Category: Events

360Fizz UK Disability Snooker Championship: Enter Now

Entries are now being accepted for this season’s 360Fizz UK Disability Snooker Championship, the latest event to be staged by World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS), which will take place from 20-22 September 2019.

Previously staged as the Open Disability Snooker Championship for the past four years, the event has been newly rebranded to become the 360Fizz UK Disability Snooker Championship and will return to Barratts Snooker Club in Northampton next month.

As in 2018, the event will be open to players from all eight disability classification groups, however unlike the recent Welsh Open, players will compete within their own disability classification groups with matches to be played under the full 15-Red format of the game.

Following last year’s action-packed event which received a record 79 entries, the main competition will for the first time now be staged across three days, with the first competitive matches to break-off at 2:00pm on the Friday. We anticipate that the vast majority of players will be required to play at least one match on the Friday.

With high-demand expected for the tournament and additional time required to schedule all matches, we have set an earlier entry deadline for this event than normal – Friday 6th September 2019.

The event will once again by title sponsored by 360Fizz, the successful promotion, marketing and management agency which is the overall tour sponsor of the 360Fizz WDBS Tour.

Open Day in Association with the Motor Neurone Disease Association

Prior to the start of the main tournament on Friday afternoon will be our regular Friday Open Day, with people with all disabilities encouraged to come and try snooker, whether for the first time or with previous experience. WPBSA World Snooker coach Steve Rutter and his team will be on hand to provide advice and guidance, as well as run fun games and activities.

For the first time the day will be supported by the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) following an introduction made by regular player Nigel Brasier, who made his debut at this event in 2018. Members of staff from the MNDA will be on site to raise awareness of the condition and the organisation itself.

Further information

If you are a new player considering entering the event and are unsure of anything, please do not hesitate to contact us via our website or social media.

Champions Crowned at Humber Classic

There was a mix of new and familiar winners at the season-opening Humber Classic staged at Hull’s Tradewell Snooker Club last weekend.

With six main tournaments staged for players with physical and learning disabilities, the event was the first of the new World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) circuit, which this season is sponsored by 360Fizz for the first time.

The weekend began with our regular open day led by WPBSA World Snooker coach Steve Rutter and welcomed several local groups and individuals who were encouraged to pick up a cue and enjoy the day. This was followed by the competitive action across the weekend, which saw some fantastic snooker and dramatic matches played to a conclusion.

Wheelchair (Groups 1-2)

India’s Aslam Abubaker claimed victory in the Groups 1-2 wheelchair classification without the loss of a frame in East Yorkshire.

Having won both of his round-robin matches against recent Belgian Open champion Tony Southern and Scotland’s Gavin Gormley, Abubaker then won a curtailed final 4-0 after opponent Southern conceded mid-way through the second frame having reported problems with his cue tip.

The win is Abubaker’s second following his previous success at the Open Disability Snooker Championship last September.

Ambulant (Groups 3-5)

There was further international success in Group 3 as Hong Kong’s Andy Lam won his maiden WDBS title following victory against former champion Nigel Coton.

Having travelled all the way from Asia especially to compete in the event for players with significant upper-limb impairments, Lam progressed with victories against Kal Mattu and John Teasdale, despite actually losing out to fellow finalist Coton in the group stage on Saturday.

There was to be swift revenge for the Hong Kong native the following day however, as he ran out a 3-1 winner in the final to claim victory.

While that victor was Lam’s first, over in Group 4 there was a record ninth title success for Daniel Blunn who overcame Scotland’s Williams Thomson 3-2 in a classic final on the 360Fizz WDBS Tour.

The latest chapter in one of the standout rivalries on the circuit which has seen wins for both players across several competitions in recent years, was written after the pair progressed through a high-quality field which for the first time included former world number 8 and two-time professional ranking event finalist Dean Reynolds.

It was Thomson who accounted for Reynolds in the semi-finals and it looked like he would go on to claim another title as he led Blunn 2-1 in the title match, but 27-year-old Blunn was not to be denied a ninth career WDBS title as he edged the final two frames to secure victory and extend a personal winning-streak dating back to last September’s Open Disability Snooker Championship.

