Pool - 2015 GB9 Midlands Classic Weekend
20th-22nd February 2015 - The Park Inn by Raddison Hotel, Telford, England
NO GRAY DAY FOR MARK AT GB9 EVENT ONE
Mark Gray is the first name on the 2015 GB9 Tour roll of honour, after winning the opening event of this years campaign..
41 year old Gray, who was a member of the victorious European team in December’s Mosconi Cup, saw off Darryn Walker 11-5 in the final.
Now entering its 8th season, the GB9 tour is the flag bearer in terms of quality American pool action in the U.K. And this event did not disappoint, with a number of household names making the trip to the luxurious Shropshire venue.
Gray qualified to the knockout section of the competition after coming through unscathed during the double elim qualification process, with wins against Craig Seeney 9-0, Aslam Abubaker 9-2 and Chris Cowie 9-5.
In the last 16 he put Ian McCormick to the sword 9-1, before inflicting the same score line on Benji Buckley in the quarter-finals.
His last 4 opponent would be none other than the popular Maltese superstar Tony Drago. In a close fought contest, Gray was in irresistible form winning 9-7, which included five break and run finishes.
Whilst those figures weren’t matched in the final, the result was comfortable enough.
Walker had an exceptionally tough route through after beating Italian professional Bruno Muratore 9-7 in the last 16, Craig Osborne 9-5 in the quarters, and UK number 1 Phil Burford 9-6 in the semis.
In the Rasson Billiards Pro Cup, which was also held on the same weekend for the elite band of GB9 players, Michael Rhodes walked off with the spoils after beating Drago 11-6 in the final. This included six B&R from champion Rhodes.
There were also two tiered ‘challenge events’ for the amateurs of the tour depending on their ranking and ability.
Former winner and experienced campaigner Arfan Dad from Yorkshire beat Dave Nelson 9-4 to win the premier section, whilst Gary Stewart edged out Dominic Clemens 9-8 to win tier 2.
2015 GB9 Midlands Classic 2015 GB9 Pro Cup (I)
Results (from the Quarter-Finals onwards) Results (from the Quarter-Finals onwards)
Phil Burford 9-6 Michael Rhodes Phil Burford 8-10 Tommy Donlon Darryn Walker 9-5 Craig Osborne Tony Drago 10-0 Bruno Muratore
Chris Hall 5-9 Tony Drago Craig Osborne 4-10 Darryn Walker
Benji Buckley 1-9 Mark Gray Mark Gray 2-10 Michael Rhodes
Burford 6-9 Walker Donlon 7-10 Drago
Drago 7-9 Gray Walker 3-10 Rhodes
Walker 5-11 Gray Drago 6-11 Rhodes
Written by Michael Day, published on 2nd July 2015