Mick Hill wins GB9 Medati Trophy

Mick Hill


Players old and new were out in force at the Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Telford as Mick Hill picked up his first piece of GB9 silverware at the 2013 Paul Medati Trophy.
This competition always draws out the memories from all players but especially the band of players who were fortunate enough to share their time with Paul Medati him on the inaugural season of GB9, and more recent players will likewise have been familiar with Mark Lovell. Despite them falling to the affliction of cancer, both men have cemented themselves forever in the thoughts of players across the tour and indeed the world. Their warm, kind and humorous natures brought a welcome smile to the faces of many in what is often the fast paced nature of 9-ball pool.
The two finalists in this year’s Paul Medati Trophy brought two laid back but highly talented cueists to the table – the relatively new face to 9-ball in Dudley’s Mick Hill, and a stalwart of the tour in the form of Craig Osborne from Ipswich.
Hill began his quest for silverware in the winners’ second round owing to his good performance at the Midlands Classic back in February.  He opened his account with a 9-3 victory over Tom Staveley and teed himself up with a tie in the next round against Nottingham's Dave Hopkin. A crushing 9 racks to 1 victory saw Hill safely through into the single elimination last 32 stage for the second successive event. A high quality encounter was waiting for him in his next match as Plymouth's Jez Graham pushed Hill right to the wire. Six break-and-runs between them proved the quality of the encounter, but it was Hill who saw through 9-8 to book a meeting with Martin Chapman. Hill could breathe a little easier at this stage as a 9-4 win was enough to put him into the quarter finals where he met another Yorkshireman in the form of Mark Lunn. He managed to run three racks on his way to a 9-6 victory over Lunn and put himself into the semi-finals to face Shaun Storry, himself looking to make his second main event final after last season's Northern Masters 10-ball event. Hill just had too much for the Essex shooter, and a 9 racks to 3 score-line saw him triumph and meant a maiden final berth for the former English 8-ball world champion.
Osborne, a twice main event winner on GB9, began his quest for a third title in the second winners' round also. A 9 racks to 4 win over Joni Holden was enough to send him into the next round to face another long time GB9 supporter in Chris Melling. Both players managed to run three racks in the match, but three racks was also the deficit at the end as Osborne saw off the Mosconi Cup hero 9-6. This took him into the last 16 and saw him come up against Darryn Walker from Wolverhampton. He wasn't too far from his home and a hill-hill defeat meant he was heading that way - a 9-8 win for Osborne ensured his safe passage through to the last 8 and a meet with Andy Worthington. Osborne wasn't in the mood for messing around here - the only 'donut' in the single elimination stage meant Worthington was out and Osborne was through to face a showdown against Mark Gray. The score-line was a lot closer but Osborne's dominance of the weekend continued in fine form. A fabulous five break-and-runs ensured it was the Suffolk shooter who made his way into the final and recording a 9-5 win in the process.
The final looked for all its worth to be a one-sided affair. Hill took 8 of the first 9 racks to send himself into an 8-1 lead. Osborne's fight was without question, however, as he returned the favour in winning 8 of the next 9 to level up at 9-9 with three to play.  Hill managed to see the match out, however, and he saw out the next two racks to wrap up an 11-9 victory and win a GB9 main event at only his second attempt this season.