The final tournament for players with ambulant disabilities saw a first-time winner in David Moore as the Southampton resident defeated local player Ivor Halnosky to win the Group 5 competition.

Moore, who had previously reached the finals of the 2016 Open Disability Snooker Championship and last year’s Champion of Champions, finally broke his title duck with a victory that will taste all the sweeter after his recovery from a recent accident at work shortly following the Belgian Open back in March.

Learning disabilities (Groups 6A-6B)

Mohammed Faisal Butt completed a hat-trick of WDBS titles in Group 6A after he came back from 2-0 down to defeat Mike Busst 3-2 in an entertaining final.

With an average shot time of just 15.69 seconds, Butt added to his victories at the recent Northern Classic an Southern Classic tournaments with success in East Yorkshire.

Meanwhile in Group 6B there was also a third title success for Leroy Williams, who completed a comprehensive 6-0 success against Peter Geronimo to avenge his final defeat against the same opponent a year ago and claim his second title of 2019.

In the Challenge Cup there was also victory for a Group 6B player as newcomer Kieran Richards-Witham defeated Group 5 player Phil Woodwiss to bag a gold medal on his debut.

All at WDBS would like to thank everyone who has supported the weekend, including our wonderful hosts at the Tradewell Snooker Club once again and all of the officials, players and their supporters who helped make the event possible.

The next event on the 360Fizz WDBS Tour will be the Welsh Open, to be held at Redz, Cwmbran from 2-4 August 2019. The full entry pack for the event will be released shortly.

2018/19 World Disability Billiards and Snooker Season Review

Last month’s Derby Open at the Cueball Derby signalled the end of the 2018/19 World Disability Billiards and Snooker season; the biggest and busiest campaign yet.

Starting back in July, the circuit visited several venues in the UK and beyond with a record number of tournaments hosted and entries taking part. Here we look back on how the season unfolded and what the main talking points were…

Groups 1 & 2

New and familiar faces triumphed in the competitive wheelchair section, but the star performer throughout the year was Daniel Lee, who added a trio of titles to his portfolio.

Londoner Lee started off by claiming the curtain-raising 6-Red Welsh Open in Cwmbran; an event open to WDBS competitors from all classifications. At the time, by his own admission Lee’s best tournament victory in snooker, he ousted Aslam Abubaker in a thrilling all-wheelchair final that was a fine showcase for the group.

Further honours came at the inaugural staging of the Champion of Champions and when he defended the Northern Classic in the new year. Collectively, these efforts saw him named as the first WDBS Vic Hartley Player of the Year at the Winter Garden in Sheffield during this spring’s World Professional Snooker Championship.

Elsewhere in the division, Abubaker and Tony Southern both claimed maiden main event gold after being pipped in the past. Abubaker won the Open Disability Championship when he defeated Shahab Siddiqui in the final, while Southern reversed last year’s outcome after getting the better of host nation native Kurt Deklerck at the Belgian Open in Bruges.

Groups 3, 4 and 5

Due to increased numbers and re-structuring, ambulant players contested in both individual and multi-group competitions throughout the year. Despite the changes, several of the circuit’s big names continued to collect top honours.

One of the most intriguing sagas has been the ongoing rivalry between Daniel Blunn and William Thomson. At the Open Disability Championship, Thomson made it three out of three final wins against his adversary, but at the Champion of Champions a few weeks later Blunn ended that hoodoo.

Blunn bolstered his CV yet again in the new year when eliminating the challenge of new finalist Peter Yelland to win the Northern Classic at the Hazel Grove in Stockport and then defending the Belgian Open at the Trickshot after a victory over another former champion in Raja Subramanian from India. These wins mean Blunn now has a record eight WDBS main event titles.

Mickey Chambers and David Church also increased their title tally; Chambers defeated Church in the Northampton final and David Weller to retain the Northern Classic, while Church became the Group 4/5 Champion of Champions victor when he quashed late replacement David Moore’s hopes in the climax.

There was, however, a new addition to the roll of honour when John Teasdale won the Group 3 title in Stockport after prevailing over fellow first-time main event finalist Joe Hardstaff. In a keenly contested encounter, Teasdale chalked up three consecutive frames from 2-0 down to emerge successful.

