Daryl Peach 2012 Longoni Benelux Open Champion

Daryl Peach
The 4th edition of the Longoni Benelux Open drew a record breaking number of entries, no less than 181 (168, last year). The level of play was unsurpassed with the attendance of world class players taking a shot at the coveted Longoni Cup: defending champion Mark Gray (England), Longoni player representative and two-time runner-up Niels ‘The Terminator’ Feijen (the Netherlands), ‘The Tornado’ Tony Drago (Malta), former champions Serge Das (Belgium) and Andreas Roschkowsky (Germany), as well as multiple Euro Tour champions ‘The Maharaja’ Imran Majid (England) and ‘El Niño’ Nick van den Berg (the Netherlands) to name but a few.

Participants from all over Europe travelled to billiards club De Loft in the historic city of Leuven, locals from Belgium, neighboring countries Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France, Germany and as far as Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Spain and Romania. A few Filipinos residing in Europe were also drawn to the event like magnets.

Two days of qualifiers produced the final 32 top guns to play in the main event, double knock-out (race to 7) until the quarter finals and single elimination (race to 8) onwards, in alternate break format.

An early double hiller thriller saw Euro Tour champion Richard ‘Indiana’ Jones (England) eliminated by 2009 champion Andreas Roschkowsky in the first round of the one loss side. Hill-hill matches sent  ‘The Tornado’ and ‘El Niño’ to the one loss side, respectively ‘terminated’ by Niels Feijen and the surprise outsider Kervin Chellen (France), nevertheless, the reigning French 8ball champion. Drago never made it to the quarter finals as he was eliminated by reigning German premier league champion Lars Kuckherm, Feijen’s teammate.

Eventually, the final eight to prevail were:
Imran Majid (England) 8-5 Nick van den Berg (the Netherlands)
Niels Feijen (the Netherlands) 8-6 Marco Teutscher (the Netherlands)
Dimitri Jungo (Switzerland) 8-6 Lars Kuckherm (Germany)
Kervin Chellen (France) 1-8 Daryl Peach (England)
Thrilling matches, except for Daryl Peach’s, who cut through his opponent like butter and was the first to reach the semis. Subsequently, the former world 9ball champion dissected last year’s runner-up. He called kick shots and showed resolute determination.

The semi finals:
Imran Majid 4-8 Niels Feijen
Dimitri Jungo 1-8 Daryl Peach

The final between two-time runner-up Feijen and Peach kicked off in favour of the Dutchman who took a 5-2 lead. The Brit’s form was shaken by ‘The Terminator’ who displayed excellent composure. Eventually, Peach opted for a tactical time-out to reset and find focus. It resulted in rack by rack wins leveling the score to 5-5. Whilst the Brit was ‘stealing’ every single rack, the Dutchman was not able to capitalize. The mental balance seemed to shift. In the meantime, the clock passed midnight, it was steaming hot in the venue, it started to become a 10ball marathon. In the end, Peach pulled through by displaying excellent form throughout the weekend.

Daryl Peach is the 2012 Longoni Benelux Open champion.

The Final - Niels Feijen vs Daryl Peach:
1-0 | 1-1 | 1-2 | 2-2 | 3-2 | 4-2 | 5-2 | 5-3 | 5-4 | 5-5 | 5-6 | 5-7 | 5-8

Pierluigi Longoni and Luisella Longoni, son and daughter of Renzo Longoni, graced us with their presence and awarded the medalists with the trophies and prizes. Thanks to Longoni’s commitment, the 4th edition of the Longoni Benelux Open was, once again, a fabulous success. De Loft, the gracious host of the event, did an excellent job in ensuring perfect playing conditions. Serge Das Billiards did a brilliant job in fitting all Clash X tables by Loontjens Biljarts with Iwan Simonis cloth. Saluc supplied brand new Pro-Cup TV billiard balls and tight racks were guaranteed with the Magic Rack. Last, but not least, the partnership with Kamui Tips, Stella Artois, the Dutch and Belgian pool billiard federations were priceless.