Hundal Continues Dominance Of British 9 Ball

Anthony Ginn and Raj Hundal with trophies

Raj Hundal notched up his fourth British Professional 9 Ball Tour stop win on the weekend of 21st/22nd November 2004 at the BPPPA Croydon Open. The tournament, held at the brand new Rileys venue in Croydon, was the first event of the 2004/05 season. Raj took home the winner's trophy and the £1000 first prize after beating Anthony Ginn 11-3 in a seemingly one-way final. Hundal has now won four events out of five entered, having made the semis in the only one he hasn't won, a record that now places him at number 20 in the rankings despite playing less than half a season.

Raj cruised through the double elimination field on day one undefeated, knocking out Andy Esgrove and former professional snooker player Paul Medati to take him into the second day's play. His first game in the last 32 straight knockout phase was against the tour's number one and former Mosconi Cup winner Daryl Peach, which the man of the moment won 9-6. Victories over Mike Rogers and Jay Trivedi followed, which set up a semi-final encounter with Kevin Hew, the talented youngster who at 19 has already made a name for himself at home and overseas. A very tight game ensued, but Hundal clinched it 9-8.

Ginn, who only a couple of years ago reached the last 16 in the 9 Ball World Championships at Cardiff, had an equally impressive journey to the final, knocking up wins of 9-1, 9-2, 9-3 and 9-4 against Geoff Edge, Nigel Webb, Andrew Nicholson and Martinho Correia respectively. He couldn't keep up the momentum though, and was resigned to sitting in his chair for most of the final, punching rack after rack into the electronic scoreboard for his opponent. Hundal looks untouchable at the moment, and could be breaking into the top 16 at the next event in Manchester on 11th/12th December.

The rest of the top eight were made up of Andrew Nicholson, So Shaw, Jay Trivedi and the ever improving James Popplewell, who broke into the quarters for the first time by virtue of 9-8 wins over Martin Farrelly and Gareth Esprit. The remainder of the last 16 were Nigel Webb, Imran Majid, Paul Medati, Dean Mazirel, Mike Rogers, Kevin Smith, Gareth Esprith and James Akenhead.

The rankings after this first event of the season have been shaken up a bit at the top, with Martinho Correia's third consecutive semi-final appearance pushing him up to number 3. It should just be a matter of time before Martinho conquers a tour stop, but not until someone can stop Raj Hundal steamrollering his way through them all! Another good result for the always consistent Jay Trivedi sees him move up to number 4, while James Popplewell has finally broken into the last 16. For the full ranking list, see the BPPPA website at

The next British Professional 9 Ball tour stop is the Manchester Open on 11th/12th December at Rileys Stretford in Manchester, possibly the best 9 ball venue in the North of England. With the tour's strong Manchester contingent all wanting to win on home soil, it's going to be tough for Raj Hundal to continue his domination, but he'll certainly be tournament favourite before the event.