Peach, Shaw and Burford score GB 9-Ball Tour Wins

Daryl Peach - Photo courtesy of Andy Warden


Britain’s first ever professional 10-ball pool event has finished with Daryl Peach, Jayson Shaw and Phil Burford going home with the spoils from another successful GB9 weekend.

Coming into this event, many tour players were walking into unchartered territory; some had only played the game a handful of times before whilst some had never played a single rack of 10-ball. On the flipside, many of the seasoned professionals GB9 can boast play this game as frequently and as passionately as they play 9-ball. These differing approaches to 10-ball was sure to create a mouth watering tour stop and that is precisely what the weekend produced.

Before the start of the Northern Masters final, there was very much a ‘master and apprentice’ feel. A former World 9-Ball Champion in the form of Daryl Peach up against a young hotshot and former Challenge Cup winner in the form of Shaun Storry.

Peach came up against Jamie Yates in his opening match but was in no mood for rest – Yates suffered an 8-0 hammering and saw Peach through to the last 32 where he was to meet Damian Massey. Massey narrowly missed out on a Pro Cup final spot earlier in the weekend, and another narrow defeat at the hands of Peach meant it was The Dazzler who went through to the next round 8 racks to 6. Another long time GB9 player in the form of Neil Margossian was the next victim for Peach, with an 8 racks to 3 scoreline enough to put Peach in second main event quarter final of the year. A brilliant match came next against World 9-Ball Team Championship team mate Mark Gray. A hill-hill defeat saw Gray out of the Challenge Cup and the same happened here – three break and runs helped Peach to an 8-7 victory and saw him through to face Arfan Dad in the semi finals. Another tremendous match was in store and, with Dad 4-1 up, a big shock was on the cards. Peach, however, had other ideas – he clung on for all his might before securing an 8 racks to 6 victory to put him in the final.

Storry’s quest for his first main event final berth began in much tougher fashion up against local rival Courtney Symons. He overcame the inaugural Mark Lovell Challenge Cup winner 8 racks to 6. He made much lighter work of Daz Cooper in the following round, however, winning through 8-1 and setting up a last 16 clash with reigning Midlands Classic champion Shaun Chipperfield. He disposed of the Norfolk potter 8 racks to 3 before meeting Louis Clarke in the quarter finals. Clarke up to this point had arguably had his best ever GB9 weekend, but the party was abruptly stopped by Storry. 8-2 was the final score in that match, and Storry made his way into the semi finals to meet Chris Hall. A steady nerve saw him overcome Hall 8 racks to 5 to secure only his second ever GB9 final and his first ever in a main event.

The final itself was just one agonising step too far for Storry on this occasion. Taking a 9-5 lead with some high quality pool, Peach went one better – or five better – and showed why he is a professional. Winning all five of the remaining racks, Peach secured a quite brilliant 10-9 win and took home the gold medal from the first professional 10-ball event to be held in the UK.

The third Pro Cup title of the year was contested between Glasgow’s Jayson Shaw and Manchester’s James Kay –two GB9 stalwarts and two players very familiar with 10-ball.

Shaw started the competition in his typically blistering form – a 9-2 defeat of Daryl Peach sending him straight through to the winners’ bracket and showing why he came into the competition as provisional British number 1. A titanic battle was guaranteed against Imran Majid – provisional British number 1 and 2 battling it out for a place in the quarter finals. It was the Scot who came through on top with a 9-7 victory, setting up a quarter final against defending Northern Masters champion Craig Osborne. He went one rack better on his way to the semi finals, taking out Osborne 9 racks to 6 before eliminating Darryn Walker by one better still – a 9-5 finish seeing him into his second Pro Cup final of the season.

James Kay also went all the way to the final without a defeat to his name. He too handed Darryn Walker a defeat by 9 racks to 5 and then saw off Shaun Storry 9-3 in his winners’ bracket match to set up a quarter final against Chris Hall. 9-3 was also the scoreline there, but his sternest test of the competition was still to come in the shape of Bournemouth’s Damian Massey. Massey was looking for his first ever GB9 Pro Cup final after three previous appearances in Challenge Cup finals. Kay denied him this honour, however, and a 9-7 victory put him into his second GB9 final of the year after his defeat in the Midlands Classic final.

Shaw raced into a lead in the final, but a spirited fightback from Kay gave the match every chance of going all the way. Shaw managed to close out the match 9 racks to 7 to ensure he stayed top of the tree in the Pro Cup rankings as well as the main British rankings, a clear testament to the quality of his pool this season.

An all North East final was the curtain call of the Challenge Cup at this event; Durham’s Michael Rhodes and Darlington’s Phil Burford.

Rhodes started his campaign in Round 3 after an excellent opening two events of his maiden GB9 season. His first victim of the weekend was James Welch, eliminated without even winning a rack. 8-0 saw Rhodes through to the last 32 where he found Chris Buckmaster waiting. Rhodes carried on his excellent form with an 8-3 win and set up a last 16 match with Glenn Cooney. Cooney only managed to go one rack better than Buckmaster, and an 8-4 result was enough to set Rhodes up with Benji Buckley in the quarter finals. His tremendous form carried on still, this time with an 8-2 win putting him one step away from his second consecutive Challenge Cup final. Norwich’s Shaun Chipperfield, reigning Midlands Classic champion, stood firmly in his way and sent their semi final right to the wire. Rhodes held on for an 8-7 victory and made him the first player since 2009 to make two out of the first three Challenge Cup finals in a season.

Having only re-entered GB9 since returning from the USA earlier this year, Burford has had to work his way back from the bottom and subsequently found himself in a Round 2 match to open his account. He began just like Rhodes, however, handing Tony Oscroft a donut with a splendid 8-0 win. In Round 3 he had a much sterner test at the hands of Bournemouth’s in-form Louis Clarke. He managed to hold on for an 8-6 win before disposing of another in-form player in the form of Courtney Symons 8 racks to 5. Another North East foe awaited in the last 16; Sunderland’s Adam Benn Smith giving Burford an almighty fright before succumbing 8-7 and giving Burford a quarter final against Anthony Banham. Burford was in ruthless form in wrapping up an 8-1 victory. April’sChallenge Cup champion Craig Waddingham was the final person who could stop Burford from reaching the final. The Scunthorpe shooter has been in imperious form in the Challenge Cup all season and his run to the semi finals ensured he would end the event at the top of the Challenge Cup rankings whatever happened in the rest of the tournament. Burford managed to squeeze through 8-6 and take his place in his first GB9 final since winning the Midlands Classic last year.

The final ended up being one of the most dramatic in recent memory. At 7-5 Burford had an atrocious contact with a nearly dead-straight 10-ball. He left a sitter for Rhodes who duly wrapped up that rack and the next to send the match into a decider. In the 15th and final rack, Rhodes called and made an audacious 3-10 combination only to see the cue ball go in-off. Burford kept nerves well at bay and managed to run out 3 thru 10 immediately after to win the final 8 racks to 7. In winning this event, Phil Burford has become the first player in GB9 history to win the ‘full house’ – a Main event, a Pro event and a Challenge event.

In 2012 GB9 is proudly sponsored by Puma Hotels, SAM Leisure, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls, OB Cues and Power Bridge making the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.