Tag: Lewis Knowles

Field Set for Parris Cues Champion of Champions 2019

There is less than one week to go until the second staging of the Parris Cues Champion of Champions by World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) and we can today confirm the 23-player field who will compete at the event this year.

As in 2018, six tournaments will be held at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester from 12-13 October, with the most successful players from the previous two years invited to compete.

Each of the tournaments will begin with a round-robin group stage, with the top two players at the end of the group to contest a title match to decide the Champion of Champions for each classification.

The players who will be competing are:

Groups 1-2

Aslam Abubaker, Shahab Siddiqui, Danny Luton

Groups 4-5

Daniel Blunn, William Thomson, Mickey Chambers, David Church

Group 6A

Faisal Butt, Mike Busst, Michael Farrell, Warren Ealy

Group 6B

Leroy Williams, Peter Geronimo, Christopher Goldsworthy*

Group 7

Gary Gallacher, Nick Neale, Ronnie Allen, Mike Gillespie

Group 8

Shabir Ahmed, Lewis Knowles, Blake Munton, Nicholas Cash

*only three players will contest Group 6B due to the non-entry of the remaining eligible players

As previously stated, this year’s event will not include tournaments for Groups 3 and 7A due to only one counting event having been played for each category following the changes to the WDBS Classification system made this year. Results from tournaments already played will however be carried forward to next year’s Champion of Champions event.

In addition to becoming champion of their respective groups, this year’s winners will each be presented with the perpetual Nick Oliver Trophy and will receive a keepsake trophy to take home and keep.

Further tournament information, including the prize money schedule and match schedule will be published in due course.

Champion of Champions to Return to Gloucester

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is today pleased to confirm that this season’s Parris Cues Champion of Champions event will return to the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester following its successful first staging last year.

In a change to the previously announced dates – the prestigious event will run from 12-13 October 2019, a week earlier than originally advertised.

This year’s competition will see the most decorated players on the WDBS circuit from the past two seasons invited to compete across six individual competitions, with the winners set to see their names inscribed on the stunning Nick Oliver Trophy.

The players who will be invited to compete in this year’s event are:

Groups 1-2

Daniel Lee, Aslam Abubaker, Kurt Deklerck, Shahab Siddiqui*

*Tony Southern has already indicated that he will not be available to compete

Groups 4-5

Daniel Blunn, Mickey Chambers, William Thomson, David Church.

Group 6A

Faisal Butt, Mike Busst, David Mac, Michael Farrell.

Group 6B

Daniel Harwood, Leroy Williams, Peter Geronimo, Andrew Galley.

Group 7

Nick Neale, Paul Smith, Ronnie Allen, Mike Gillespie.

Group 8

Shabir Ahmed, Blake Munton, Nicholas Cash, Lewis Knowles.

WDBS can confirm that this year’s event will not include tournaments for Groups 3 and 7A due to only one counting event having been played for each category following the changes to the WDBS Classification system made this year. Results from tournaments already played will however be carried forward to next year’s Champion of Champions event.

Each of the players listed above will be contacted to confirm their entry to the event in due course. Should any player not be available their place will be taken by the next player on the qualification list from that group.

Read our report of last season’s Champion of Champions HERE.

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.

Winners Crowned at Champion of Champions

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) successfully staged its prestigious new Parris Cues Champion of Champions event for the first time last weekend in Gloucester.

Held at the South West Snooker Academy, the event brought together 24 players who competed across six competitions representing each of our regular disability classification groups to determine this year’s overall champions.

As well as prize money, the players were competing for the magnificent Nick Oliver Trophy (learn more about Nick and his story here), as well as a place at next year’s World Snooker Federation Championships in Dubai, with travel/hotel costs to be paid by regular WDBS sponsors 360Fizz.

Physical disabilities

There was victory for Daniel Lee in the Groups 1-2 wheelchair competition as he defeated the experienced Tony Southern 4-2 to win his biggest WDBS title to date.

Already a three-time WDBS champion coming into the event, Lee narrowly defeated two-time WDBS champion Graham Bonnell 3-2 in his opening match before edging out Craig Welsh and Tony Southern to qualify for the final, while Southern also survived a close match with Bonnell on his way to securing second position in the group.

