Tag: Shabir Ahmed

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.

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.

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.

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.

Nick Neale plays snooker shot

New Champions Crowned at Paul Hunter Disability Classic

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) held its largest snooker event to date for people with hearing and visual impairments last weekend at the Cueball in Derby.

Following previous competitions in Woking and Hull, the Paul Hunter Disability Classic saw a significant increase in entries from Group 7-8 classifications, with new players from across the country joining previous champions and loyal supporters.

Group 7 winner Mike Gillespie

There was a debut winner in the Group 7 competition as Mike Gillespie defeated Paul Smith 3-1 in the final. Gillespie, who discovered the WDBS following the previous event in Hull, progressed through his group in second place, before stunning Gary Gallacher 3-0 in the semi-finals to set up a clash with two-time WDBS champion Smith.

After dropping the opening frame, Gillespie won the next three to clinch victory. Smith however, can at least take some consolation from having made the overall high break during the weekend.

In Group 8, WDBS newcomer Shabir Ahmed claimed victory in the deaf classification for the loss of just one frame across the weekend. Having come through his group in top spot, he then whitewashed Darrel Carter, Blake Munton and finally Lewis Knowles to seal the win.

The Challenge Cup, an event held for players who did not progress through the group stages of the main competitions, was won by Group 8 player Alan Crane, who defeated Christof Niklaus in the final.

Group 8 winner Shabir Ahmed

Finally, as at the previous WDBS event in Manchester, there was also a competition held on Friday for people with learning disabilities (Group 6), alongside an open day for all players with disabilities. The event was won by Ben Rodgers, who defeated David Mac 2-1 in the final to make it a clean sweep for debutants in Derby.

As ever, the event was supported by a team of WPBSA World Snooker coaches, including venue owner Danny Cooper, the Cueball having proved another popular addition to the WDBS calendar.

WPBSA World Snooker coach Simon Berrisford said: “On behalf of the Paul Hunter Foundation and supporting sponsor J&S Trading I would like to thank the WDBS players and staff for this weekend’s event at the Cueball Derby. The level of play was exceptional and the commitment of the players involved was incredible. The WDBS playing community are an inspirational and rapidly growing part of the future of snooker, both in the UK and worldwide.”

The next WDBS tournament will be the inaugural 2017 WDBS Welsh Open on 30 June – 2 July 2017 at Redz Snooker Club, Cwmbran. For the first time, the event will be open to players from all eight disability classification groups, with matches to be played under a six-red format. The entry pack is available to download now from wdbs.info

View event photos from Derby on the WDBS Facebook page at each of the following links:

Final results are available via the following links to MySnookerStats: