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Chambers Clinches Group 12 Thriller

John Chambers

In one of the most exciting finishes of the tournament so far, John Chambers ousted a spirited Shane Thompson by less than two-and-a-half seconds in a 6-reds shootout to win the Group 12 final and qualify for the last 16 of the 2021 Apply Mortgages Ultimate Pool Masters.

The latest line-up in Newcastle-under-Lyme was arguably the toughest to pick a winner from with all four competitors possessing vast experience playing for their countries in major international events.

The evening began with a clash between England teammates Thompson and Aaron Davies. Expectations were that this would go close, but the Bristolian recorded a resounding 8-2 victory.

Former World Masters finalist Thompson was in sublime form, producing three break dishes and a reverse dish to reach the allotted target with more than five minutes remaining. World Championship finalist Davies didn’t do much wrong, chalking up a break dish of his own in frame three.

The second last 64 tie of the night took a very different narrative as Chambers and opponent Zak Shepherd both enjoyed spells of control in a contest that was undecided going into the final minute.

Both players doubled the black during successful reverse dishes early on as the opening four frames all went against the break before former three-time national champion Chambers carved out a 4-2 advantage.

Under pressure, former Welsh under-23 champion Shepherd conjured up a fantastic pot on his way to taking frame seven, and then really found his groove with a break dish followed by a reverse dish to go 5-4 up.

Shepherd was then looking pretty for 6-4 but botched position on the black for another break dish. Chambers duly punished to level before crafting a crucial break dish in frame 11 to sneak back in front with less than a minute remaining on the clock – it would effectively see him through.


The group final turned out to be an Ultimate Pool classic and began as such with Thompson opening up with a break dish and Chambers doing exactly the same in frame two.

However, Thompson made a couple of unexpected errors in the next two frames and his opponent – growing in confidence and belief – capitalised for 3-1.

The 40-year-old from Burton was soon really on a roll, constructing a reverse dish followed by a break dish during a six-frame winning streak to assume firm control.

Thompson did not quit, though. With impressive and gutsy shot-making throughout, ‘The Safecracker’ chiseled into the deficit, claiming six of the next seven frames and levelling up with only a few seconds left on the clock.

Finishing 7-7 when the klaxon sounded, the match went to a 6-reds shootout – the first group final to be decided that way.

Despite having the momentum, Thompson suffered a slow start to his run and could only manage 38.30 seconds. A target on the slower side, Chambers judged his reply well, and although he missed the last ball down the baulk cushion, he eventually sunk it to score a winning time of 36.07 seconds.

Chambers is set to face Craig Waddingham in the last 16 later this summer.