Drago Eliminates Shaw in a Eurotour Thriller

Tony Drago (Foto: EPBF/AMM)

In a match that can definitely be regarded as a high class thriller, Tony Drago (MLT) ousted Jayson Shaw (SCO) 9-8 at the Eurotour's Treviso Open. 

The match was a classical showdown between two players who are known to play fast and aggressive pool. Both players performed on a very high level. Since they do execute their shots quite quickly, some errors could be observed on both sides. However, since they both are excellent shotmakers, the match went along with no player being really able to create a distance between him and his opponent. The drama started to unfold in the 13th rack. Drago was looking like the winner of the rack when he missed an easy 6-ball. Shaw came to the table and pocketed the 6-ball and the remaining balls. When playing position for the 9-ball, he almost scratched and left himself a relatively tough shot. However, he made it and took a 7:6 lead over Drago. After that, Shaw broke dry and Drago ran the balls in about one minute, tying the score at 7-7 and the match really started to heat up. Drago broke in the 15th rack and scratched. What a catastrophe for the Maltese “Tornado”. All balls were spread wide open and Shaw ran the rack, climbing on the hill and taking an 8-7 lead over Drago. If worse would have come to worst, Drago would not have another visit to the table, but the story of the match continued differently In the 16th rack, Shaw broke the balls and made a ball but had a very tough shot on the 1-ball. After thinking about it for a long time, he played a push-out and left a hell of a shot on the table for Drago who passed it back. “That shot had a percentage of about 5% for Jayson and 95% for me. It was so hard to make, it was almost unbelievable. When Jayson fired that one in, I thought ‘That was it for me' “, commented Drago after the match. But the match was not yet over. Shaw fired an unbelievably tough 1-ball in and ran the balls until he got to the 6-ball. He ran out of position and snookered himself behind another ball. He tried a jump shot but the cue ball jumped off the table. That was a key situation in the match and it gave a second life to Tony Drago. In the final rack with both players being on the hill, Drago came up dry on the break shot. After a push out and safety shots were exchanged, Shaw played a safety shot but left a thin cut for Drago. The “Tornado” went for it and ran all balls, winning the match by a whisker 9-8.

The lesson here is clear: It was a great match, very entertaining to watch and both players would have deserved to win but Drago had the better roll on his side in the end. One who is definitely happy to see this result is number 1 ranked player Ralf Souquet since Shaw would have been the only player to have a chance to stop him from winning the Euro-Tour rankingsbattle, but only if Shaw would have won this tournament. “I need opponents like Jayson in order to play my best game”, mentioned Drago, “when you see the energy and the precision with which Jayson played, I really find my best game against opponents like him.”

Other notable results from this morning loser bracket rounds include Huidji See (NED) handing a doughnut on Robert Kovacs (ALB), smashing him 9-0. Senharip Azar (SWE) ousted Jonni Fulcher (GBR) who defeated Ralf Souquet yesterday, 9-6. Fulcher had lost to Ruslan Chinakhov 8-9 and went into the loser's bracket, just to get his second consecutive loss in a row. Niels Feijen (NED), another name who would not be expected to appear in the early stages of the loser's rounds, kicked out Albin Ouschan (AUT) from the event 9-7. Ivo Aarts, a young talented player from the Netherlands, overcame Poland's star player Mateusz Sniegocki 9-7. Sniegocki will join Fulcher and Shaw on the way home today. Mark Gray (GBR) keeps his foot still in the door. He is actually on the one-loss side, but after defeating Stefano Bazzana (ITA) 9-5, he needs only two more wins in order to make it to the round of the last 32 men standing.

The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website www.eurotouronline.eu , follow us on twitter @EPBF_News or contact our press office.