Category: Derby Open

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Derby Open 2020 – Cancellation Notice

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) has today announced that the upcoming Derby Open scheduled to run from 15-17 May 2020 will not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In view of the current position, taking into account UK government advice and further anticipated restrictions, the WDBS board has taken the unanimous decision not to proceed with this event.

The health and well-being of our players (some of whom have ongoing health issues linked to their disability) and officials is of the utmost importance to us and therefore we consider this to be the correct course of action at this time.

All players who have currently entered the event will receive a full refund of their entry fees shortly.

Further information as to future events will be released in due course and we would like to thank the team at the Cueball Derby for their support. We look forward to returning to the venue later in the year for our planned Groups 1-5 event.

Derby Open 2020 – Entry Open

Entries are now being accepted for the Derby Open which will return to the Cueball Derby for a fourth time from 15-17 May 2020.

One of our most long-standing events, the Derby Open will once begin with a Friday Open Day for people with all disabilities to come and try snooker under the guidance of WPBSA World Snooker coaches including lead coach Steve Rutter. There will also be a buffet provided early in the afternoon and opportunities to meet the WDBS team and ask any questions about the competition.

The weekend itself will then see competitive tournaments staged for deaf and visually impaired players (WDBS Classification Groups 7-8) from Saturday morning, with a Challenge Cup to be staged on Sunday for players who do not qualify for the knockout rounds.

In 2019 the event witnessed our biggest ever deaf entry with 27 Group 8 players taking part, joined also by a bumper 14 entries to the Group 7 competition.

New WDBS Dates Announced For 2020/21 Season

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is today pleased to announce four new event dates for the upcoming 360Fizz WDBS Tour 2020/21 season.

As we prepare to celebrate our fifth anniversary this summer, we have moved quickly to confirm a number of regular venues that have supported WDBS over a number of years.

In doing so, we have also taken the opportunity to carry out a full review of the previous calendar to provide a better spread of tournaments throughout the year for each classification group.

Confirmed dates

The new calendar will see players from each of the main eight classification groups guaranteed at least three UK tournaments.

The first confirmed event will be the Welsh Open, which is set to return to Redz Snooker Club in Cwmbran for a fourth staging, on the later date of 4-6 September 2020. Once again, the event will be open to players from all classification groups and be played under the 6-Red format of the game.

Also set to return for a fourth staging is the Derby Open, which will be held at the Cueball Derby in a new calendar slot of 23-25 October. Significantly, for the first time this event will be open to players from Groups 1-5 as a new venue for those with physical disabilities.

Please note that this does not affect the upcoming Groups 7-8 tournament in Derby which will be held from 15-17 May as the final event of the current season.

As has been the case since 2016, the final event of the calendar year will be the Hull Open, which will return to the Tradewell Snooker Club for a fifth time from 13-15 November and be open to players from Groups 6-8.

Finally, we can also confirm the return of the three-day UK Disability Snooker Championship, which will again be held at Barratts in Northampton and be open to players from all classification groups. However, to provide better balance to the calendar the event will move to a new slot from 26-28 March 2021.

Champion of Champions

In addition to the dates announced above, we can also confirm that the Parris Cues Champion of Champions will return next season at a new venue to be confirmed.

For the first-time, this will be staged as the season-finale in May 2021, with the best players on the tour during the previous two seasons qualifying for the prestigious event.

Overseas Events

As part of our wider ambitions to return snooker to the Paralympic Games for the first time since 1988 we are also committed to developing new opportunities for disability snooker outside of the UK.

In addition to the Belgian Open, which we also anticipate will return early in 2021, we are also currently looking at opportunities to stage further overseas events next season, with talks currently ongoing in respect of a planned event in Poland this summer.

Further information regarding additional tournaments will be released in due course.