It was a close final in which Tony threatened to a force a deciding frame, but it was Lee who was able to pot the final colours and secure victory.

“It has been a great honour to be part of this event this weekend,” said Lee. “I am very happy. The prize on offer [a place in Dubai] was definitely in the background and it was a very tight, tough match in the final. Tony has been around a long time and it became a bit of a battle, but I am just happy to get through it.

“It [a place at the WSF Championships] has given me motivation to practice for sure. To be able to go out there and represent WDBS and show what people in a wheelchair can do, I will give myself every chance and practice hard. Realistically it is going to be tough for me but I’m going to enjoy the experience and I’m grateful to be there. I just want to go over and promote this brand [WDBS] and what we are all about. We will conduct ourselves in the right way, enjoy it and give it our best shot.”

In Group 3 there was a win for Daniel Blunn who became the first player to reach the milestone of having won six WDBS titles following a 4-2 victory against Scotland’s William Thomson in the final.

The event marked a significant turnaround for Daniel who lost 4-0 to Thomson in the final of last month’s Open Disability Snooker Championship in Northampton, his third final loss to his rival since 2016. This weekend however saw Blunn record a comfortable 3-0 victory against the Scot in the round robin group stage, before coming out on top a 4-2 winner in the overall group final to book his place on the plane to Dubai next spring.

“I know I have won five tournaments prior to this but I have been beaten by William in three finals so obviously I am glad to win this one, it is my time,” said Blunn, who has cerebral palsy. “I’ve beaten him before in group games here and in Preston, but never in a final so it was good to get one back I suppose. He didn’t play as well as he can to be honest and I didn’t either, but I was able to pot the crucial balls and crucial times, stay in front and got through.”

Earlier this year Daniel became the inaugural winner of the WDBS Belgian Open in his classification, a trip that was actually his first ever overseas and he can now look forward to his second snooker tournament outside of the UK in Dubai.

“I will have to bring some sun tan lotion, it’s quite hot so I hear!” added Blunn. “It will be very tough but there are six pockets, we have all got tips on the end of our cues, let’s have a go and see what we can do. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be there. There’s no reason why we can’t compete among able-bodied people, everyone can play snooker.”

Meanwhile in Group 4-5 we saw David Church come through the field to win his second WDBS title with a 4-1 victory against David Moore.

Having been invited to the event as a late replacement for India’s Raja Subramanian, David Moore impressed in the round robin group stages by winning both of his matches to top the group. Despite taking the opening frame in the final however, it was Church, who had already come through a long match on Sunday morning against Andy Johnson to qualify for the final, who took the next four to win his first title since the 2017 Open Disability Snooker Championship.

“I didn’t really play well all weekend really, but I kept hanging in there, doing what I could do and I managed to get the win on the weekend,” said Church. “To come through a four and a half hour match in the final knowing that whoever won would get to the final, I was happy I got through and that I had given myself a chance. Now I’ve won this one, I have got a trophy to take home and a plane ticket to Dubai so I am very happy.

“Dubai will be the furthest that I have ever travelled, it’s amazing whether I win a match or not. I am not going to go there expecting to win, I am just going to play and if I win a game I will be happy and if not it’s a great experience.”

Groups 6-8

In the Group 6 classification group for players with intellectual disabilities there was a fifth WDBS title for Daniel Harwood, who defeated fellow Liverpudlian Andrew Galley 5-1 in the final. The pair had already enjoyed a high-quality match in the round robin stages which saw four breaks made over 50 including a tournament-high run of 77 by Harwood on his way to a 4-2 win and it was the serial champion who was able to repeat that victory in the final.

In Group 7 there was a third WDBS title for Coventry’s Nick Neale, who whitewashed four-time champion Paul Smith to complete a dominant weekend during which he dropped just two frames in Gloucester.

