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2017 Southern Masters – Event Report »

KARL BOYES continued his impressive display at GB9 events at the Southern Masters, blowing away the competition to take down his third consecutive GB9 Event victory.

Main Event

The penultimate event of the 2017 GB9 season was upon us in Telford, and there was plenty of action right from the get-go at the Radisson Park Inn.  There weren’t too many shocks in the early rounds, a testament to the long-race format employed by the tour, but there were some strong performances.  Adam Halling and Ian McCormick took 6 and 7 racks from event favourites Craig Osborne and Daryl Peach, and in McCormick’s match in particular, the fine margins in top-level pool were evident – a key mid-rack miss from McCormick keeping the former world champion’s lead intact.  Elsewhere in round one, Matt Hawthorn from Birmingham ran Scot Chris Fraser close, in a strong performance from the big man.  Elsewhere, McDermott pro and female flag-bearer Kellymarie Nelson stole five racks from John Chapman, showing her game is improving by the month.

There was an early clash of the titans also, with Craig Osborne meeting Daryl Peach in the winners qualifying round.  Peach took this relatively comfortably, 9-4.  Unfortunately for Peach though, he then ran into an in-form Andy Worthington, who made less errors and won the key tactical exchanges to take the match 9-2.  Worthington then beat previous event winner Shane O’Hara relatively comfortably too, before succumbing to eventual Main Event champ Karl Boyes. Waiting for Boyes in the final was Craig Osborne, who’d made his way through the one-loss side beating a very strong performing Dave Evans, Stewart Colclough, Imran Majid and Elliott Sanderson. The semi-final against Sanderson had some real quality, going hill-hill and with two break and runs apiece.

Karl Boyes however proved to be a bridge too far in the final.  A tactical affair, Karl brought his big-game temperament and kept things solid if unspectacular, comfortably taking the title with just the one break and run, but with a commanding 11-4 scoreline.  Well done Karl!


Rasson Billiards Pro Cup

The UK’s finest assembled together to play the Rasson Pro Cup, and the elite tournament was played fully through in the one day.  Notable mentions go to Dave Evans, Lee Rigby, and Kurtis Weaver first of all, who all stepped up for the challenge of playing against the very best the UK has to offer.  It was a baptism of fire for Evans however, and he could be forgiven for cursing his luck to draw an ex world champ in the first round.  Peach dispatched him comfortably. 10-3.

Interestingly, it could be argued Karl Boyes was suffering with fatigue somewhat after his exploits in the main event, and went two and out to Imran Majid and then Lee Rigby in the first round. Rigby’s win was particularly impressive, holding his nerve for a tense hill-hill run-out.  Not bad for a part-timer!

In the clash of the fresh talent on show, Kurtis Weaver then took out Dave Evans 10-8.  He then followed it up with a particularly impressive win over Mark Gray 10-8, and then Daryl Peach 10-5. Sadly he couldn’t quite make it a fairy tale ending though, with Imran Majid proving to be too consistent on the day. That’s another Pro Cup for the cabinet!


Challenge 1

The overall standard on GB9 seems to be pushed higher each year, and a quick scan down the Challenge 1 draw showed some some mouth-watering draws.  Welshman Marcel Price, fresh to the tour and flying this season, edged out GB9 veteran Neil Margossian in a hill-hill thriller, his three break and runs proving to be the difference.  Elsewhere Stewart Colclough edged Shane O’Hara out hill-hill, in a fascinating match in which O’Hara broke and ran three racks, but made a decisive error in the final rack to lose.

Adam Stevens also put in an impressive performance against Ian McCormick, taking him out in the last 16 9-5, and beating Pawel Kempinski 9-7 prior to that.  However he will have been disappointed not to have made more of a fight of it in the quarters, going down 9-1 in a great win for Craig Reynolds.

Dean Sporton continues to impress, defeating Ryan O’Neill, Adam Collins, and Andy Worthington, and it was eventual event winner Marcel Price that managed to stop him in his tracks. Meanwhile, Elliott Sanderson quietly went about his business all the way to the final, with notable wins over Stewart Colclough and Michael Beeston.  It was always going to take a flawless performance however to beat Sanderson, and Price came with one, clinching the event 9 racks to 4.


Challenge 2

It’s always great to see a fresh-face to take a title, and Dave Garden delivered that for us in the second tier of the Challenge.  The tournament was hotly contested, with a few standout names right in the mix.  It was another strong showing for the Weavers too – Carl beating Lee Noble in the last 32, and Steve taking out Ryan-Joe Lewis.  Ed Fee also held his nerve in a hill-hill battle against Karl Hooley, and Rikki Hatherly quietly dispatched with renowned coach Alan Bell, 9-4.

Barry French crashed out in the last 16 to eventual winner, Dave Garden, 9 racks to 4.  Meanwhile on adjacent tables there were two more hill-hill battles – Remi Passiatore edging out Lionel Brown, and Rikki Hatherly squeezing past Scot Jim Smith.

All eyes were on the Weaver battle – father and son meeting in the first of the four quarter finals.  There was to be no going easy on anyone though, with Steve ruthlessly sending his son packing. He had just the one last hurrah in him, sneaking past Jamie Brennan 9-8 before ending up in the final with Dave Garden.  Garden will be celebrating no doubt, but surely turning one eye to the final event in November, where he’ll be making the well-deserved step up to Tier 1.  See you in November!


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