Steve Brookshaw became the fourth different cueist in as many years to lift the West of England English Billiards Open trophy following his triumph at Jesters Snooker Hall in Swindon last weekend.
Two times a winner of the WEBSF Billiards Open, Brookshaw emerged from a quality and varied entry of 25 players to claim his first WoE Billiards Open success.
Finalist at this season’s WEBSF Billiards Open, Terry Azor went undefeated, winning all six of his fixtures to top Group A. Joining Azor in the last 16 knockout rounds were second placed David Gillingham (5 out of 6 wins), third placed Roy Jenkins and fourth placed Graham Riley.
In arguably the ‘group of death’, defending champion Ryan Mears won Group B with a 100% record and the highest break of the event, 113. Brookshaw racked up a plethora of sizeable contributions including efforts of 108 and 106 in coming second; third placed Chris Coumbe fashioned a 98. Qualifying alongside this recent world championship trio was Phil Davis.
In Group C experienced campaigner Jamie Wayman (77 and 51 breaks) headed the section with five from five, whilst a hat-trick of half centuries aided Wales’ Eddie Duggan into second. WEBSF Billiards newcomer Naufer Saleem (third) and Mark Hill (fourth) also progressed.
Just one win seperated the top four in Group D; Korbin Lowe (60 and 56 breaks) ousting Martin Phillips to the group number one spot after finished on four wins each. 2018 runner-up Michael White (third – 58, 58 and 54 breaks) and Mahmoud Alzaid (fourth) were the others to advance.
The Knockout Phase
Mears’ quest to retain the title remained on course when a run of 92 helped him eliminate Alzaid. Coumbe (60 break) edged past Gillingham by just 13 points in the closest climax of the last 16 round, although Riley’s 141-123 success over Wayman was not far behind. Saleem’s spirited debut was ended by Brookshaw, whose 61 break was well timed in a 165-118 outcome. Azor, White, Jenkins and Davis (55 break) were the others to make it through to the last eight following their 40-minute wins.
The upset of the tournament came in the quarter-finals when Mears was dethroned by Jenkins 116-60, whilst a run of 57 from White proved not to be enough as Azor pipped him by only five points (142-137). The biggest breaks of the round were crafted by Coumbe (98) and Brookshaw (60) as they ended the hopes of Riley and Davis respectively.
An all-Plymouth final was later confirmed as 2017 finalist Coumbe got the better of Azor 148-128 and Brookshaw did likewise to Jenkins 119-84 in the semi-finals. Teammates and travel partners for major billiards events around the UK, Europe and beyond, Coumbe and Brookshaw met in the title match. In a relatively low scoring final, the decorated Brookshaw (55 break) completed the WEBSF English Billiards double with a 163-89 win.
In the plate competition for those who didn’t qualify for the knockout phase of the main event, Martin Howell overcame David Riley 114-99 in the final to become victorious.
The West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation would like to thank host venue Jesters Snooker Hall, its staff and volunteer referee David Cook for all their hard work and dedication throughout the day.