Predator Tour Great Eight Down to Final Four

Niels Feijen

The Great Eight met this morning in Anadia, Portugal at the Predator International 10-Ball event to determine the make-up of the Final Four. Current World Ten Ball Champion Darren Appleton ran headlong into the big Dutch truck, Niels Feijen. Feijen was not in the mood to leave the competition and quickly moved into the lead that he would never relinquish. Feijen's shot making skills were aided by his conservative position play that never risked danger and always left the cue ball in the open for the next shot. In the end Appleton attempted a final charge, drawing as close as 7-6. It appeared that Appleton could pull off a double-hill situation but a failed safety late in the 14th game allowed Feijen to see the shot and take the run to close out the match at 8-6.

Imran Majid progressed into the next round via a match against his close friend Raj Hundal that was tight throughout. There was never more than a one-game margin between the two until the final rack when Majid turned his 7-6 lead into an 8-6 victory. Hundal congratulated his friend heartily but you could clearly see the disappointment in his face. He was shooting well all week and knew that this tournament could have been his with just a few different turns of the spheres.

Karl Boyes narrowly trailed David Alcaide for most of their match. Alcaide managed to control the table the majority of the time but Boyes finally turned that situation around late and took his first lead at 7-6. That lead was ever so brief as Alcaide took rack 14 to bring us to double-hill. Both men's fate now rested on a single rack of balls. An early foul from Boyes gave Alcaide ball in hand and he took a lot of time surveying the tough layout of the table. There was no run-out available and he wound up playing safe on the three ball. Boyes made contact with the 3 and left no pocket for Alcaide to play into. Safeties and shots were traded until Boyes played a great safety on the six ball that left Alcaide only a kick at the ball which was near the center of the head rail. Fantastically, Alcaide called the 6 in the corner and kicked it in as if it were a routine shot. He followed that shot up with a cross-corner bank on the 7 ball and from there it was clear-water sailing to the win.

Charlie Williams had been playing the sharpest game in the room all week. He led Marcus Chamat most of the way through their match but Chamat is one of the most tenacious players in the world and fights like a bulldog for every win. That fighting spirit allowed him to tie the match at 6 games apiece and put the heat on Williams cue. In the next game Chamat played a three-ball combination that set up a combo on the 6-10 in the side pocket. When he made that shot he was on the hill and Williams took a break to regroup. Chamat broke dry the next rack and a long safety battle ensued. Finally, Chamat played a jump shot over a full five ball to pot the one ball in the side pocket. But he got tough once he got to the four ball and had to play a two-way shot that, when the four failed to fall, left Williams a very long cut on the four. Williams pulled out all of his shot skills and made the four but then could not clear all of the traffic between the cue ball and the five ball. His kick on the five ball began another round of safeties that was only resolved when Williams attempted a very low percentage shot on the five ball in the corner that failed. Chamat cleared the next two balls easily but found himself in some trouble when his cue ball lost speed coming off of the 6 ball and did not make it into line on the eight. This left him a razor cut into the side pocket that carried with it the risk of a scratch. But he made the shot and pulled the cue ball with draw away from danger and then cleaned up the table for his win.