Gray wins GB 9-Ball Pro Cup; Main Event Winding Down

The new surroundings are clearly having a positive effect on the players because I have not seen the tables full at 8.30am, with the remaining field in the Challenge Cup looking to find the requisite sharpness needed to take down this tough competition. The opening matches on Friday evening were understandably quite tentative affairs but with everyone now having a game under their belts on the new tables, the quality is really rising to the top.  

The Pro Cup resumed at the last 16 stage and it was Mark Gray who came out smelling of roses as he took out So Shaw 9-1, Chris Melling 9-5, Imran Majid 9-4, Tony Drago 9-3 and ultimately, in the final, Karl Boyes by a 9-3 score. Gray picks up £1000 for his efforts and lets us all know that, just in case we'd forgotten, the man is a potting machine.  

It was the classy Stewart Colclough claiming a long overdue trophy in the Challenge Cup. He held his nerve in the final to see off a leaner and clearly meaner Chris Cowie 9-8. Both players had a pretty comfortable path through to the final with no one coming closer than 3 racks come the conclusion. Plaudits will naturally and rightly go to Colclough and Cowie, taking home £750 and £375 respectively. Another performance of note was Mark Hughes, reaching the quarter final stage and at 4-0 to the good against Andy Worthington, looked like going all the way. The massively experienced Worthington fought back to take nine straight racks and the match 9-4, leaving Hughes to settle for 5th place. 

As if that wasn't enough competition for one day, the 144 man Main Event kicked off in the evening. Proving there's no hiding place for the top players, Chris Melling put one over on his old English 8 Ball pal Mick Hill 9-7; and Tony Drago did the same to the returning Martinho Correia 9-5, both matches were third round affairs, both would have been realistic finals. 

Play continues Sunday with another £6000 up for grabs. To follow Live Scoring from the event, go to