, and the single-elimination format leaves no room for slow starts. Paul Dukes-Thomas, Louis Callaghan, Chris Cowie, Andy Worthington and Marcel Price all fell at the first hurdle, with Robin Cripps, Tom Staveley, Neil Margossian, Joni Holden and Elliott Sanderson all marching on.

Stewart Colclough suffered a disappointing exit in the last 16 against Sanderson, and some might consider Ian McCormick’s win over current form player Michael Beeston an upset. Regular tour followers however would not be suprised by McCormick’s performance, but sadly for him Jamie Brennan put in a stellar showing to freeze him out in the quarter final, after previously impressively beating Scot Chris Fraser. Andy Worthington will be ruing his missed chances, after exiting his second event of the weekend hill-hill to Joni Holden.

Holden then took out Marcel Price in a long grinder of a match, inevitably running to a hill-hill finish.  However, he ran up against a northerner in inspired form in Dave Nelson, who kept his cool to go onto beat Jamie Brennan and Craig Reynolds in the final.  Well done on a maiden Challenge Tier One win Dave!


Challenge 2

In the final Tier Two Challenge event of the season, there was all to play for and the standard was as high as ever, showing that at times, the split between the two divisions is very fine indeed.  Lee Watt and Andy Stock got off to solid starts, whilst Tony Weafer was just the one rack away from a dominating whitewash against Carl Weaver, who was struggling for consistency.

Fi Radomski made a fight of it against Shaun Berrisford, who also went on to take out Steve Weaver in a hard fought battle.  He ran into Welshman Terry Davies however, who was in-stroke and firing on all cylinders.  He put a stop to Tony Weafer’s strong start, and then barely dropped another rack to make his way to the final.

On the other side of the draw, Rikki Hatherly put a stop to Craig Seeney’s run in the last sixteen, in a scrappy affair with both players making some errors.  Remi Passiatore also was looking solid, beating Sam Sherwood, Dean Thompson and Rikki Hatherly, before falling to Andy Lester who would go on to make the final.  A mention also to Ryan O’Neill, who took out John Chapman, Jordan Turner, and put up a good fight before going out to Andy Lester.

In the final however, Terry Davies was just too strong, edging out Andy in the tactical department, as well as converting his runout opportunities.  Terry will be very pleased at his performance – maybe we’ll be seeing him in Tier One next season?  We certainly hope he continues to progress.  Well done Terry!


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