Archive Page

Harrison Crowned Apply Mortgages Ultimate Pool Masters Champion

All-time great Phil Harrison added another major title to his collection and banked £10,000 after defeating Simon Fitzsimmons in a pulsating final to win the 2021 Apply Mortgages Ultimate Pool Masters.

Former world champion Harrison will never have won a tournament in more dramatic and frenetic circumstances having ousted Fitzsimmons by less than two seconds in a 6-reds shootout in front of the live FreeSports television cameras and enthralled crowd at the Players Pool and Snooker Lounge.

The popular Cambridgeshire cueist had to dispatch a gauntlet of world-class opponents just to get to Finals Night – testament to the strength and depth of this prestigious event. He had already ended the hopes of Greg Batten, Marc Farnsworth, Rob Chilton and Jordan Shepherd.

Beginning the evening as the favourite, “The Farmer” got his session off to a perfect start, recording two reverse clearances and a break clearance to take a 3-0 lead over youngster Josh Kane in the opening semi-final.

Former World Masters winner Kane registered break and reverse clearances of his own as he chalked up three of the next four frames to get back in contention, but a further two break clearances from Harrison helped him keep his opponent at arm’s length on his way to a 6-4 success.

In the second final four tie of the night in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Fitzsimmons was effective as he comfortably eliminated local star Rob Wharne 7-2.

Reigning Shootout Grand Finals winner Fitzsimmons led the overall tournament break clearances chart and had an impressive break success rate of 80% going into the encounter. “The Bouncer” once again showed his power in those areas, legally potting from all four of his breaks, making a break clearance in frame eight and punishing with two reverse clearances.


An Epic Climax

After 62 matches, spanning five months and featuring 64 different players from across the UK and beyond, the final showdown brought together two players who had never faced each other before in major competition.

Typically – and just like his triumph over Kane – Harrison got off to an ideal start, capitalising on a rare dry break from Fitzsimmons to clear for the first frame and then crafting a break clearance in the second to double his advantage.

However, Manchester man Fitzsimmons built up momentum, constructing a break clearance in the third and twice levelling up at 2-2 and then 3-3.

The pendulum swung again as Harrison nailed a crucial double in frame seven to help retake the lead before a dreamy break clearance of the highest order saw him on the cusp of glory at 5-3 up with time wearing thin.

Fitzsimmons, though, is no stranger to conjuring up heroics against the clock; he was the beneficiary of a timely golden break in frame nine and squared proceedings up again with the tenth. There was time for frame 11 to break off and establish itself – in which Harrison had a last gasp chance where he was unable to get position on the black – but the title would have to be decided via a 6-reds shootout.

The only player to have come through two 6-reds shootouts previously in the Masters, Fitzsimmons went first and would have been confident after setting a very competitive target of 27.84. However, in a finish that will live long in the memory, Harrison dashed – literally – to victory, scoring a winning time of 26.70 – just over a second quicker than his opponent.

Speaking straight after his win, a jubilant but exhausted Harrison said: “I don’t know what to say – it’s been mental. To be honest, I thought that Simon played a little better than me – that 6-reds shootout is absolutely mental.

“I think it is probably my best ever tournament win. I’ve had some good memories in the past but under this sort of pressure in front of the tv cameras and everything – I’ve never felt anything like it. I was probably shaking all the way through the match.”

Runner-up Fitzsimmons was magnanimous following the narrow defeat: “He (Harrison) was class throughout the tournament – them counter clearances really hurt you.

“It’s amazing to be a part of (this event). The feeling you get with those last 15 seconds, it’s unbelievable. I’m dead proud to get to the final; I’m made up to get through such a tough field but just come up short this time.”

Televised Ultimate Pool action on Monday nights returns on September 6th with the start of the Ultimate Pool Pairs Cup where 64 teams look to claim the latest major title on the circuit. Keep posted on and social media for announcements of who will be involved.

Fitzsimmons Flies into Finals Night

Simon Fitzsimmons

Simon Fitzsimmons experienced a range of emotions as he won the third last 16/quarter-finals group of the 2021 Apply Mortgages Ultimate Pool Masters and became the penultimate player to book their place for Finals Night on August 23rd.

In a section where there was no clear favourite, the night at the Players Pool and Snooker Lounge began with a topsy-turvy affair between Fitzsimmons and the ever-improving Gavin Robinson that was eventually decided by a 6-reds shootout.

The opener went the way of Fitzsimmons before Robinson responded with a trio of consecutive frames to take control. However, ‘The Bouncer’ retaliated with a hat-trick of his own, two of those being break clearances.

Back came Robinson, though, crafting a break clearance in frame eight to level and then edging back in front 5-4 with little time left on the clock.

