Southern Takes The Crown and Top Spot in the BWPPA Rankings

Tony Southern

The BWPPA held its 2nd event of the 2012 season over the weekend of the 28th/29th April 2012 with the Dynamic Billiards Midlands 9-ball Open held at Rileys Birmingham.  The tour was hit by a few absences from regular players for various reasons.  Despite this, the event still attracted a strong field of 14 players, and there was some great pool on show as usual at these events.

"The Sandman" Roy Kimberley has been no 1 on the tour since it's inception in 2004.  Coming into the event he was under pressure from Tony Southern in 2nd spot, who was only 10 ranking points behind.

Roy had a tough 2nd round encounter with Wales's Craig Welsh, Kimberley's experience told in the end as he won 7-4, he then met old rival Danny Luton in the winners qualifying round.  Luton recently beat Kimberley in the semi-finals of the European 9-Ball Championships in Luxembourg, and continued his rich vein of form that also brought him Gold in the 10-ball event, by taking a seemingly unassailable lead at 6-1, but Kimberley never gives in, and after putting on a superb display of potting, positional and safety play, he clawed back the deficit to take the match to a hill-hill score-line of 6-6.  Luton however prevailed in a dramatic last frame shoot out to reach another semi-final, where he would face Gary Swift, who was returning to his old form having several notable wins on the way, including a 7-2 win against GB9 top 10 ranked Challenge Tour player, Aslam Abubaker

This sent Kimberley to the losers' side where we beat Phil Hendrickson 7-3 to reach a semi-final with Southern which would decide who took the no 1 spot.

Southern had a miserable European Championships both on and off the table, and made the decision to change his tip to a new Kamui tip provided by our sponsors Kamui.  This gave Southern renewed confidence at the Birmingham event as he comfortably dispatched Shaun Madin 7-2, this then brought him up against Abubaker who had a near perfect record against Southern which looked like it would continue as he stormed into a 3-0 lead.  Southern then showed grit and determination to take the match to hill-hill and thumped the air in delight as he dispatched the final ball in a 7-6 victory.

The semi-final between Southern and Kimberley was a tense affair, given what was at stake, and maybe this accounted for a high number of unforced errors from both players, in the end Southern won 7-4, to gain him a spot in his 3rd final in 4 events, and the crown of being the new number 1 ranked player.

In the other semi final, it looked like Luton's early exertions against Kimberley had taken its toll, as Swift ran out an easy 7-2 winner.

The Main event final between Southern & Swift was a cagey affair, with Southern opening up an early lead, but Swift fought back to just 3-4 down, and was desperately unlucky to scratch off the 8 ball, when he looked certain to level the match at 4-4.

Southern had a fair run of the balls in the final, and it was a hard fought match, which eventually went to him with a 7-3 victory.

After the event Southern said "I had some nice rolls today in a few of my games, but given the recent problems I had at the European's, maybe my luck has turned!!, I think I played pretty well over the weekend so it was a nice win.", "my aim since I started on the tour in 2006 was to be no 1, it has taken a little longer than I had hoped, but that's due to the number of fantastic players on the tour".

Southern also gave tribute to Kimberley, and said, "Roy is a world class player, an inspiration to us all, and a good friend, we run the tour together and work really closely, and I'm sure he will be back battling hard at the next event"

He also said "I would like to thank all of the tour sponsors, especially The Gentleman's night out, who attended the event, and also Karl Boyes for his coaching, and Lee Brett for his coaching book, all of which helped sort out my mental preparation".

In the Challenge Cup Shaun Madin beat Phil Hendrickson 3-1.

The next event is the Dynamic Mersey 9-ball Shootout, which will be held at Rileys, Wavertree, on the weekend of 16th/17th June 2012.

The BWPPA are always looking for new members no matter what disability you have, or your level of ability in the sport.  To become part of Europe's largest wheelchair 9-ball pool tour please visit, and if you are reading this and know of any players who may be interested please pass this onto them.