Article ©Martyn Royce
The sixth Paul Medati Trophy has been contested in Daventry, Northamptonshire, with Mark Gray, Karl Boyes, Damian Massey and Mark Lunn sealing victory at the Daventry Court Hotel.
GRANITE HOLDS FIRM FOR SECOND PAUL MEDATI TITLE
The second main event final of the season saw two seasoned professionals, Mark Gray and Karl Boyes, battle it out to take home what would be their second Paul Medati Trophy – Boyes having win the title in 2009, with Gray taking the title off him the following year.
Gray opened his account with a 9-3 victory over Scotland’s Colin Connor, putting him into the final winners bracket qualification to face Nottingham’s Dave Hopkin. Another 9-3 victory put him safely through into the last 32 and setting up a match with another Dave. This time it was Dave Evans looking to chip away at the Granite, but a 9-4 defeat took Evans out of the competition and saw Gray advance. His last 16 opponent was another GB9 stalwart in the form of Adam Benn Smith, but Gray was in no mood to mess around as he wrapped up a stunning 9-0 victory to line up a quarter final against Jez Graham. His third 9-3 victory of the competition saw Gray dispatch Graham and face Darlington’s Phil Burford in the semi finals. Gray’s excellent record of relatively low scores in the competition continued here, as he saw out a 9-5 win to deny Burford his second consecutive main event final and secure his own spot in the final.
A 9-3 victory also opened up Karl Boyes’ account in this year’s Paul Medati Trophy, as he took out Estonia’s Denis Grabe in the opening round. His winners bracket qualification match saw him up against Adam Stevens. He had no answer to Guapo’s game and, with a 9-1 scoreline, Boyes saw himself through to a last 32 bout with another long time GB9 player in Neil Margossian. Boyes’ ruthless streak continued with a 9-2 thrashing of Margossian, but it was all change in the last 16 as he faced a gruelling encounter with Yorkshire’s Dave Nelson. Two of northern England’s finest 9-ball players fought out a good quality contest, but Boyes edged through 9-7 to secure a spot in the final 8. Wolverhampton’s Kevin Uzzell, 2011 Southern Masters Champion, fell short of adding another main event to his CV – Boyes dispatched him 9 racks to 4 and took himself into a semi final with Michael Rhodes. Boyes had secured five different margins of victory already and a sixth was to follow, as Rhodes became Boyes’ latest victim in a 9-6 defeat, a defeat which put Boyes into the final to meet Gray.
The final, contested on the beautiful Rasson Victory table, was a case of Gray taking the lead and keeping a firm grip on it. He ran out an 11 racks to 5 winner to pick up his second Paul Medati Trophy title, adding to his victory in the 2010 competition.
BOYES IS THE MAN IN PRO CUP
Karl Boyes also saw himself into the final showdown of the second Pro Cup of 2014, coming up against the Locomotive Phil Burford at the climax of another high quality Pro Cup.
Boyes had two mammoth matches to open his account, both of which went the full 21 racks. His first victim was none other than Burford himself who he beat 11-10. In his winners qualification match, however, Daryl Peach put a halt to his progress with an 11-10 victory of his own. This put Boyes into the losers bracket with one more shot at making the quarter finals. This was a chance he took with an 11 racks to 8 victory over Wolverhampton’s Darryn Walker. His quarter final match saw him dispatch Wolverhampton’s other topshot cueist in the form of Kevin Uzzell; a comfortable 11-2 win was enough to put him into the semi finals. Waiting for him once more was Daryl Peach, yet this result was totally different to the previous one. Where Peach secured a close victory before, Boyes had a much more comfortable win this time around and an 11-4 win put him into the final of the Pro Cup.