2020/21 Provisional Dates So Far:

4-6 September 2020

Welsh Open (G1-8) – Redz Snooker Club, Cwmbran

23-25 October 2020

Derby Open (G1-5) – Cueball Derby, Derby

13-15 November 2020

Hull Open (G6-8) – Tradewell Snooker Club, Hull

26-28 March 2021

UK Disability Snooker Championship (G1-8) – Barratts, Northampton

All dates are provisional and subject to change.

Disability Snooker Champions Decided in Derby

A trio of main event champions, each with their own intriguing stories, emerged from last weekend’s dramatic World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) Derby Open.

Supported by leading packaging company DS Smith, the event was held at the Cueball Derby, a regular tour stop featuring players with both visual (Group 7A/7B) and hearing impairments (Group 8). It was the final tournament of the 2018/19 WDBS campaign and the first to run a new system which saw Group 7 split into two competitions to reflect the classification structure run by British Blind Sport.

Group 7A – Glory for Gallacher

Gary Gallacher claimed his maiden WDBS main event title in the new Group 7A category.

Scotland’s Gallacher was already a two-time Challenge Cup winner in the past – his most recent being at the Southern Classic in Swindon during March – but this success represents his most significant accolade on the circuit so far.

The 57-year-old was supreme during the round robin phase, topping the group with a 100% record without dropping a frame. Qualifying for his first final at this level, Gallacher would face 2018 UK Open finalist Bob Craft, who finished second in the standings.

After the opening two frames of the final were shared, Gallacher fluked the final pink in frame three before sinking a terrific black to capitalise on his good fortune. He then added the fourth frame to seal his maiden crown.

During his earlier round robin win against Craft, Gallacher also made the highest break with an effort of 43.

Group 7B –  Neale defends

In the Group 7B classification, defending champion Nick Neale survived a comeback from Mike Gillespie in the final to retain the title.

Neale made light work of qualifying for the showpiece as he finished first in the round robin standings after winning all his fixtures 2-0. Following on from his heavy scoring at this same venue last year, the Birmingham cueist rattled in breaks of 82, 80, 80 and 75.

A repeat of the 2018 final in Derby materialised as 2017 champion Gillespie progressed in second; the deciding factor being a 2-0 group stage win over four-time WDBS victor Paul Smith, who missed out in third.

The final was looking like a stroll in the park for Neale as he fashioned a 2-0 advantage, but a resolute Gillespie responded by making a 72 break in frame three before forcing a decider. However, Neale was not to be denied his sixth WDBS title when he controlled and secured the fifth frame for a 3-2 victory. It meant that Neale’s imposing streak continues – this was his fourth successive WDBS competition win.

Group 8 – Nicholas cashes in

There was a major surprise in Group 8 as Nicholas Cash burst on to the WDBS scene during his first appearance to record one of the circuit’s most memorable successes.

Cash’s campaign nearly ended in the group stages, as he narrowly qualified in second place on frame difference after three players had all won two matches each. In the knockouts he defeated Daniel Booth (2-0), Champion of Champions winner Lewis Knowles (2-1) and then 2017 Hull Open champion Blake Munton (2-1). Against both Knowles and Munton, Cash recovered after losing the opening frame.

The biggest upset was still to come, though, when Cash overhauled six-time WDBS winner and defending champion Shabir Ahmed, who had imperiously reached yet another final without losing a single frame throughout.

In a see-saw encounter that went to a deciding frame, Ahmed, who trailed by 20 points, looked like repeating his heroics from this venue in last year’s final by snatching it on the colours when he deposited yellow to pink. However, after Ahmed had failed to attain ideal position on the black, Cash later seized an opportunity by impressively potting it for an emotional victory.

Challenge Cup champions

For those who did not qualify for the knockout stages, two separate Challenge Cup competitions were staged.

In the Group 7 event Ben Chappell defeated Ron Allen, 2-1, to take gold for the first time at a WDBS event following two previous silver-medal placings. Mark Forrest also claimed his first win in the Group 8 tournament following a 2-0 success over Daniel Harvest.

Simon Berrisford, WDBS Vice Chairman said: “The event has been a fantastic success – certainly one of the most remarkable and entertaining ones we’ve ever had. Splitting the Group 7 competition using British Blind Sport guidelines added a new, sharp dimension to proceedings, whilst the Group 8 division continues to thrive; testament to the record-breaking 27 players who took part.

“WDBS would like to thank Danny Cooper and all his team at Cueball for their brilliant facilities and, of course, Nigel Coton and Michael Buckley of DS Smith Featherstone who passionately supported the event.”

WDBS will return next month with the start of the new 2019/20 season.

Derby Open 2019: Tournament Preview

The final stop on this season’s World Disability Billiards and Snooker circuit takes place this weekend, as the Cueball Derby once again plays as host to the 2019 WDBS Derby Open.

Supported by leading packaging company DS Smith, the event is staged for players with visual (Group 7) and hearing (Group 8) impairments who will both compete within their own individual classification groups. Using British Blind Sport guidelines, for the first time Group 7 will be split into two sub-categories dependent on the competitor’s severity of impairment.

Open Day

Before the competitive action gets underway at the weekend, Friday will be our regular curtain-raising Open Day where individuals and groups of all disabilities are encouraged to come along and try snooker regardless of previous experience. A mix of both technical coaching and fun activities will be provided by our team of WPBSA World Snooker coaches at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone.

Group 7A

Formation of the 7A category means we are guaranteed a new main event champion in Derby.

Potential candidates for the title include Bob Craft and Gary Gallacher. Craft came close to a maiden WDBS triumph last year when he reached the final of the UK Open, whilst Scotland’s Gallacher is a two-time Challenge Cup winner, most recently at March’s Southern Classic held in Swindon.

Another tour stalwart, Scott Swanson, will also make the trip down from across the border, seeking to go deep in the event. Recent tour addition Hassan Ali will be back in action, whilst newcomers Danny Dyche and Donna Healy-Sharpe make their debuts.

Group 7B

Group 7B contains a trio of former winners and a pair of two-time finalists, but the player to beat is the in-form Nick Neale.

Last year at this venue, Birmingham’s Neale defeated Mike Gillespie, 3-1, in the final. Neale was in irresistible form throughout that weekend, constructing several half century breaks including a top effort of 92. Since then Neale has remained the kingpin in the category scooping further titles at the Champion of Champions, Hull Open and the Southern Classic.

There are, however, players who have the tools to topple him, this includes Gillespie who won at the Cueball during its first hosting of a WDBS tournament in 2017. The player who Gillespie defeated in the final that day – Paul Smith – is a four-time gold medalist on the circuit whose latest glory was at the Open Disability Championship last autumn.

David Baker and Ronnie Allen are aiming to go one better and become a main title winner having both been close in the past with two runners-up finishes each. David Martin and Ben Chappell will also be hopeful of reaching new territory.

Group 8

Shabir Ahmed has pretty much dominated the Group 8 scene for the majority of the past two years and will go to Derby as the tournament favourite once again.

Ahmed has fond memories of the Cueball venue; it was here in 2017 where he claimed his first WDBS title, while 12 months ago he retained the title in dramatic circumstances when he came back to oust rival Lewis Knowles in an epic final that went to the final black in the deciding frame.

In total Ahmed has now won six WDBS titles, including five of the last six Group 8 events staged since the start of 2018. The only blot on that record was at November’s Champion of Champions when Knowles overcame him in a final frame to secure his elusive maiden win. Knowles has since lost to Ahmed in the Southern Classic final some eight weeks ago, but that success in Gloucester proves that he can defeat the group’s number one player.

This category continues to thrive with a record field of 27 set to participate in the coming days. Within the entry are 2016 Woking Open champion David Ingham and 2017 Hull Open champion Blake Munton. WDBS main event finalists Richard Gott and Nikolas De Whytell are also scheduled to be present.

View full tournament information, including draws and results during the event online.