Group 6

Five different players won main event gold throughout the season in the learning disabilities category.

Peter Geronimo announced himself on the scene by claiming the first Group 6 exclusive event at the Humber Classic on debut in August. The focus, though, has been on serial winner Daniel Harwood who scooped a quartet of triumphs at the Open Disability Championship, Champion of Champions and Hull Open, before the Northern Classic in the new year became his seventh career WDBS title overall.

From November’s Hull Open onwards the Group 6 division was split into two sub-categories – 6A would represent players with learning disabilities whilst 6B for those with autism spectrum disorder. Mike Busst was the first player to take advantage of this new opportunity when he defeated Faisal Butt to taste glory in East Yorkshire. Butt recovered from that setback, though, to avenge his defeat to Buust at the Northern Classic and then by seeing off David Mac in the final of the Southern Classic too.

Also, in Swindon, Leroy Williams bettered the three previous final appearances he had made earlier in the season when eventually defeating debutant Christopher Goldsworthy in an engrossing 6B final at Jesters Snooker Centre. It was Williams’ second WDBS title.

Group 7

Nick Neale was undoubtedly the star performer in the visual impairments classification as he collected four main event titles.

The Group 7 season started at the Barratts Club in Northampton where Paul Smith earned his fourth career WDBS title after overcoming maiden finalist, Ron Allen, in the final of the Open Disability Championship. Later in the campaign, though, Neale would surpass Smith’s tally to become the most decorated player in the division.

Neale’s winning streak began in Gloucester when he got the better of rival Smith in the Champion of Champions final. He backed that up with triumphs at the Hull Open (defeating David Baker in the final) and then the Southern Classic (defeating Allen in the final) to make it a high five of titles at this level. He finished his campaign on a positive, too, by defending the Derby Open (7B) against former winner Mike Gillespie in an entertaining final that went to a deciding frame. Gillespie was Neale’s fourth different final opponent in as many competitions.

Group 7 competitors were divided into two separate categories for the first time in Derby, depending on the severity of their impairment. The format yielded a new champion as Gary Gallacher defeated Bob Craft to become the inaugural 7A winner.

Group 8

Two new champions were discovered in the hearing impairments category, but the season revolved around Shabir Ahmed who made all five Group 8 finals; winning three of them.

Starting in Northampton, Ahmed denied debut finalist Nikolas De Whytell to win the Open Disability Championship. His momentum, however, was halted by Lewis Knowles at the following month’s Champion of Champions. Having suffered a trio of final disappointments at the hands of Ahmed in the past, an epic 5-4 victory over his rival in Gloucester was certainly a sweet relief for Knowles.

Ahmed bounced back from this loss when overcoming debutant Mick Chew at the Hull Open and then resuming his rivalry – and success – with Knowles at the Southern Classic in Swindon. Looking like business as usual in Derby, though, Ahmed was stunned by newcomer Nicholas Cash, who produced an upset to overhaul him in the final. Earlier in the event Cash had also eliminated Knowles and a former WDBS main event winner in Blake Munton.

His achievements on the circuit gained Ahmed cross-sport recognition as he was nominated and came third at the 2018 Deaf Sports Personality of the Year Awards. Contesting alongside Lee, Blunn and Neale, Ahmed will appear at the Crucible Theatre during this August’s ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Championship for a dedicated session of play that will highlight and promote disability snooker.

A New Campaign Awaits…

We don’t have to wait much longer until the new 2019/20 360Fizz World Disability Billiards and Snooker season gets underway with the Humber Classic taking place at the Tradewell Snooker Club in Hull from 28-30 June. For the first time, the popular venue will host a WDBS event that is open to players with physical disabilities (Groups 1-5), as well as welcoming back entrants with learning disabilities (Group 6).

Disability Snooker to be Showcased at Crucible Theatre

Four leading players from the 360Fizz World Disability Billiards and Snooker Tour have earned the opportunity to compete at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield this August for the first time.

To be staged as part of the 2019 ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Championship, the session will take place on the morning of 18 August from 10:00am and feature four highly decorated players who compete regularly on the WDBS circuit.

Among those in action will be Daniel Lee, who plays in the Group 2 wheelchair category and earlier this year was named as the Vic Hartley Player of the Season in recognition of his success during the 2018/19 campaign.

He will be joined by Daniel Blunn, who was born with cerebral palsy and competes as a Group 4 player. Blunn has been a part of the WDBS family since our first event in November 2015 and has to date claimed an incredible eight events, including three during the current campaign.

Representing sensory disabilities are Coventry’s Nick Neale, a six-time winner of competitions for players with visual impairments and deaf player Shabir Ahmed, who has established himself as the dominant player in his category with six titles and was last year recognised at the Deaf Sports Personality of the Year Awards by finishing in third place in the overall voting.

The event will be the first as part of a three-year agreement which will also see disability snooker return to Sheffield in 2020 and 2021.

Nigel Mawer, WDBS Chairman said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for our players to be able to play at the home of snooker and from speaking to them already I know just how excited they are to be able to live their dream and walk out on the same stage as their heroes.

“The event is going to be a real celebration of disability snooker and I would like to encourage all of our players to come along and support those competing and make it a day to remember!”

Tickets are already on sale at the price of just £1.47 when purchased with a full-price ticket to any other session at the ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Championship, so book now to avoid disappointment, by phone 0114 249 600 or online HERE.

The ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Championship will run across four days from 15-18 August 2019 and feature several all-time greats of the game including ‘King of the Crucible’ Stephen Hendry and 10-time ranking event winner Jimmy White.

There will also be a session on the morning of Saturday 17th August held to showcase the talent on the World Women’s Snooker Tour.

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.

2019/2020 Provisional Calendar Announced

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is today pleased to announce its provisional calendar of events for the 2019/20 season.

As was the case during the current campaign, next season’s newly rebranded 360Fizz WDBS Tour will comprise at least eight weekend events.

The calendar includes a number of returning events, including the Parris Cues Champion of Champions which returns for a second-successive season, as well as the long-established all-classification groups Welsh Open and Open Disability Snooker Championship events.

For the first time players from Groups 1-5 will have the opportunity to compete at a regular Group 6-8 venue, the Tradewell Snooker Centre in Hull, while the Belgian Open will be expanded to include players from all-eight classification groups for the first time in 2020.

The tour will also return to Hazel Grove Snooker Club following a successful first event earlier this year, taking a new January slot in the calendar.

Further information in respect of each event will be released over the coming months, including event entry packs and classification information.

Provisional 2019/20 360Fizz WDBS Tour Calendar

28-30 June 2019
Humber Classic (G1-6) – Hull

2-4 August 2019
Welsh Open (G1-8) – Cwmbran

20-22 September 2019
Open Disability Snooker Championship (G1-8) – Northampton

19-20 October 2019
Parris Cues Champion of Champions (G1-8) – Venue TBC

15-17 November 2019
Hull Open (G7-8) – Hull

10-12 January 2020
Stockport Open (G1-6) – Hazel Grove, Stockport

6-8 March 2020
Belgian Open (G1-8) – Bruges, Belgium

May 2020
TBC (G7-8) – Venue TBC

Please note that all dates are provisional and subject to change 

DS Smith to Support Derby Open

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is today pleased to announce that the upcoming Derby Open will be supported by DS Smith.

Entries are already open for the final event of the 2018/19 season which will take place for a third time at the Cueball Derby, one of our most well-established venues.

The weekend will begin on Friday 17 May with an open day for people with all disabilities to come and try snooker, with expert coaches on hand to provide advice and support at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone.

Over the following two days (18-19 May) both deaf and visually impaired players will then compete in tournaments, with a Challenge Cup event on the second day for players who do not progress from the group stage to ensure that everyone has plenty of snooker to enjoy throughout the weekend.

DS Smith is a European leading packaging company of customer-specific packaging with emphasis on state-of-the art packaging design and local service close to customer facilities. The company has a product portfolio that includes transit packaging, consumer packaging, displays and promotional packaging, customised protective packaging and industrial packaging.

