Hundal Hat Trick In Darlington

The first season of the BPPPA's British Professional 9 Ball Pool Tour drew to a close at Rileys American Pool and Snooker Club in Darlington on 24th October 2004. The final saw an on-fire Raj Hundal pitted against Raj Sagoo, winner of the very first event of the season at Harrow. Hundal won the match with an 11 racks to 7 victory, writing himself into British cue sports history by completing a hat-trick of tour stop wins, while the tenacious Sagoo won a number of fans with his 'never-say-die' attitude.

Hundal notched up a number of impressive victories over the course of the event: beating the current number one ranked Daryl Peach 9 - 5 in an extremely high quality match at the last 16 stage, then following that with a dominant display of 9 ball, beating number 4 ranked Steve Higton 9 - 2 in the semi final. The always-consistent Sagoo also had a tough run into the final, beating former snooker professional Paul Medati 9 - 7 in the last 16 stage, Imran Majid 9 - 5 in a huge upset, and then Martinho Correia 9 - 8 in a nail-biting semi-final.

Quarter-final finishers were Jay Trivedi, David Walsh, Ben Moore and Imran Majid. The remainder of the last 16 were Dean Mazirel, Lee Chenman, Geoff Edge, Ricardo Jones, Dave McCarthy, Gareth Esprit, Daryl Peach and Paul Medati.

With Darlington being a double-points event, Hundal's win has catapulted him thirty places up the rankings to number 27. Given Hundal's record on the BPPPA tour - three wins out of four events entered! - he looks a strong contender to threaten Daryl Peach's dominance by the end of the second season. There wasn't alot of movement at the top of the rankings table after this event as the whole of the top 20 were all present, keen to capitalise on the double points on offer. The big mover in the all-important top 5 was Steve Higton, who moved from number 4 to number 3 in the rankings courtesy of his semi final appearance. Another top player who is creeping up on the front runners is Martinho Correia, whose consistently good performances have resulted in his finishing the season at number 5.

The second season promises to be even better than the first, with an expanded calendar which includes 9 ball events for youth (12-18 years), a ladies' championship and the BWPPA tour for wheechair players. At Darlington, Jeff Branson and Matthew Gleaves gave a taster of what to expect on the first BWPPA tour stop in Leicester on 14th November - both played exceptional pool, but notably Jeff gave the BPPPA number 4 Steve Higton a scare, taking six racks off him in a race to nine. In his own words, Higton was "lucky to win it". The BPPPA will be working hard with the BWPPA to continue and enhance Britain's prominent status on the International Wheelchair pool scene.

Now the players and the organisers are gearing up for the second season of the tour which promises to be even better than the first. Ted Bristow, President of the BPPPA, said after the event "The growth of professional 9 ball in this country has exceeded even our own high expectations. I am particularly grateful to both the BPPPA Executive Board and Tournament staff for their commitment and dedication during the last twelve months, and also to the players who have shown tremendous loyalty and support for the Association. It is encouraging to see the significant rise in the quality of play which we believe is the result of giving the game a firm professional foundation. We are now in a prime position to use this momentum to eclipse our achievements of this season and make the next season a landmark in British 9 ball history."

For the end of season ranking list and details of how to join the Association, visit the official BPPPA website at