Donlon is run close but in the end the Disher prevailed
Total9ball was back again this weekend for Undisputed Judgement Day 2015. This was originally planned as a four event series with a Grand Final at the end, however T9B have made the decision to make it five single events. This enables us to offer impressive prize money at each event and it’s less commitment for players that compete. Judgement Day is one of Total9ball’s showpiece events with a straight knock-out format, no handicaps, races to 15 racks and winner breaks. This really is an event with a great opportunity for players to gauge where their game is, as well as gaining lots of experience of tournament play, how to settle and feel comfortable during matches which is very valuable to all players.
The Hurricane Room in High Wycombe was selected as the venue for this fantastic event which attracted 22 players from all over the country.
Thanks to Dynamic Billard for sponsoring this event.
Matches kic0ked off at 10.30am with some lucky players beginning the event just one match win away from the prize money. Total9ball’s match length as standard is race to seven racks plus the handicaps so these matches were more than double the usual length, it really does allow players to play their way into the match and means the game shouldn’t be settled by luck. There were a few very tasty matches drawn in round one. None bigger than Ant Ginn vs Tommy Donlon. The match began at an even pace with the players sharing the first eight racks. Tommy then began to pull away dropping only another four racks throughout the match to book his place in the last 16, 15v8. Talking of big matches, it wasn’t long before another one kicked off with Benji Buckley taking on Rich Twomey. This match was a lot more one sided than many would imagine as Benji took it 15 racks to 3. Rich did have mitigating circumstances however for the unexpected heavy defeat. There was a repeat of T9B’s most recent Final as Ashik Nathwani took on Steve Chick. Ashik ran out a comfortable winner 15v4. Courtney Symons was looking like his old self again after recently becoming a father. Courtney only lost five racks en-route to a 15v5 win against Jaspal Bamotra. Zoltan Kojska has been looking forward to the renewal of this event as he had to miss the first event of this style back in Nov 2014, it didn’t begin well however for the Hungarian potter as Lionel Brown caused him many problems leading 7v4 however Zoltan wasn’t to be denied as he battled his way into some form to advance 15v8. Tom Staveley seemed to be hitting the ball nicely as he took out David Worrow 15v4.
On to the last 16 of this event and the players who reached 15 racks in this round would be guaranteed £60 in prize money. Match of the round was a game involving experience against youth as Tommy Donlon took on the rising star Tom Staveley. Lots of players watched this game unfold and it was Staveley who seemed to be controlling it throughout but Tommy was never far behind. Tom seemed confident as he lead 12v10 but then Tom missed a couple of balls and that was all Tommy ‘The Disher’ Donlon needed as he slammed his foot down on the gas winning five straight racks putting his name in the Quarter Finals. There were lots of close matches in this round that could have gone either way with Bob Harris winning a 27 rack thriller 15v12 against Wayne Rooke, Mark Parker advanced 15v13 against new player Sefton Payne, Paul Taylor was ahead throughout his encounter with Tony Fry but was pushed all the way by Fry the match ended 15v11 and the closet match of the round involved Ashik Nathwani and Zoltan Kojska, every rack was needed to separate these two talented players, it was however Zoltan who held nerve and cleared the final four balls after Ashik fouled to gain the victory.
At this stage of the day the Plate comp began. The plate comp was open to any players who didn’t get to the prize money round and with 10 entrance it was races to six racks, 10ball, winner break and with a top prize of £100 it was well worth the players sticking around. The final was contested by Ashik Nathwani and Sefton Payne. It was Sefton who ended up taking the dosh and it was a successful first event from the ex snooker player. Well done Sefton and we hope you have caught the American Pool bug and that we see you at another event soon.
The main event Quarter Finals were upon us and again some very good matches in progress. Tommy Donlon was involved in yet another high class match this time with Courtney Symons. Tommy led throughout the match but Courtney was always not far behind and did manage to level at the final opportunity 14v14. We pick up commentary of the final rack. The 29th rack Courtney Symons to break. Courtney hits his standard powerful 10ball break and makes a ball but raises his cue above his head hoping for a decent run of the ball… unfortunately for him he was hooked on the one ball. Courtney studies the tables looking for a safe position to push out to. A couple of minutes pass as after 28 racks a mistake now could be match ending. Courtney makes a good push leaving Tommy a tempter but he is hampered, Tommy elects to take on the shot and the one ball is gone as it disappears into the top right hand pocket. This is Tommy’s opportunity to take the match and he looks to grab it with both hands. He calmly drops in the next couple of balls but leaves himself no option but to collide into the 10ball if he wants to pot the next legal ball. Tommy calm as ever strokes in the next ball and to Courtney’s dismay Tommy potted the legal ball and hits the 10ball over the pocket leaving a simply combination shot to win the match. A great match and it’s a shame there had to be a winner and a loser, a very entertaining watch though. T9B took on T9B as it was founder vs business partner, Phil Wildman took the match 15v12 against Mark Parker however both players had their moments of good play and very bad play throughout the match. Benji Buckley got the better of Bob Harris 15v11, this again was another great match up as both players played some fantastic 10ball. The final match that completed the Quarter Finals was Zoltan Kojsza’s 15v7 victory against Paul Taylor. Paul seemed to struggle to produce the performance we know he is capable of and Zoltan took no prisoners.
Here we go two mouth-watering Semi Finals kicked off simultaneously Benji Buckley v Phil Wildman and Tommy Donlon v Zoltan Kojska. As I was involved in one of the matches I wasn’t too aware of the other Semi Final. I looked over and it was 7v7 both players seemed to be playing well and looked confident of victory but it was Zoltan who cracked first as he began to make a few mistakes. To beat Tommy you need to produce your ‘A’ game throughout the whole match otherwise he will pounce and that’s what happened. Tommy Donlon 15 Zoltan Kojska 8. The second Semi Final involving Benji Buckley and Phil Wildman looked like it was over before it began as Benji raced into a 9v1 lead running a 4 pack in the process. Wildman however battled back picking off single racks and managed to make a game of it at 13v9 but one missed long pot by Wildman sparked Buckley back into life and that was all she wrote as Benji cleared and broke dished to win impressively 15v9. After the match Wildman said ‘wow what a player, 4/5 racks without a shot isn’t easy to come back to the table and feel confident about doing some damage’.
Benji and Tommy decided to split the prize fund and play a race to two racks for the trophy. Benji lost the lag and unfortunately played no part in the Final as Tommy broke dished two straight racks.
Well done to Tommy Donlon a good performance and worthy champion, it wasn’t all plain sailing for The Disher but he produced some great 10ball at the right times to become the latest Total9ball Champion. Unlucky Benji shame the Final was shortened as I knew you were both playing some brilliant pool and it could have been an all-time T9B classic.
Thanks to Hurricane Room, High Wycombe for Hosting this event, to our sponsors Dynamic Billard, to Kim Rowlett for keeping the event running smoothly as ever and to all the players who supported this event we hope you enjoyed it and took positives from the day therefore becoming stronger more experienced players.
We have asked for feedback from the players who attended this event so we can make Event 2 bigger and better. The date selected for E2 is Saturday 9th May, it will be held at St Albans Hurricane Room and we expect this event to be full within hours of its release so keep your eyes open and make sure you act fast to book your space.