The support provided by DS Smith comes as a result of exhibition evenings featuring Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White, held over the last year in Lincoln and organised by former WDBS champion Nigel Coton and his wife Ali. Both events were made possible with the support of DS Smith, with surplus funds from ticket sales donated to WDBS.

Michael Buckley, Managing Director of the DS Smith Featherstone business, who lives near Derby, will be in attendance over the weekend to understand how the WDBS has grown and to present prizes on the Sunday.

Learn more about DS Smith online: www.dssmith.com/uk/packaging

Southern Classic 2019: Tournament Preview

The World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) circuit moves on to Swindon this weekend with the 2019 Southern Classic.

The three-day event takes place for the first time at Jesters Snooker Hall and will include the first tournaments of the year for players from WDBS classification groups 7-8 (sensory disabilities), as well at the latest competitions for our groups 6A and 6B (intellectual disabilities) players.

Open Day

Once again the weekend will begin on Friday with our regular open day, open to people with all disabilities who 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.

We are also looking forward to welcoming a number of special guests for the day, including local schools, team members from local charity Wiltshire Sight and also Robert Buckland QC MP (Conservative, South Swindon).

Groups 6A / 6B

As at last month’s Northern Classic in Stockport, players from both Groups 6A and 6B will compete across two days in separate competitions.

Group 6A is open to people who have an IQ under 75 and evidence of adaptive behaviour or social adaption and so far the group has seen victories for Mike Busst and Mohamed Faisal Butt since it was introduced late last year. Both players will be back in action at Jesters as part of a bumper 16-player field which will include a large contingent from Bristol.

Meanwhile over in Group 6B, which is made up of competitors who have an IQ over 75 and Autism Spectrum Disorder, the field includes the likes of former Northern Classic winner Leroy Williams and reigning Humber Classic champion Peter Geronimo who are among those looking to claim the title.

Joining them will be youngster Oliver Hanson and two newcomers Robert Brennan and Christopher Goldsworthy.

Group 7

Our latest Group 7 event for people with visual disabilities boasts a strong 11-player field which is set to include three debutants in Swindon.

Among the favourites to take the title will be Nick Neale and Paul Smith who between them have won eight of the nine tournaments staged for this group during the past three years, Mike Gillespie’s triumph in Derby back in 2017 the exception to the rule.

They will be joined by regular players including David Baker, and Ron Allen and Bob Craft, all of whom are former WDBS finalists.

Group 8

The biggest field during the weekend will be for the Group 8 deaf competition with 18 players set to battle it out to become champion.

Five-time champion Shabir Ahmed will head to Swindon as the man to beat on the back of his latest success in Hull last November, while the man who defeated him last year at the Champion of Champions Lewis Knowles will be hoping to stop him and claim his second WDBS title.

Former Hull Open champion Blake Munton, Welshman Adam Townsend and regular Tony Davies will be among the other familiar faces joining nine first-time WDBS players going for the title.

The Southern Classic runs from 22-24 March 2019 at Jesters Snooker Hall in Swindon and you can follow updates online at our website and via our social media pages.

Southern Classic Open for Entry

Entries are now being accepted for the all-new Southern Classic which will be held at Jesters Snooker Hall in Swindon from 22-24 March 2019.

The event will be the first of 2019 for people with visual and hearing disabilities (Groups 7-8) and will also incorporate a two-day tournament for players with learning disabilities (Group 6).

Once again the weekend will begin with a day of coaching and practice at which people with all disabilities are encouraged to get involved and participate in snooker. The day will be supported by our team of official WPBSA World Snooker coaches who will be on hand at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone to help people enjoy the day.

The deadline for entries is Friday 15 March 2019.

Hazel Grove Hosts Successful Disability Snooker Event

The first World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) event of 2019 was staged at the Hazel Grove Snooker Club last weekend.

The Northern Classic, sponsored by BB Scaffolding, welcomed players with a variety of physical and learning disabilities to contest six individual competitions across the weekend.

Physical disabilities

There was a familiar winner in the latest Groups 1-2 wheelchair competition as Daniel Lee completed the successful defence of his Northern Classic title with a 3-0 victory against Aslam Abubaker of India.

