Category: Hull Open

Champions Crowned at Hull Open

This year’s final World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) event was completed last weekend as our latest champions were celebrated at the Hull Open, sponsored by the Humber Fish Co.

Returning to the popular Tradewell Snooker Club for its fourth staging, the event saw competitions held for deaf and partially sighted players across the weekend, with 26 players taking part.

The event also featured a busy Friday Open Day, which welcomed approximately 40 people attending from local disability groups who came to try snooker in a fun and friendly environment under the guidance of WPBSA World Snooker coaches.

Rees Reigns

There was a debut win for Ireland’s Dylan Rees in the Group 7 competition for people with visual disabilities as he defeated former champion Paul Smith 4-0 to make it a weekend to remember in East Yorkshire.

Competing in his first WDBS event, Rees emerged from his round robin group with a perfect record following victories against Ben Chappell, Gary Gallacher and David Baker, before edging 2017 runner-up Mike Gillespie 3-2 to progress to the title match.

There he would face four-time WDBS winner and 2016 Hull champion Paul Smith, who had himself topped his group with three wins against Gillespie, Ronnie Allen and Bob Craft, before ending the hopes of local player Ben Chappell, who was competing in the knockout rounds for the first time, with a 3-1 success.

The final would prove to be one-way traffic however as Rees, who also made the weekend-high break of 64, raced to a 4-0 victory to secure his first gold medal.

Shabir Equals Blunn Record

In Group 8 there was a landmark victory for Blackburn’s Shabir Ahmed, who edged out first-time finalist Gary Taylor 4-3 to claim a record-equalling tenth WDBS victory on Sunday.

In the latest tournament held for deaf players, regular winner Ahmed came through a four-player group with victories against Daniel Booth, Richard Gott and Mark Johnson, joining a strong field including former WDBS champions Lewis Knowles and Nicholas Cash in the last eight.

There Ahmed would face Nicholas Wiltshire, before victory saw him through to a semi-final clash with Nicholas Cash, a repeat of their dramatic final in Derby won by Cash on the final black. This time however it would be Ahmed who would progress to yet another title match as he potted the final four colours to win a deciding-frame.

Awaiting him would be Gary Taylor, a man competing in only his second event having lost out to Ahmed in the last four at this year’s UK Disability Championship in Northampton. Having progressed from his round robin group, Taylor defeated Nikolas de Whytell and Lewis Knowles – the latter in a dramatic match which saw all three frames decided on the black – to reach his first final.

The decisive battle looked like going according to the script as Ahmed raced into a 2-0 lead, but Taylor responded in fine style by taking the following three to turn the match on its head and stand just one frame from taking his first title.

Ahmed however has not enjoyed the success he has on the WDBS circuit without being able to respond to a challenge and he recovered to take the final two frames and with it a tenth WDBS title, equalling the record set by Group 4 player Daniel Blunn at September’s UK Championship in Northampton.

The Challenge Cup tournament for players who did not qualify for the knockout rounds was won by David Baker, who repeated his 2016 success at the same venue with a 2-1 victory against Ronnie Allen in the final.

The next WDBS event will be the Stockport Open which will run from 10-12 January 2020 at the Hazel Grove Snooker Club.

View full tournament results and information here.

View the updated WDBS Roll of Honour here.

Hull Open – Enter Now

Entries are now being accepted for the Hull Open which will return to the Tradewell Snooker Club for its fourth staging from 15-17 November 2019.

As in previous years, the event will 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.

The weekend itself will then see competitive tournaments staged for deaf and visually impaired players (WDBS Classification Groups 7-8) from Saturday morning, with everyone guaranteed snooker across both days.

As in 2018, the event will be sponsored by Humber Fish Co. The popular local restaurant provides relaxed informal dining specialising in locally sourced seafood and crustacea, having gone from strength to strength since its opening in 2018.

Disability Snooker Success at Hull Open

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) brought the curtain down on a record-breaking year for disability snooker with the staging of the third Hull Open tournament last weekend.

Once again held at the Tradewell Snooker Club in Hull, the event saw competitions held for deaf and partially sighted players across the weekend, as well as a one-day competition for people with learning disabilities on Friday.

The event was sponsored for the first time by Humber Fish Co, with co-owner James Stockdale attending during the event’s final day for the medal presentation to the players.

Neale defends title

Coventry’s Nick Neale completed the successful defence of his Hull Open title following a comfortable 4-0 victory against David Baker in Sunday’s final.

Neale had already made fond memories at the event which saw him make his WDBS debut back in 2016, before he won his maiden title a year and he was once again the standout player in Group 7 this time around.

Having dropped two frames during the round robin group stage, he then saw off David Martin in the semi-finals and then David Baker in the final with a perfect record. He also made seven of the top ten breaks in the Group including a top run of 68.

Five-star Shabir

In Group 8 there was victory for Blackburn’s Shabir Ahmed, who defeated newcomer Mick Chew 4-0 in the final to win his fifth WDBS title.

Ahmed, who had previously not come out on top in Hull, did not have things all his own way however and came within one ball of defeat during a tight semi-final contest with Daniel Harvest, before coming through in a deciding frame.

The final would prove more one-sided however as the man who only last week finished in third place at this year’s Deaf Sports Personality of the Year Awards, whitewashed Grimsby’s Mick Chew to secure the title.

It was an extra-special weekend for Ahmed as he made the weekend high-break of 81 during the round-robin group stages.

Harwood, Busst victorious in Group 6

For the first time our Friday event saw separate tournaments held for both people who have learning disabilities (Group 6A) and those with autism spectrum disorder (Group 6B).

In Group 6A there was a maiden title success for regular player Mike Busst, who defeated Faisal Butt in the final to secure victory.