“I am over the moon because there is such a big prize at the end of it,” said Neale. “It has been a long couple of days but I am really happy to win. It means the world to me because it has been a long road back for me to pick my cue up again, I didn’t think that I would ever play again but my girlfriend and my dad gave me a kick up the backside and said I was too good not to play. This is a dream because I have put a lot of hard work in and to be going to Dubai to play in such a great event, I am really looking forward to it.

“My goal coming into the weekend was to try to play good snooker and to get to the final and then I thought to myself over the best of nine, even if you go two or three behind you can still get back into the match. The atmosphere out there was great and to be back playing in an arena like that was definitely a good buzz.”

The final match of the weekend to finish was a dramatic Group 8 final which saw Lewis Knowles edge out Shabir Ahmed 5-4 to win his first ever WDBS title, after three previous final defeats to Ahmed during the past 18 months.

The tone was set in the opening frame which was won by Knowles on a re-spotted black, with the underdog moving into a 4-2 lead after the first six frames. Back however came four-time WDBS champion Ahmed, a clearance of 22 in frame eight bringing him back level and forcing a deciding frame for the title.

Having suffered close defeats to Ahmed in the past, it was impressive to see Knowles perhaps play his best frame of the match when it really mattered, eventually coming through on the colours to secure the title and become this year’s Champion of Champion in the deaf classification group.

The event was sponsored for the first time by Parris Cues, with founder and renowned cue maker John Parris on site throughout the weekend and on hand to present the trophies. Each player received their own trophy to take home and keep in recognition of their achievement this year, as well as being presented with the stunning Nick Oliver Trophy, a perpetual trophy which will have the names of each of our winners engraved on its base following this event.

WDBS would like to thank John for his support and also Cathy and Vince, who joined us on what was an emotional final day of the event for both as their late son Nick Oliver was remembered during the presentation of the trophy.

We would also like to thank Tony Cannon, who volunteered his services to help us provide live streaming of a WDBS event via YouTube for the first time, while regular helper Michael Day also provided excellent commentary during the weekend, supported by other members of the WDBS team and players. You can watch back all of the footage from the weekend here.

Finally, we would also like to thank all of the players, officials, supporters and our venue at the South West Snooker Academy, which of course was where the WDBS began with its first event back in 2015. The continued growth of the organisation owes its thanks to the support that has been received by many and we will continue to provide more and more opportunities for disabled people to play cuesports in the future.

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.

Parris Cues Champion of Champions 2018: Tournament Information

The full match schedule for the Parris Cues Champion of Champions 2018 is now available.

As always, the latest results and group standings will be published throughout the weekend at MySnookerStats via the following links:

As previously announced, the winners of each group competition will also be invited to play at the 2019 WSF Championships in Dubai.

Read more about the event here.

Field Confirmed for Parris Cues Champion of Champions

Later this month World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) will host the Parris Cues Champion of Champions for the first time and we can today reveal the 24 players who will be competing in the event.

To be held at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester on the weekend of 20-21 October 2018, the event will comprise six tournaments with the most successful four players from each of the regular WDBS classification groups between November 2015 – May 2018 invited to participate.

Each of the tournaments will begin with a round-robin group stage, with the top two players at the end of the group to contest a title match to decide the Champion of Champions for each classification.

The players who will be competing are:

Groups 1-2

Graham Bonnell, Craig Welsh, Daniel Lee, Tony Southern

Group 3

Daniel Blunn, Nigel Coton, William Thomson, Andrew Harper

Groups 4-5

Raja Subramanian, Andy Johnson, David Church, David Weller

Group 6

Daniel Harwood, Leroy Williams, Rich Yendle, Andrew Galley

Group 7

Paul Smith, Nick Neale, Mike Gillespie, David Baker

Group 8

Shabir Ahmed, Blake Munton, Lewis Knowles, Richard Gott

As previously announced, each of the six winners will receive an invitation to compete at next year’s WSF Championships in Dubai, with the costs of their travel and hotel to be sponsored by 360Fizz.

The winners will also receive the first prize and be presented with the Nick Oliver Trophy by John Parris, of the event sponsor Parris Cues. Each group winner will also receive their own trophy to take home and keep.

The Parris Cues Champion of Champions will become an annual event on the calendar, with the top performing players from each group over a two-year period qualifying for the event.