After Burford’s 11-10 defeat to Boyes in the first round, a losers side match awaited him against Dave Nelson. Another close battle followed, but Burford secured his passage to the losers side qualifiying round with an 11-9 victory. His opponent there was twice defending Universities Pool Council champion Benji Buckley. It wasn’t to be for the Derby University student as Burford took down an 11-4 win to move into the quarter finals. Italy’s Bruno Muratore waited for him in the last 8, but even he had no answer to Burford’s challenge. Three break and runs in the match helped Burford to an 11-8 win, pitting him against the newly crowned Paul Medati Trophy champion Mark Gray. Burford smelt his opportunity and hit another four break and runs on the way to a fantastic 11-1 win which put him into the final.
After defeat in the Paul Medati Trophy final, Boyes was keen to take some silverware home with him. He wasn’t to be disappointed – a hard fought 11-9 win saw him take home the winners salver and take him to the top of this season’s Pro Cup rankings.
CLASSY MASSEY REMAINS UNBEATEN IN CHALLENGE CUP
In the Rasson Billiards Challenge Cup Tier I final, it Damian Massey and Shaun Storry who battled it out to see who would be sitting pretty at the top of the rankings after the second tournament of the season.
Massey opened up his account with a hard fought 9 racks to 6 victory over Mark Hughes, a victory which saw him into the last 16 to face Romford’s Mark Parker. He almost fell victim for the first time this season, but a victory on the hill saw Massey through 9-8. In the quarter finals he met another Essexman in the shape of Dean Thompson, but Massey stepped it up a gear to secure a 9-2 win and put him one win away from his second consecutive Challenge Cup final. Standing in his way was Mark Foster who had already bettered his quarter final finish from April’s tournament. Massey powered home, however, and a second straight 9-2 victory put him into his second straight final.
9-6 was also the scoreline in Storry’s first match, this coming in a defeat of Tom Staveley in the last 32. In the last 16 he matched Massey’s score once again. It was Simon Fitzsimmons who fell in the final rack this time, as a 9-8 win put Storry through to face Scotsman Chris Fraser in the last 8. Storry himself turned up the gas here as a 9-3 win went into the . The Colchester potter had one more test to face before the final, and it was April’s beaten finalist Stewart Colclough who was looking to seek revenge on Massey. In another fascinating hill-hill encounter, it was Storry who just about pipped Colclough to the post and ensured that a 9-8 win would see him through to face Massey.
The final proved one step too far for the resilient Storry. The Dynamic Billard sponsored potter from Bournemouth made it TEN consecutive wins in the Challenge Cup this season as he dispatched Storry 9-3 to consolidate his #1 spot.
LUNN RUNS DOWN STRONG FIELD
The Rasson Billiards Challenge Cup Tier II final saw two of the north’s best players come through an exceptionally strong field, with Mark Lunn and Adam Benn Smith making their way to the final showdown.
Smith himself had a not so easy start to his campaign, but a 9-6 win over Jez Graham saw him safely through to the last 16 where he was to face Michael Brisley. The score was a copy and paste job from before, with another 9-6 win putting him two wins away from the final. In the quarter finals his opponent was Phil Wildman, another high class opponent in a high class competition. 9-6 was, once again, the final score, and Smith saw himself through to a semi final with Neil Margossian. An excellent collection of four break and runs ensured his safe passage through to the final with a 9 racks to 4 victory.
Lunn opened his account with a gritty 9-5 win against fellow tour veteran Mike Stanley. This earned him a last 16 fight against Welshman Nathan James. It was a rather one-sided fight, however, as Lunn ensured safe passage to the quarter finals with a 9 racks to 2 win. Another tour stalwart, this time Kev Simpson, stood in his way of a semi final spot. Lunn was having none of it, and a second straight 9-2 win saw him through to the last 4 to face yet another high class opponent in Andy Worthington. The score reflected better on his opening win in the competition, and another 9-5 win saw Lunn into the final alongside Smith.
The GB 9 Ball Tour will return for the 2014 Northern Masters (10-ball) which takes place on 20-22 May at the amazing De Vere Village Heron’s Reach hotel in Blackpool. For more information on this event or to enter please see the event details page. Closing date for entries is midnight on the 17 June.
In 2014 GB9 is proudly sponsored by Rasson Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls, OB Cues and Kamui Tips making the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.