Harrison First Through To Finals Night

Phil Harrison came back from the brink of elimination to win the opening last 16 / quarter-finals group of the 2021 Apply Mortgages Ultimate Pool Masters.

Featuring a quartet of multiple major champions, this latest installment of action from the Players Pool and Snooker Lounge was eagerly anticipated, and whilst the pool wasn’t faultless, there were several moments of thrilling drama.

The night broke off with the winners from the opening two groups of the competition back in April as Jordan Shepherd faced two-time world champion and recent Vinny Champions League winner Chris Melling.

‘The Magician’ got off to a perfect start, break dishing in the first frame before five-time Shootout event winner Shepherd replied in kind.

However, an under par Melling made a number of uncharacteristic errors and – despite a rapid break dish in frame five – was punished by his Welsh opponent who went on to record a 7-3 victory with a break dish in frame ten.

The second clash of the evening brought together two very experienced campaigners who were winning big titles back in the 90s – Harrison and Rob Chilton.

After the first five frames went against break, former European Champion Chilton break dished in frame six and then reversed dished in the next to carve open a 5-2 advantage. There was no quit in Harrison, though, who delivered a timely purple patch with a reverse dish-break dish-reverse dish burst to square the match at 5-5.

He appeared well placed to continue his streak after potting off the break in frame 11, but an unexpected miss with his first shot allowed Chilton to compile a clearance attempt, although he ended up rattling a mid-distance black to take the frame. More drama immediately came when Harrison incorrectly thought that he had his extension remaining, but on being told he hadn’t with just two seconds left, he instinctively had to swipe at the balls and ended up going in-off, giftwrapping the frame for his opponent.

With only a few minutes left on the clock, once Chilton potted off his break in the next and with the balls at his mercy, it looked like game over. But perhaps overthinking the situation and trying to eat as much of the clock as he could, the Dudley cueist inexplicably snookered himself with two of his object balls left. The blunder allowed Harrison a last-gasp chance with less than 55 seconds to go, and it was one that he took with both hands, constructing a sensational clearance under extreme pressure – including a potential shot of the championship pot combo – to somehow level up at 6-6.

Only one second left, Harrison had time to break dry in the 13th, which meant a 6-reds shootout. Incredibly, more scenes were created when Chilton – who was initially looking good for a sub-30 second score – got miserably stuck on the last red, failing to pot it after several attempts, leading him to concede the match.


Harrison only had a few minutes to settle down for his quarter-final with Shepherd, and may have still been feeling the effects when he snookered himself on a ball in the opening frame. Despite losing that frame, the 2009 world champion chalked up the next two to go ahead.

Prior to this night, the event had seen only three Golden Breaks from 469 frames, but remarkably, Shepherd struck gold in consecutive frames where he broke to level up twice before crafting a beautiful finish in the seventh to re-take the lead at 4-3.

As the match moved towards the latter stages – including a reduced 15-second shot clock – it appeared as if this would suit ‘Sheppy’s’ quick style, but like he has done so many times throughout his illustrious career, Harrison somehow found a way and produced the goods.

The World Masters champion claimed four of the next five frames to progress to the semi-finals as a 7-5 victor and stay on course for yet another major title and a pop at the £10,000 first prize.

Last 16, Group 1 Results
Jordan Shepherd 7-3 Chris Melling
Break Dishes: Shepherd 2, Melling 2
Reverse Dishes: Shepherd 0, Melling 0
*Melling had a 100% break success in the match

Phil Harrison 6-6 Rob Chilton – Harrison won via a 6-reds shootout (Chilton conceded going first)
Break Dishes: Harrison 1, Chilton 1
Reverse Dishes: Harrison 3, Chilton 2

Shepherd 5-7 Harrison
Break Dishes: Shepherd 2 (both were Golden Breaks), Harrison 1
Reverse Dishes: Shepherd 0, Harrison 0