Event Report: 2015 GB9 Paul Medati Trophy, the Rasson Billiards Pro Cup & Challenge Cup
Article by Martyn Royce
The second tournament weekend of the GB9 calendar has come to its conclusion with Craig Osborne, Darryn Walker and Benji Buckley taking the share of the spoils at the 2015 Paul Medati Trophy.
OZZY ROCKS THE FIELD IN PAUL MEDATI TROPHY
The seventh annual Paul Medati Trophy came down to two long standing British 9-ball players. One was Craig Osborne, looking for his first main event win in almost 4 years. The other was two time UPC 9-ball champion Benji Buckley, looking for his maiden GB9 main event title.
Welsh opposition was first in line for Osborne as John Davies stood in way of the next round. He was comfortably dispatched, however, and a 9-3 win saw Osborne through to the second winners round to face Matthew Christopher. His relentless start continued as he dispatched of Christopher by 9 racks to 2. His reward was a winners qualification round match against Kettering’s Dave Evans. Osborne was in no mood for slowing down, and his passage to the last 16 was secured with a 9 racks to 4 win. His sternest challenge was next up, as Mark Foster squared up to him for a quarter final spot. The match went the distance but Osborne held his nerve – 9-8 was the score, Phil Burford as a quarter final opponent was the reward. What was sure to be a mouth-watering clash wasn’t reflected in a one-sided scoreline, with Osborne coming through 9-3 and meeting Stewart Colclough in the last 4. Osborne’s clinical form continued for another round, and he came through victorious 9 racks to 4 to put himself into a first main event final since the 2013 edition of this competition.
Buckley began his quest for maiden major silverware against Sam Sherwood. Buckley was in no mood for messing around, and a resounding 9-0 win saw him through to winners round 2. That bagel was soon to turn into an even bigger feast as his next opponent, Mark Hughes, suffered the same fate. It became back to back 9-0 wins for Buckley, and a winners bracket qualification match followed against Wolverhampton’s Kevin Uzzell. The 2011 Southern Masters champion was looking to get another bit of silverware under his belt, but Buckley took him off course to defeat him 9-7 and put himself into the last 16. Harrow’s Paul Taylor was waiting to try and stop Buckley, but his efforts proved futile. Buckley stayed on course for the final with a 9-3 win and set up a quarter final with Reading’s Phil Wildman. It was clear that Buckley’s ruthless streak from the opening two rounds was making a return, and a 9-2 win put him into the semi finals to face Daryl Peach. It was only back in November that Peach won his most recent event, but he wasn’t going to add to his tally here. Buckley eventually saw out a victory on the hill by 9 racks to 8, putting him into the final alongside Osborne.
Buckley was by no means going to give Osborne and easy ride, but his efforts weren’t enough to stop the Suffolk shooter. Osborne won the final showdown 11-5, a win that puts him up to 2nd in the provisional British rankings and Buckley up to a high of 6th.
SECOND TIME LUCKY FOR BUCKLEY IN MARK LOVELL CHALLENGE CUP!
The two Challenge divisions were brought together at this event, with the Mark Lovell Challenge Cup final contested between Robin Cripps and Benji Buckley, with Buckley looking to make amends for his defeat in the final of the main event.
Buckley tried to get his winning ways back on track against Aslam Abubaker, his opponent in the last 64. One of the finest wheelchair players in Britain couldn’t stop Buckley as he restarted his winning run, and a 9-5 win saw him into the last 32 to face Kev Simpson. The Derby potter couldn’t derail the resurgent Buckley, and a second straight 9-5 win saw him line up a rematch against Phil Wildman in the last 16. Wildman stepped things up a gear in this match, but his quest for revenge fell flat – another victory for Buckley, once again by a 9-5 scoreline, put him into the quarter finals to face Chris Cowie. Being just two wins from another finals made Buckley bring his A-game to the table, and a 9-1 win saw him ease through to a semi final showdown with Dave Nelson the final opponent to stand in his way. Nelson had gone one better than his 5th place finish in the main event, but he was simply no match for Buckley on the day. Another 9-1 win, his eleventh win in total of the weekend, saw him breeze into back to back finals.
Cripps was one of the lucky few with a bye through round one, and so began his conquest for silverware in the last 32. His opponent was Mark Parker and, what was likely a decent match on paper, the score line suggested anything but. Cripps eased to a 9-2 win and saw himself in the last 16 where he was to meet Sean Dracup. Cripps kept up the pace from his previous match here, with a 9-3 victory ensuring he made it through to the last 8. Northern Ireland’s Ian Mccormick was next up to face the Penzance potter, but his efforts were in vain as well. He succumbed to a 9-5 defeat at the hands of Cripps, with the Cornishman going through to a semi final showdown with Terry Challenger. Cripps struck the only break and run in an otherwise close encounter, but he did enough to get the victory and go through to the final winning by 9 racks to 7.
Both players had a lot to play for in the final, but it was the desire from Buckley that took him all the way to the top. He made amends for his defeat in the Paul Medati Trophy by defeating Cripps by 9 racks to 4 and take home some silverware from the competition after all.
WALKER RUNS AWAY WITH RASSON BILLIARDS PRO CUP
Two seasoned 9-ball players were sure to meet as ever in the highly decorated Rasson Billiards Pro Cup; those lucky two in this competition were Daryl Peach and Darryn Walker.
Peach began his campaign with an international flavour, first managing to dispatch Italian Bruno Muratore 10-6 before coming up against Kevin Uzzell in the winners qualification bracket. Uzzell did his best to halt the 2007 World Champion in his tracks and successfully did so – Uzzell was on the right side of a 10-5 scoreline which put Peach one defeat from elimination. He was right back on form in the next round, however, as a gutsy effort from John Beesley wasn’t enough to avoid Peach winning 10 racks to 6. Phil Burford was next up in the quarter finals, but anyone would have thought you crazy if you suggested Peach would beat Burford 10-0. Lo and behold that’s precisely what the score wound up as, including no less than 4 break and runs from as Peach headed into a semi-final with Ashik Nathwani. As with John Beesley before him, a gallant effort was put up before being defeated 10 racks to 6 as Peach made his way into yet another final.
Walker too had a match up with Ashik Nathwani, but his was at the start of his campaign rather than the end. Ironically, the same score applied to both of Nathwani’s defeats to the finalists, with Walker himself winning 10-6 to set up a winners bracket game with Imran Majid. A high quality encounter saw the pair share five break and runs between them, three of which went the way of the victorious Walker as he put himself into the last 8 with a well earned 10-8 win. Waiting for him in the quarter finals was the newly crowned Paul Medati Trophy champion Craig Osborne. However, the wheels fell off of Osborne’s otherwise unbeaten weekend to date as he crashed out 10-4 to put Walker into the semi finals. Here he met Juan Carlos Exposito, with the Spaniard looking to take some silverware back onto the continent. Exposito looked good for that maiden final berth up as far as 9-5, but then a remarkable five racks in a row meant Walker edged his way into the Pro Cup final with an amazing 10-9 victory.
The final was a predictably high quality affair, with both players keen to take the second Pro Cup of the season home with them. It was Walker who came out victorious, however, with an 11-9 victory ensuring he took the silverware back to Wolverhampton.
The GB 9 Ball Tour will return for the Northern Masters (10-ball) event between 14-16 August. If you wish to play this event please fill in the event entry form before the deadline of 14th July.
In 2015 GB9 is proudly sponsored by Rasson Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls and Carlson Rezidor Hotels making the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.