The Isle of Man Billiards and Snooker Association’s fourth standings of the season proved to be the most prolific yet in terms of number and size of high breaks.
This despite the fact that fewer players participated than in previous rounds.
As this was the last chance to qualify for this season’s new event, the Grand Prix, along with the 2022 Premier League and a possible international event selection, there was plenty at stake.
Highlights in the group stage were that Darryl Hill narrowly missed a ton and had to make do with 96 against Ivan McMaw.
Dave Addinall, who first appeared in the series, hit Lee Gale with a barrage. A possible max came to an end at 73 when he missed the 10th black, but he also had efforts of 37, 29, 75 and a clearance of 41 all in a 3-0 win.
Paul Smyth got close to Addinall and lost 2-1 and Hill managed to subdue Addinall 3-0, including a break of 71. Tom Miller had an 84 and landed awkwardly on the brown of the green as he tried for a century to clamber.
In the quarter-finals Chris Brown really stood out, making his competitive individual debut, losing only 2-1 to Pete Crellin. The latter lost the first frame by pocketing black and going in-off before the decider was a black ball game, when Brown went safe!
Hill defeated Marek Kenny 2-0. A 94 from Hill sealed the first when he landed badly on the blue, leaving a tougher pink that he missed for the 100 with a possible 107 clearance. Kenny only went down 71-57 in frame two.
It was good to see that Alec Oates and Lee Gale also made it to their first quarter-finals, but that ended for them when they lost 2-0 to Addinall and Miller respectively.
Breaks of 54, 33 and 25 saw Hill comfortably into the final at the expense of Crellin 2-0, but Miller had a much harder time in his semi-final against Addinall, a high-quality affair who won 2-1. Frame scores (Miller first): 81 (30, 42 breaks)-51, 48-64 (55) and 79 (48)-29.
In the final, Miller, second in event two and three, took revenge on Hill, who had been virtually unplayable all day. In the end Miller took the 2-0 with scores of 69-36 and 68-30, including breaks of 46 and 38. Congratulations to him on a well-deserved win. In total there were 65 breaks over 20 during the event.
Based on a best three out of four event system, eight players have been confirmed to compete in the new Grand Prix event: Darryl Hill v Marek Kenny, Calum Gardner v Peter Crellin, Jamie Wilson v Pete Kirkham and Tom Miller v Chris Dagnall.
In addition to defending champions Hill and reigning island champions John Kennish in the Premier League, Miller, Wilson, Gardner, Crellin and Kirkham will be contacted – players will be contacted with further details in due course.
Thanks go to Tournament Director Jane Hill and everyone else at the Cue Zone for making the event run so smoothly. The last two ranking events will take place on March 13 and 27.