Whelan Strikes Gold In Blackpool
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Derby’s Jack Whelan, currently no 17 on the Amateur IPA rankings, wins all three possible titles at the recent ‘Golden 8 Ball’ Blackball weekend from 14th to 17th June at the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool.
In a remarkable display of skilfulness and aptitude, he became the unstoppable machine, defeating some incredibly talented players to take the Men’s Trophy and helping to take the Team Trophy and Mixed Doubles Trophy, at what is fast becoming one of the hottest events on the pool calendar.
With 55 teams in attendance, the tournament has almost doubled in size from its debut last year and attracted a mix of players from Blackball, EPA and IPA organisations. Judging by the cascade of positive feedback on the Facebook group, the tournament is expected to grow further in 2013.
Saturday evening saw Jack Whelan win the mixed doubles with partner Sam Hurst as they comfortably beat ex professional Rob Wilson and Stacey Jackson 3 v 1 in the evening showdown. Craig Bousfield & Kerry Griffiths lost 1 v 3 against Whelan & Hurst in the semis. Rob Wilson & Stacey Jackson entered the finals after clinching a 3 v 2 victory against Rachel Bosworth & Ian Bosworth. The mixed doubles was played in a Davis Cup format, best of 5 frames, where players play each opponent individually and only one frame is played as a pair taking alternate shots.
The first ever Golden 8 Ball Ladies final was also played Saturday evening with Sam Hurst flying through the tournament and taking an easy 4 v 0 victory against Kerry Griffiths in the final. Runners up were Joanna Tucker who lost against Hurst and Rachel Bosworth losing against Griffiths. Losing quarter finalists were Nicola Glass, Pam Jones, Clare Campbell and Jo Shaw. There were a total of 20 ladies in the singles with all entry fees paid out in prizes.
Sunday lunchtime saw the climax of the Men’s Final with Whelan narrowly clinching a 6 v 5 victory against the highly regarded professional player Lee Clough, currently ranked No 7 in the IPA professional rankings. Whelan’s journey to victory saw him overcome Jason Hill 5 v 3 in the semis after giving James Cox a 4 v 0 hammering in the quarters and beating Paul Broom 4 v 2 in the last 16. Clough beat his team mate Lee Anderson 5 v 2 in the semis and Marcus Guise 4 v 1 in the quarters. Tom Couchman lost 3 v 4 to Anderson in the quarters whilst Dave Addinall lost 1 v 4 against Hill.
Congratulations to the formidable ‘Corn Exchange’ team from Derby (Jack Whelan, Craig Lakin, John Giles & John Chambers), who are the official 2012 Golden 8 Ball Team Champions having defeated Blackpool’s finest ‘15 Mile Radius’ (Jason Hill, Lee Clough, Lee Anderson & Derek Patterson ) in a closely fought match to win 9 v 7. Runners up are ‘Crucible Sports Club’ who lost 5 v 9 against ‘15 Mile Radius’ and ‘Talbot’ who were knocked out by a 2 v 9 defeat against the ‘Corn Exchange’. Losing quarter finalists were People's Elbows, 3 Legged Potters, WV147 Club and the Machines.
Last but not least and arguably the tournament’s most distinguishable and entertaining team ‘The Gays’ from Basingstoke (Rob Hall, Aaron Sheridan, Steve Hall, Ian Bosworth) beat the ‘Pigeons’ from Basingstoke (David Glass, Kev Vane, Mark Benzey, Paul Mitchell, Anthony Byss) 9 v 6 to claim the Golden 8 Ball 2012 Team Plate. Losing semi-finalists were the ‘George Cross A’ who lost 6 v 9 against the ‘Gays’ and ‘Double Decker Fanny Wreckers’ who lost 5 v 9 against the ‘Pigeons’. Losing quarter Plate finalists are Brandanes, Fusion Bar, MBOT and Hambleden Legends.
Full results and pictures can be found at www.golden8ball.com or join the Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/240779649348965/
View tournament on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUiRb4b87r4