Van Boening wins Derby One Pocket

Shane Van Boening (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson -

The One Pocket Division of the 14th Annual Derby City Classic ended the same way it ended last year; with Shane Van Boening pocketing the final ball for the win. Van Boening made his way through a field of 311 other players to defend his title from last year.

The seats were jam packed for Van Boening's semi final match with another Derby City Classic Favorite, Efren Reyes. That match ended with a lopsided 3-0 scoreline after Shane looked to have Efren right where he wanted him (down 2-0 and 7 - (-1) in the third game). Reyes displayed some of that vintage Reyes magic to get the score back to 7-6 but he ran out of magic dust when an intended two rail bank found Van Boening's pocket instead of Efren's. 

While that match was going on, 25 year old Joey Gray was getting the maximum enjoyment out of his first Derby City Classic as he defeated Darren Appleton to set up a showdown with Van Boening in the finals.

The first rack of the finals was a quick 5-minute tussle as Van Boening made a ball off of Gray's break, but could only manage three balls before leaving a ball in the jaws and watching Gray run eight for the game.

The second game included some classic one pocket safety play, but Van Boening came with tough shots to take control for small runs. At 5-0, Van Boening back cut a ball into the heart of his pocket and left two gimmes to end the rack 8-0.

Shane made a ball after Joey's break again in rack three - but then missed a ball in the rack - leaving what looked like a completely open table for Gray. The youngster from Oklahoma City could only manage a run of four balls before missing a small window of shape. From there, the game looked a lot like the previous game with Gray playing some great one pocket shots and Van Boening patiently waiting for a shot before fearlessly making the shot and running balls. Van Boening put three different short runs together for an 8-4 win.

The fourth rack started out with a safety battle that left Shane "ahead" (-1) - (-2). Once again, Gray appeared to out-move Van Boening  but ended up eventually leaving a shot and Van Boening took full advantage. A double kissed attempt to clear Shane's pocket by Gray left an opening for Shane and he quickly ended the game and match with a 9 ball run for his second straight one pocket crown and what appears to be a hammerlock on the all around title.