Spectators are encouraged to attend and support the players competing in the event.

Image of snooker balls

Watch: New WDBS Video

Watch our new video as we hear from some of our World Disability Billiards and Snooker players about their stories and their experiences at WDBS events.

The video features Mickey Chambers, Robert Craft, Kal Mattu, Niteshk Chavda, Lee Finbow, Lewis Knowles, Christof Niklaus, William Thomson and interpreter Yvonne Thomas.

Thank you to Jamie Hyde for his hard work both filming and producing this video for us.

Watch below or via the WPBSA YouTube channel HERE.

Daniel Lee Wins in Wales

Daniel Lee emerged victorious from a record-breaking field of 55 players to win this year’s Welsh Open in Cwmbran last weekend following a 2-1 victory against Aslam Abubaker.

Organised by World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS), the event returned to Redz Snooker Club following a successful first staging a year ago and once again welcomed players with a range of disabilities including physical, hearing, visual and learning disabilities who competed against each other across the weekend.

Incredibly, the quarter-final line-up included players from seven of the eight WDBS classification groups (2-7), in a demonstration of the strength in depth across the field and the inclusivity of what was the biggest WDBS field to date in its three-year history.

Title hat-trick for Lee

Aylebury’s Daniel Lee, previously successful at Groups 1-2 WDBS tournaments in Wolverhampton and Preston during the past 12 months, made it through to his first mixed-classification final following victories against Ron Allen, David Moore and another former WDBS champion David Church in the knockout rounds.

There he would face fellow wheelchair player Aslam Abubaker, who stunned the defending champion Daniel Blunn 3-1 at the last 16 stage before adding the scalps of Lewis Knowles and three-time Group 6 champion Dan Harwood to qualify for the showpiece match.

In keeping with the rest of the weekend, the final proved to be a dramatic affair which swung one way and then the other, eventually coming down to the final colours in a deciding frame. Ultimately it was Lee who would prevail after Abubaker had looked set to win before snookering himself on what would have been the match-ball pink when attempting to clear.

The highest break of the six-red competition was 43, made by Nick Neale during the group stage.

New doubles winners crowned

Elsewhere the Mixed Classification Doubles event saw Richard Gott and Danielle Findlay claim victory following a 2-0 success against Graham Bonnell and newcomer Peter Yelland.

The competition, which included players who had not qualified for Sunday’s knockout rounds following the previous day’s group matches, saw 13 pairs battle it out for the title and Gott make it third time lucky having twice finished as runner-up at the Hull Open, while Findlay claimed her second victory following success at the Challenge Cup in Belgium earlier this year.

The weekend was generously supported by tournament sponsors FizzThinks360 and RBF Comms, with Jonny ‘Fizz’ Welch on hand throughout the final Sunday to present the medals and participation certificates to the competitors.

The event was also attended by leading World Snooker referee and tournament director Paul Collier, who kindly donned his white gloves to officiate several matches during the round robin stages.

WDBS would also like to thank all of the players who travelled to compete in the event and our hosts Redz Snooker Club for their support during 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.

Derby Success for Neale and Ahmed

The Paul Hunter Disability Classic successfully returned to the Cueball Derby last weekend as World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) staged its latest event for players with learning and sensory disabilities.

The final event of the 2017/18 season, the weekend saw a significant increase in entries from the inaugural competition at the same venue a year previously as two past champions claimed their latest WDBS titles.

The Group 7 tournament for players with visual disabilities saw Birmingham’s Nick Neale claim his second WDBS gold medal following a dominant display in Derby.

Nick Neale playing snooker

Following victories against Phillip Murphy and David Baker in the knockout rounds, the title match saw Neale face defending champion Mike Gillespie in a repeat of last November’s Hull Open final. The pair split the opening two frames, but it was the rapidly-improving Neale who added the next two to secure victory.

Neale also secured the highest break of the weekend with a brilliant run of 92, further breaks of 82, 67, 57 and 54 meaning that he finished with four of the five highest breaks of the category.

