Majid Back On Form

Imran Majid and Raj Hundal

Imran Majid has recovered from his recent dip in form with a victory over Raj Hundal at the BPPPA 2005 Harrow Open, held at the Rileys Snooker & American Pool Club in Harrow over the weekend of the 8th & 9th January. Majid beat Hundal 11-7 in the final to claim his second BPPPA tour stop title, and over £1000 first prize.

The two finalists had met early in the competition, with Hundal emerging as the victor 9-8, putting Majid into the one-loss side of the double elimination format of the first day's play. This meant Majid had to work hard and win twice as many matches to get through to the second day's last 32 straight knockout phase. Wins of 7-2 against Matt Doyle, 7-4 against Kevin Hew, and 7-3 against Gary Stewart saw him comfortably through, while on the winners' side Hundal only had one more match to win to qualify, but not an easy one as he faced former European Champion Rico Diks. 'The Hitman' Hundal was too much for the London-based Dutchman this time, and Rico fell to Raj 9-6.

Diks wasn't down and out though, and beat Nigel Joshi 7-3 on the one-loss side to progress to day two. Diks, winner of the last BPPPA tour event at Manchester in December, knocked out Matthew Andrews and James Taylor, before facing Steve Knight in the quarters. Diks was up to the challenge, beating the Knight Rider 9-6, but met Hundal again in the semi-finals and was knocked out 9-4. The other losing semi-finalist was Jay Trivedi, with his second 3rd/4th finish in successive tournaments, with notable wins over Anthony Ginn (9-8) and Andy Worthington (9-5).

Another victim of Hundal was the young German player Kevin Becker, who recently won the World Junior Championship in Australia. Becker managed to scrape through the quarters 9-8 against Manchester's finest Steve Higton, before falling to the Hitman 9-6 in the quarters, a very respectable finish for any BPPPA tour stop, let alone a first attempt. Joining him as losing quarter-finalists were the always consistent Martinho Correia, the ever-improving Mancunian Andy Worthington and the legendary Steve Knight.

Another player acquitting himself beautifully for a first event was Mark Gray, the snooker professional who has now quit the big green baize and embraced 9 ball. Joining him in the last 16 band were James Taylor, Dean Mazirel, Steve Higton, Dave McCarthy, Martin Chapman, Anthony Ginn and Jon Davies.

The Harrow Open attracted one of the largest fields of a BPPPA event with 92 players turning up to try and turn their cue sports skills into cash. The event also saw the first use of the new fixed percentage payout system, suggested and devised by the BPPPA's Players' Council and adopted by the Main Council. The system makes the prize fund less top heavy to the winner, ensuring a fairer payout to the lower placed finishers, a move that should see even bigger fields of players in the future.

Steve Higton managed to jump two places into the number two spot after this event, helped by the absence of Raj Sagoo who has occupied that place ever since Daryl Peach knocked him off the top spot early in the first season. The other big mover in the top 16 was fellow Mancunian Andrew Worthingon, who rises four places to number 11. Daryl Peach's lead over the rest of the pack means he is still untouchable for a good few months to come, but Raj Hundal continues his inexorable rise towards the top, moving up two places to number 11. For the full ranking list, see the BPPPA website at