Tag: Richard Bradburn

Champions Crowned in Northampton

Last weekend saw the staging of the record-breaking Fizz Open Disability Snooker Championship at Barratts Snooker Club in Northampton.

The third event of the 2018/19 season organised by World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) boasted an incredible field of 79 competitors across the weekend, smashing the previous record of 55 set at the Welsh Open earlier this year. Players from all eight disability classification groups contested six individual titles, with a mix of new and former champions taking top honours.

Physical disabilities

In the Group 1-2 category for wheelchair players it was Aslam Abubaker who won his first WDBS title. A former runner-up at this event last year in Wolverhampton and July’s Welsh Open, it was to be third time lucky as he defeated Shahab Siddiqui 2-0 to secure victory.

“I am delighted to win,” said Abubaker. “It has been a marvellous snooker tournament and I’m really pleased to get over the line and get a win on the board.”

The Group 3 ambulant competition saw Scotland’s William Thomson complete a hat-trick of WDBS victories with a resounding 4-0 success against defending champion Daniel Blunn. Thomson, who has HMSN type 2, dropped just one frame throughout the event and also made the weekend-high break of 66 across all classifications on his way to the title.

It was a similar story in Group 4-5 as Preston’s Mickey Chambers made it two titles from two with a 3-1 success against 2017 champion David Church. Chambers, who is a lower leg amputee and also represents England’s amputee football team, progressed through to the final without the loss of a frame and was delighted to end the weekend on top again.

“I am very happy both to win and how I was playing all weekend,” said Chambers. “I’ve come up against some new players that I have never played before but I just tried to implement my game and scare my opponents really.

“It has been a long weekend but a fantastic one. I met some really good people and really great players from all different groups. It has been an honour to be involved and I want to thank the sponsors and everyone who came – literally the last frame there you can hear a pin drop and everyone was watching, everyone was involved.”

Groups 6-8

The remaining three events for players with learning and sensory disabilities each saw repeat victories for the trio of players who came out on top at February’s UK Open tournament also in Northampton.

Daniel Harwood completed the successful defence of his Fizz Open title with a dominant 4-0 victory against fellow Liverpudlian Leroy Williams in the final. With four breaks over 30 during the weekend, Harwood dropped just one frame on his way to a fourth WDBS title, the most for a Group 6 player so far.

It was a similar story for former professional Paul Smith who also claimed his fourth WDBS win with a 4-1 success against first-time finalist Ronnie Allen from Wales. Having come through a tight five-player round robin group, Smith defeated Robert Craft in the semi-finals before seeing off Allen in the decisive match to secure yet another title.

“I am very happy with the win and have enjoyed every bit of it,” said Smith. “It is a long day, but most enjoyable and, as always, expertly run. It is like one big family and a joy to be here. I really enjoyed meeting and playing with Ronnie in the final, he is a gracious and humble guy and a very good player too.”

Finally, there was also further glory for Shabir Ahmed who defeated Nikolas De Whytell 4-2 to secure victory. Ahmed did not drop a frame on his way to the final, before seeing off another first-time finalist in De Whytell to win his fourth WDBS crown and confirm his status as the most successful deaf player so far.

“There have been so many players and I have had to be really focused and determined,” said Ahmed. “The final was really difficult, it was a battle, but in the end, I won and I am very happy and pleased with myself. I just want to carry on and keep winning!”

Side-events

The mixed classification Challenge Cup for competitors who did not progress to the knockout rounds of the main tournament was won by Richard Gott and Richard Bradburn, who defeated David Grant and Danny Luton in the final.

It is a second doubles victory for Gott of 2018 after his previous triumph back in Cwmbran this summer.

There was also a win for John Fenwick in our first-ever WDBS billiards competition held on Friday after he defeated Daniel Blunn in a close final to secure victory.

Open day success

Once again, the weekend began with a successful Friday open day which saw visitors including international Paralympic broadcaster Rob Walker, professional stars Kyren Wilson and Harvey Chandler, as well as local MP Michael Ellis and Mayor of Northampton Cllr Tony Ansell stop by to support the event.

The event was also generously supported by FizzThinks360, with company founder Jonny ‘Fizz’ Welch and his team in attendance during the weekend.

WDBS Vice-Chairman Simon Berrisford said: “It has been a fantastic weekend with so many entries. It has been extremely busy but everyone seems happy, we have seen some really high-quality snooker and some good finals on the way.

“It has been great to see so many players travel from overseas and this is what we want to see moving forwards, more nationalities getting involved. The support from Belgium has been fantastic, we were there in March and now they are coming to our events. We’ve had Andy Lam from Hong Kong and the guys from Poland have really enjoyed their first event too.”

We would finally like to thank everybody at Barratts Snooker Club, for their support during the weekend once again. We are also delighted that during the weekend the venue became the latest venue to sign up to the 147 Club, the official club affiliation scheme of the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards.

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.

New Champions Crowned at Hull Open

The 888lcd.co.uk Hull Open saw new winners this evening in both the Group 7 and 8 competitions staged at the Tradewell Snooker Club.

Returning to the East Yorkshire venue for a second successive year, the event proved to be the biggest yet staged by World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS), with a record 49 players taking part from just three classification groups.

Coventry’s Nick Neale emerged victorious in the Group 7 competition for people with visual disabilities following an emphatic 4-0 final victory against Paul Hunter Disability Classic champion Mike Gillespie. Runner-up at the event 12 months ago, Neale went one better following a weekend which saw him dominate the high breaks chart, recording eight of the ten highest breaks within his category including a top run of 51.

Neale recently grabbed the headlines recently by making his first 147 break in practice and would in fact achieve the rare feat of claiming the title without the loss of a frame. Having topped his group with four wins from four, he then defeated David Baker in the semi-finals to set up the decisive battle against local player Gillespie.

In Group 8 meanwhile there was a dramatic maiden victory for Grimsby’s Blake Munton, who edged out Richard Gott 3-2 to claim the gold medal.

The event was by far the biggest staged for deaf players so far with a record 26 entries received and Blake impressed throughout the weekend in Hull, topping his group without the loss of a frame before defeating Lewis Knowles and David Grant to reach his first WDBS final. Opponent Gott meanwhile also won his group, adding knockout victories against Adam Duke, Mike Bryan and Derby winner Shabir Ahmed to make the Hull final for a second successive year.

Hull

The showpiece match proved the be one of the most dramatic in WDBS history as having taken two of the first three frames, Munton potted ‘match ball’ black in frame four to complete a fantastic clearance, only to see the cue ball come back up the table and hit the rest which had still been left on the table. With a foul correctly called by referee Mark King, the match was sent into a deciding frame, which saw Blake cast aside the obvous disappointment felt to clinch the title.

The Challenge Cup event for players who had not made it through to the knockout rounds following Saturday’s group stages was won by Richard Bradburn, who defeated 16-year-old debutant Ben Chappell 2-1 in the final.

With the support of event sponsors 888lcd.co.uk, J&S Trading and Hudgell Solicitors, prize money was offered to all players who reached the latter stages of both competitions, as well as the Group 6 event won by Daniel Harwood on Friday.

The WDBS tour will return in 2018. Learn more about the events confirmed for next year so far at our Events page.