The Group 8 deaf event meanwhile saw Shabir Ahmed complete the successful defence of his first WDBS title earned year ago following a repeat victory against Lewis Knowles in a dramatic title decider.

A year ago it was Ahmed who ran out a comfortable 3-0 winner but as Knowles moved 2-1 ahead it appeared as though the three-time finalist was closing in on gold for the first time at a WDBS competition. Ahmed however was not to be denied and stormed back to take the final two frames, the last on the final black with a magnificent clearance of 33 from the last red.

The win is Ahmed’s third WDBS title overall and sees him become the first-ever player in Group 8 to claim back-to-back titles following his victory in Northampton back in February, also against Knowles for whom the wait for a maiden title goes on.

Once again the event was sponsored by the Paul Hunter Foundation, with WPBSA World Snooker coach Steve Rutter present on behalf of the Foundation to present medals and certificates to participants and winners. Thank you also to Yvonne Thomas who again provided excellent BSL interpreting throughout the weekend.

The event was visited by professional snooker player Eden Sharav and the Mayor of Derby Councillor John Whitby, who watched our Group 6 players in action during the Friday competition won by WDBS debutant Andrew Galley. WDBS also welcomed Craig Crowley MBE, a well-known figure in the deaf community and former Deaflympics President who visited to discuss future developments with players.

The next stop on the WDBS circuit will be another return trip from 2017, this time to Redz Snooker Club in Cwmbran for the 2018 Welsh Open. Taking place across the weekend of 29 June – 1 July 2018, the unique event will be open to players from all eight disability classification groups and will be played under the 6-Red format of the game.

Full information, including the event entry pack will be released later this week.

Disability Snooker Success at Parris Cues UK Open

A trio of former winners on the World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) circuit claimed more silverware at the Parris Cues UK Open at Barratts Snooker and Sports Club, Northampton, last weekend

The event was the second WDBS event of 2018 following the Northern Classic earlier in the month and saw players with both sensory and learning disability return to competitive action.

The weekend began with the Group 6 event for players with learning disabilities and saw Daniel Harwood win his third WDBS title from four attempts.

Harwood topped the round robin group with a 100% record and went on to meet fellow Liverpudlian Leroy Jay Williams in the final. Williams was the champion of the previous Group 6 event in Preston a fortnight ago and has now reached four consecutive WDBS finals

However, Harwood denied him a title double, winning the final to add to his previous victories on tour in Wolverhampton and Hull last year.

The remainder of the weekend saw attention turn to the Group 7 and 8 events for players with visual disabilities and deaf players.

On Sunday, the first championship to be decided was the Group 8 competition where Shabir Ahmed took the honours.

Ahmed won all his group matches on Saturday to qualify top and reach the semi-finals where he would face reigning Hull Open champion Blake Munton. In one of the most exciting finishes of the weekend, Ahmed recovered from the loss of the opening frame to take the contest on the final black in the decider with a fantastic long-range effort.

The final would be a repeat of last year’s Paul Hunter Disability Classic decider between Ahmed and Lewis Knowles. Looking for his first WDBS success, Knowles was also undefeated throughout the weekend, having not dropped a frame en route.

In an engrossing final, though, an emotional Ahmed wrapped up a 3-1 win for his second WDBS title on the circuit.

Elsewhere, former professional Paul Smith won his third WDBS title, but first since 2016 in Group 8 following a 3-0 victory over maiden finalist Bob Craft.

Smith was irresistible in Northampton, not losing a match, and compiled the tournament’s highest break with a run of 68 in the final.

The event was supported by title sponsor Parris Cues, with founder and renowned cuemaker John Parris in attendance on the final day at Barratts to present the medals.  The event was also sponsored by Deaf Hub UK, who provided interpreter services and additional media support throughout the weekend.

Also supporting the event were recent Masters finalist Kyren Wilson and World Ladies Billiards and Snooker number eight ranked player Diana Schuler from Germany.

The next stop on the WDBS circuit will be a historic one as the tour heads overseas for the first time for the WDBS Belgian Open, to be staged in Bruges from 23-25 March 2018.

Entries for the event remain open, with full information available HERE.