Peach Victorious In BPPPA Debut

Daryl Peach and David Walsh

Carrying a first prize of £1000, the second tour stop on the BPPPA calendar - the Shepherd's Bush Open - was won by Blackpool's Daryl Peach, with local boy David Walsh the runner-up. At just 17 years old, Walsh is one of the greatest young talents in the game today, and wasn't in the least bit fazed by his first appearance in a major tour final.

It was no walk in the park for Daryl, as Canterbury's Rob Wickenden knocked him out of the winners' bracket in the third round of this double elimination tournament by 7 racks to 3, and so had to win twice as many games to make his way through the losers' bracket. Peach battled his way through, knocking out former Mosconi Cup player Lee Tucker 7-2, Harrow Open winner Raj Sagoo 7-5, and fellow Blackpool resident Lou Callaghan 7-1 along the way.

As the event was double elimination, Peach, being the winner of the losers' bracket, had to beat the undefeated Walsh twice in races to 10 to claim the biggest trophy. The two finalists treated the remaining spectators to an extra dimension in tension, as they opted to play a single race to 5 instead. Peach explained, "I was in great form on the day, and was confident of winning, but it's a long way back to Blackpool from London. I was playing primarily for points today rather than money, so I suggested we split the money and gamble on a single race to five. David was up for it, and thankfully the Tournament Director authorised it as the tournament was running late". Daryl drew on his greater experience to win the race 5-3, and the result was officially recorded as two 10-6 wins.

Newcomer Paul Osiecki claimed the third place trophy, while 21 year old Lou Callaghan, who put in a blinding performance which included a 6 rack run, took fourth place. Filling the 5th to 8th places were Paul Kellett, Raj Sagoo, Gareth Esprit and Jay Trivedi. 9th to 16th finishers were Justin Anderson, Ajay Parekh, Johnny Fulcher (who had travelled from his home in Switzerland to compete), Ryon Derriman, Adam Clarke (a full time pro player who had travelled from Holland), Lee Tucker, Gary Martyn and Patrick Burke.

The fairer sex is making it's mark on the tour with four lady entrants at this event, including Katie Henrick and Caroline Walch, the number 8 and 10 ladies' snooker professionals respectively. Henrick had only owned a 9 ball cue for a few days, and had a double dose of bad luck by being one of the few players not to get a bye in the first round and drawing previous tour stop winner Raj Sagoo as her first opponent. Despite a great battle which drew many spectators, Katie was sent into the losers' bracket 7-3, where she knocked out Calvino Anderson before being knocked out herself in a close 5-4 defeat at the hands of Dean Thompson. Walch faired a little better, opening her account with a 7-0 whitewash of newcomer Jason Archontides, before suffering defeats to Jay Trivedi and Gary Martyn.

The tournament attracted a field of 70 players from all over Britain and beyond. The heavyweights had their eye on the cash, while others were there for a chance to improve their pool shooting against the best players in the country, and have a great day out mingling with the 9 ball crowd, watching the matches and talking pool.