GOLDEN GILLESPIE CONQUERS K8.COM CLASSIC
Scott Gillespie returned to winning ways on the Supreme Pool Series with victory at the 2018 K8.com Classic last weekend.
The talented Scottish cueist won the season opening Jason Owen Open in May, but after early exits in the following two competitions on the SPS circuit, Gillespie has quickly reminded the English 8-Ball world why he is one of the best around.
Gillespie qualified unscathed for the knockouts after coming through an ultra tough section of the draw. In a blockbuster first round tie he got the better of Phil Harrison 11-6; the only other player to have triumphed on the series so far.
He then ousted 2016 IPA World Champion Gareth Hibbott via a deciding frame, 11-10, and saw off two-times former WEPF World Junior Champion Jordan Church, 11-7. Securing his berth in the Last 16, the World Cup of Pool selection defeated Northern Irish rising star Declan Brennan, 11-7.
The random draw for the KOs drew Gillespie and Brennan together again - it was the former who would repeat the prescription, but with a different dose of 11-8.
Enjoying his best run in the series so far, the dangerous Craig Waddingham was eliminated 11-7 in the Quarter-Finals, whilst fellow countryman and the winner of multiple titles in recent years, Mark Boyle, was comprehensively dispatched 11-3 in the Semis.
Gillespie's opponent in the final was England's Shaun Storry, who had produced a string of impressive results on route.
Just like his rival in the final, Storry had advanced through the long weekend undefeated - it would be the first time on the series this year that both finalists came from the winners' section. Among those who lost to Storry included Hibbott (11-9) in the Last 16 and pre-tournament favourite Mick Hill (11-7) in the Last 8, a result that Storry described as the biggest win of his life on Social Media.
Despite having been priced up as 40/1 before a ball was struck, Storry had already been a champion at the Players Pool and Snooker Lounge venue when he claimed the Players Amateur Challenge in the spring of 2017.
However, his memorable run and ambition of a second title there was denied by Gillespie, who won the final 11-7 to become the 2018 K8.com Classic Champion, taking the trophy and £5,000 home as rewards.
Elsewhere in the 128 player entry event, winner of the Strachan Cup and Supreme Masters over the summer, Harrison's bid for an unprecedented hat-trick was closed early. After his opening round loss to Gillespie, the former World Champion was unable to re-create the heroics he produced during August and succumbed via the earliest avenue on the losers' side when he lost to Lee Clough in a decider.
Finalist at events 1 and 2, Liam Dunster's stay in Newcastle-under-Lyme was also brought to a close by Clough in a deciding frame during the Losers' Round 3.
Reigning World Masters Champion Callum Singleton make his mark on the series by reaching the Last 4 before going out to Storry. In the previous round he pipped former back-to-back WEPF World Champion Tom Cousins, 11-10.
Ronan McCarthy and Marc Farnsworth, two of the sport's most consistent performers, both qualified for the single elimination portion again. They lost in the Last 16 to Singleton (11-7) and Hill (11-10), respectively.
Attention on the Supreme Pool Series now turns to the climax of the season; the record-breaking Home Leisure Direct Grand Finals. Taking place between the 30th November to the 2nd December, the event boasts a top prize of £51,000 - the largest amount in English 8-Ball tournament history.
2018 Supreme Pool Series - Event 4, the K8.com Classic
Results (from the Last 16 onwards)
Shaun Storry 11-9 Gareth Hibbott
Marc Farnsworth 10-11 Mick Hill
Ronan McCarthy 7-11 Callum Singleton
Tom Cousins 11-5 Dan Davy
Mark Boyle 11-10 Carl Morris
Jordan Shepherd 11-1 Shane Thompson
Josh Kane 10-11 Craig Waddingham
Scott Gillespie 11-8 Declan Brennan
Losers each received £375
Storry 11-7 Hill
Singleton 11-10 Cousins
Boyle 11-8 Shepherd
Waddingham 7-11 Gillespie
Losers each received £1,000
Storry 11-5 Singleton
Boyle 3-11 Gillespie
Losers each received £2,000
Storry 7-11 Gillespie
Runner-Up received £3,000 / Winner received £5,000
The picture above is courtesy of the Supreme Pool Series
Article written and published by Michael Day on the 2nd October 2018