Winner of the mixed-classification Welsh Open and Champion of Champions competitions already this season, Lee progressed from his three-player round robin group with victories against Tony Southern (3-2) and Shahab Siddiqui (3-1), while Abubaker comfortably saw off Scotland’s Gavin Gormley and Glyn Lloyd without the loss of a frame.

Following a first close frame won by Lee however, the next two would be more one-sided as the 39-year-old secured his first silverware of the new year.

In Group 3 there was a comeback victory for John Teasdale after the Lancaster potter recovered from 2-0 down to defeat Joe Hardstaff 3-2 in the final.

Competing in a newly-revised classification group exclusively open to players with absent or significant upper limb impairments, both came through a four-player round robin group, with Teasdale claiming his first WDBS title since the Challenge Cup back at the 2016 Manchester Classic.

With a number of players having switched from Group 3 to Group 4 for this event, there was a bumper 21-player field with previous winners from both groups to contest the title.

Ultimately however it was 27-year-old Daniel Blunn who emerged victorious to secure a record eighth WDBS win following a 3-0 victory against Peter Yelland.

Competing as a Group 4 player for the first time, Blunn came through his group with a perfect 6-0 record before defeating John Fenwick and David Church in a close semi-final to reach an unprecedented 11th final.

His opponent Peter Yelland meanwhile had a marathon final day in Stockport, initially coming through a three-way play-off match to secure his place in the knockout rounds, before defeating Andy Johnson, Danielle Findlay and defending champion William Thomson to reach the final.

It would though be Blunn who would prevail with a whitewash victory in the showpiece match to extend his unique record of having won a title during each year since the formation of WDBS in 2015.

The highest break of the weekend was made in this competition by Scotland’s William Thomson with a run of 64 during the group stage.

The final competition for players with physical disabilities was won by Preston’s Mickey Chambers, who completed the successful defence of his Group 5 Northern Classic title with a 3-1 success against David Weller.

Chambers, who has previously played for England’s amputee football team, had won his previous two WDBS events and maintained his flawless run for the loss of just two frames during the weekend.

Learning disabilities

The Group 6A competition for people with learning disabilities saw a repeat final from the previous event in Hull, but a different result as Mohammed Faisal Butt defeated Mike Busst 3-1 to claim his maiden WDBS title.

There was however a further repeat winner in the Group 6B tournament as Daniel Harwood claimed his seventh title with a 4-0 final victory against Leroy Williams.

It was their second meeting of the weekend after the pair had earlier met in a five-player group stage, which proved to be far closer with Harwood edging their initial contest 3-2, before the two faced each other again in a one-sided final.

Challenge Cup

The Challenge Cup competition for players not qualified for the knockout rounds was contested between Phil Woodwiss and Wayne Grew, with Skipton’s Woodwiss coming through a 2-0 winner to win his first WDBS medal.

Woodwiss competed in his first competition at the Welsh Open last summer and has been a regular face at events since competing in Group 5.

Open day

Once again the event began with a special open day, which welcomed both regular faces and a number of local organisations to come and try snooker and receive coaching and advice at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone.

Among those to attend were students from two local students, as well as members of the Stockport Cerebral Palsy Society. They were joined by Councillor Walter Brett, Mayor of Stockport for 2018/19 and Coronation Street actor Liam Bairstow, who plays Alex Warner in the ITV soap.

DSActive

The event was also supported by DSActive as part of the new partnership between the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and the Down’s Syndrome Association, with the aim of providing more opportunities for people with Down’s syndrome to play snooker.

Prior to the event a special workshop was run by DSActive for individuals associated with WDBS including the board of directors, referees and coaches. This provided important information about terminology, communication and awareness to enhance the way in which WDBS events are run to give players with Down’s syndrome the best possible experience.

The workshop will also lead to the first snooker club-based sessions led by coaches who attended the session accredited by DSActive, based at clubs affiliated the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards.

WDBS would like to thank our title sponsors BB Scaffolding, represented by owner Bradley Wosahlo and his business partner Brett Downs, as well as club owner Dino Georgiou and his team for their wonderful hospitality over the course of the weekend.

View full tournament results from the main competition via MySnookerStats here.

View event photos at our Facebook page here.

View the updated WDBS Roll of Honour here.