Meanwhile in Group 6B there was an impressive sixth WDBS victory for Liverpool’s Daniel Harwood, who topped a six-player group ahead of Andrew Galley.

The latest success for Harwood sees him draw level with Group 3 star Daniel Blunn for the most WDBS titles won by an individual player since the first event was held back in November 2015.

Once again WDBS would like to thank all of the players, officials, supporters and our hosts at the Tradewell Snooker Centre who have also provided an extra prize to the finalists of both the Group 7 and 8 events, who will be invited to attend an exhibition with snooker icon Jimmy White early next year.

We would also like to thank our coaching team of Steve Rutter and Chris Lovell, who managed the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone during the weekend and helped both groups and individual players to engage with snooker.

Our next event will be the Northern Classic which will run from 8-10 February 2018, with further information to be announced very shortly.

View full tournament results from the competition via MySnookerStats here.

View event photos at our Facebook page here.

View the updated WDBS Roll of Honour here.

New Plans For Disability Snooker Coaching

We are today excited to confirm new developments for coaching at World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) events, with WPBSA World Snooker coach Steve Rutter to lead coaching at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone from the upcoming Hull Open.

WDBS was created with the goal of providing more opportunities for people with disabilities to play snooker competitively, however equally as important as tournament play is the inclusion of people with disabilities in what we firmly believe is a sport for all. This has been encouraged by regular open days at the start of each of our events at which people with disabilities can try snooker, whether they are experienced players or are picking up a cue for the first time, with accredited WPBSA World Snooker coaches on hand to provide guidance and advice free of charge.

As part of our ongoing development we have now identified a need to provide greater structure at these open days and increased opportunity for people to participate in group sessions. To help us to provide this service we are pleased to be working with experienced snooker coach Steve Rutter, who has a background in education and working with people with learning disabilities. Steve has been in regular attendance at WDBS events during the past 18 months, both mentoring the individual players including Blake Munton and Josh Morrison and also supporting our wider coaching activities.

“I feel honoured and privileged to be asked to be lead coach at WDBS events,” said Rutter. “It means a lot to me on a personal level to be entrusted with this role and I am excited by the plans that we have to take the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone to the next level.”

“It has been great to be a part of WDBS coaching days recently and they have been a real eye-opener for me. I already knew that there was a need for coaching at disability events but I didn’t know the range of abilities within disability snooker. I’ve been really impressed by the actual ability of some of the players and what they have to overcome just to be able to play.

“I have taken a lot from it personally, with respect to how I approach the game when coaching people with disabilities. I enjoy coaching Blake who has come on leaps and bounds in recent months and I have seen the progression of a lot of players over the year I’ve been involved.”

Since the start of the 2018/19 season our Coaching Zone has been sponsored by Go Green Energy, the Tamworth-based independent renewal able energy company for whom our most-decorated player Daniel Blunn works for full-time when he is not on the baize. Rutter was part of the coaching team at the recent Open Disability Snooker Championship in Northampton at which new group sessions were introduced for the first time, something that the team plans to build upon further at future events.

“The goal in Northampton was to be more structured,” explains Rutter. “For the people who were just coming for the Friday to try the sport and see what was going on, the difference was that the day was not ad hoc. We had a team of coaches there and they were allocated tables and specific coaching sessions for which people coming for the first time could book sessions.

“For example I ran a table for demonstration and discussion, including a 20 minute session on the subject of stun, top and screw shots. We had discussions around the issues that each player with specific disabilities have with a stun shot, e.g with some disabilities such as cerebral palsy it is about their balance, while people in wheelchairs have a longer cue extension from bridge to ball so I had to think on my feet to come up with solutions.

“Looking forward to our next event the Hull Open I have already worked on a guided timetable of events which will be set out on a board and people can put their names down for particular sessions. We plan to have at least three tables, for demonstration and discussion, one-to-one sessions and traditional Cue Zone style activities, but will also remain flexible to accommodate people’s needs on the day. I am really looking forward to it!”

The Go Green Energy Coaching Zone will return as part of the Hull Open, to be held at the Tradewell Snooker Club on Friday 16th November from 10:00am, with Steve and his team of expert coaches on hand to welcome both new and returning faces on the day.

Learn more about the Hull Open here.

Humber Fish Co. to Sponsor Hull Open

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is pleased to announce that next month’s Hull Open will be sponsored for the first time by Humber Fish Co.

Returning to the Tradewell Snooker Club for the third time on 16-18 November 2018, the Hull Open will again feature two-day tournaments for deaf and visually impaired players, won last year by Blake Munton and Nick Neale respectively.

The event will begin with a Friday Open Day at which people with all disabilities are encouraged to come along and play snooker, whether they have experience or are picking up a cue for the first time. The day will be supported by WPBSA World Snooker coaches who will provide a mix of fun activities, one to one coaching and group sessions on a particular topic at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone.

Opened in July 2018 by James Stockdale and Paula Howarth, the Humber Fish Co. provides relaxed informal dining specialising in locally sourced seafood and crustacea. Currently three weeks in advance for weekend bookings, the restaurant is in high demand and recently launched a fantastic new menu, with a five-course tasting menu with live music on offer for the New Year.

With the support of Humber Fish Co. and further sponsors to be announced in due course, WDBS can confirm that prize money will once again be offered at the event. There will also be a special bonus prize on offer to each of the finalists at the Group 7 and 8 competitions courtesy of the Tradewell Snooker Club.

Entries for the event remain open until 9 November 2018. Please click HERE for more information and to download the full entry form.

Learn more about Humber Fish Co. at its website:

www.humberfishco.co.uk