No stranger to conjuring up a recovery with time wearing thin, Fitzsimmons kept his cool in frame ten, capitalising on a mistake from his opponent to clear up with nine seconds remaining and effectively force a 6-reds shootout.

Both players emerged from their last 64 ties via this method, and it was former world championship finalist Fitzsimmons who kept his 100% record when he recorded a speedy 24.9 seconds in response to Robinson’s target of 32.7.

In the second tie of the evening, one of the star performers so far, Craig Waddingham, was relatively comfortable throughout as he dispatched John Chambers 7-3, despite Chambers chalking up the opener and crafting three break clearances throughout.

Waddingham strung together five frames (including break clearances in frames two and four) to move 5-1 up, and although Chambers rallied towards the end, the damage had already been done as the former World Masters winner advanced with change to spare.

Fitzsimmons in a Frenzy

The group final was a brutal reminder about how fickle 8-ball pool can be.

Having dropped only five frames in three matches to get to this stage of the competition, Waddingham was largely resigned to being a spectator as he was wiped out 7-0 by Fitzsimmons, who played an almost perfect session of pool.

Waddingham was desperately unlucky off all four of his break-off shots, and a clinical Fitzsimmons reverse cleared from all four of them.

On his own break, Fitzsimmons was pretty ruthless too, break clearing in frames two and four. With his only dry break coming in the sixth frame, it meant that Waddingham had just one visit in open play during the entire match, and this consisted of just two shots.

It was a stark contrast in fortunes and a bizarre result – the only whitewash of this second phase, so far. The result was confirmed inside 26 minutes of play.

Fitzsimmons Bounces To Group Nine Victory

Simon Fitzsimmons 

Simon Fitzsimmons kept his composure in a 6-reds shootout before enjoying a more comfortable margin of victory in the evening’s Group Nine final to qualify for the last 16 of the Apply Mortgages Ultimate Pool Masters.

‘The Bouncer’ broke brilliantly throughout the night – producing several break dishes including a golden break – and he needed to against quality opposition in front of the live FreeSports television cameras.

Action began with a keenly contested affair between Fitzsimmons and Mike King.

UK Tour event winner King immediately showed his class with consecutive break and dish clearances but it was the reigning Shootout Grand Finals champion who led after five frames with the aid of a break dish and a reverse dish.

Fitzsimmons’ momentum was halted, though, as he overran position for the black in frame six and subsequently missed the tricky pot. King capitalised to level and then chalked up the next two to create a cushion at 5-3 up.

Just as that miss in the sixth was looking like being the defining turning point, King perhaps missed a trick himself by not extending his lead with frame nine. Fitzsimmons reduced the gap and then compiled further break and reverse dishes to move back ahead at 6-5, although King kept his cool with a pressure finish – which included a treble – to effectively take it to the second 6-reds shootout of the competition so far.

However, after he was put in first by his opponent who won the lag, King could only manage a time of 48.21 seconds, a target that was easily surpassed by Fitzsimmons who potted all six red balls in 28.21.

In the second last 64 tie of the evening local player and Staffordshire Open finalist Andy Cragg set his stall out early with a reverse dish followed by a break dish to go 2-0 up on match favourite Chris Day.

Day – a three-time world team championship winner with England – responded by winning five of the next six frames, including two break dishes and a reverse dish. Cragg set up an exciting finish by taking frame nine but the 50-minute match-clock soon expired and Day advanced 5-4.


Between them, Fitzsimmons and Day would tot up a total of seven break dishes in the Group Nine final – more than any other match in the tournament so far.

Day break dished frame two to level at 1-1 but Manchester cueman Fitzsimmons took firm control of the tie by stringing together five consecutive frames to go 6-1 up in the race to eight. This run included a break dish in frame five and the event’s second golden break in frame seven.

Despite the daunting deficit, Day constructed three successive break dishes in frames 8, 10 and 12 but it wasn’t enough as Fitzsimmons – who crafted another break dish of his own in the ninth frame – guaranteed his return later this summer with a 7-5 triumph.


Some incredible numbers were produced during the three matches played at the Players Pool and Snooker Lounge on Tuesday night.

In total, 14 break and dish clearances (including Fitzsimmons’ golden break) were made – four more than any other group so far.

Day was responsible for six of these, and he now moves to the top of the break dish chart. The four he made in the final is also a record for an individual match in the tournament so far.

Fitzsimmons legally potted off all six of his breaks against King, whilst Day did the same against Fitzsimmons in the final. These are only the third and fourth instances that a player has had a 100% break success in a single match in the event at present. The other two were Carl Morris (Group Four) and Martin McIntosh (Group Six) who both struck five out of five.

Like Ultimate Pool on Facebook here!