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LONDON OPEN 2015


Main Event | Ladies/Juniors/Seniors | Photos | History







Sponsors


The SES Group is a customer-oriented and award-winning security, crowd management, education and training company providing quality services for individual, community, and corporate clients. www.thesesgroup.co.uk


Railway Management Services Ltd is a niche rail systems consultancy providing specialist systems engineering and assurance services across all railway disciplines through a team of highly experienced and competent consultants. www.railwayms.com


Spots and Stripes is London's premier pool venue. It has 10 Supreme pool tables and is popular for corporate events, private functions and is the home of London County Pool. www.spots8stripes.com






Results from previous years









2015 REPORTS



By Darren O'Byrne




Main Open. 6th December


(Click here for Ladies, Juniors, and Seniors reports).


The London Open has a proud and rich history. First played in 1989, when it was won by Welsh international Kelly Reardon, it has over the years attracted some of the greats of the game, and previous winners include such luminaries as Darren Collison, John Wylie, Ian Kettel, Neil Raybone, Rob Hill, Neil Toms, Jack Pople, Nigel Clarke, and Steve Petty, not to mention defending champ Joe Prince. Back in the 90s top players travelled far and wide to compete in county opens, but with more and more lucrative tours opening up in the new millennium, such events lost their appeal. That the 2015 London Open attracted an incredible 105 runners from around the country, by far the biggest turn-out for many years, is testament to the tournament's prestige, and in Giuseppe D'Imperio, it had a champion worthy of that honour.


The action kicked off at 11 in the morning, and by the time the tournament had reached the quarter-final stage, some heavyweights had already exited the event. In one of the biggest shocks of the day, 2015 World Championship runner-up Nigel Clarke had been knocked out by the unpredictable Peter Panayiotou. Wayne Fryer, whose record in the game needs no introduction, had come out second best in his match with another hugely experienced London superstar, Andrew Breen - a match which, unsurprisingly, went the distance. Twice former World Junior Champion Frank Costello had made it through to the last-sixteen before bowing out to defending champ Joe Prince, who had in the previous round seen off Pete Thomas in a repeat of last year's final. Bristol's Shane Thompson, another of the pre-tournament favourites, was sent packing by 2013 London Open winner Jamie Fay. Others had survived real scares before sealing their quarter-final berths: former winner and bookies' favourite Steve Petty, the 2015 national amateur champion, was taken to a deciding frame in the very first round by Paul Cook, while champion-in-waiting Giuseppe D'Imperio had to come from 0-4 behind to see off Craig Mallinder. He would later admit that that was a turning point for him.


In the end, the quarter-final line-up was one to savour, and the tournament was still very much up for grabs. No doubt rattled by his narrow escape in the previous round, Giuseppe raised his game to end Joe Prince's reign as champion. Sussex's Morray Dolan, one of the best-known figures on the pool circuit and a multiple tournament winner over many, many years, held off the challenge of London's Tony Gear. Jamie Fay continued to play like a man possessed, following his impressive win over Shane Thompson by taking out his old friend and rival, Steve Petty. Andrew Breen then came through yet another final-frame marathon to see off London team-mate Jack Pople, a former Masters and European champion and twice London Open winner.


The semi-finals gave us two contrasting matches, each of an extremely high quality but for very different reasons. In one, Andrew Breen turned back the clock to produce some of the most outstanding pool played in the entire day. In beating Jamie Fay 5-0, he was just unstoppable and barely missed a ball. Jamie had no answers as the Breen Machine wrapped up the win in super-fast time. Over on the other table, meanwhile, Morray and Giuseppe were involved in a real marathon that went all the way to a deciding frame, and that final frame was a marathon in itself, a real cagey affair. Finally, Giuseppe took control and came home a 5-4 winner. In the final, Andy wasn't quite able to replicate his astonishing form from the previous round, and Giuseppe always had the edge, emerging a 5-1 winner and the 2015 London Open champion.


All in all it was a fantastic day, and thanks need to go to everyone who helped make it so. Nigel Smith and his staff at Spots & Stripes kept everyone's glasses full and Nigel was also on hand throughout to help Darren O'Byrne and Andrew Breen run the top table and sort out the live streaming, while Clair Watts was kept busy in her role as tournament referee, ably supported by Jeremy Ruffer. It was a real team effort and everyone associated with it should take pride. We're all very excited now about how we can not only follow this success, but actually improve on it, in 2016. But until then, all that remains for us to do is once again congratulate the 2015 London Open champion, Giuseppe D'Imperio, who we know will carry the honour of being the holder of such a prestigious title with the grace, humility and good sportsmanship that one expects of a true champion.



CLICK HERE for full draw






Ladies, Juniors, and Seniors. 28-29th November


(Click here for Main Open report and here for photos of the winners)


The last weekend in November saw a marathon of pool as the juniors, seniors and ladies descended upon Spots & Stripes for their respective London Open events.


First up, the juniors, and with no former champs in the running, we were guaranteed a first-time winner, and for some of the competitors, this would be the last chance to be London Junior champion. Two such hardy veterans were Tony Griffin and Connor Hewson, and both were in fine form as they made it through to the grand final, Connor seeing off Jasper Bacon in the preliminary final for the right to take on the unbeaten Tony. In the end, it was Tony who held on to win the trophy. Fourth place went to newly crowned national under-16 champ Chris Panayotiou who also picked up the special prize for best performance by an under-15 player.


As expected with all that experience on show, the seniors proved to be a dogged event. Defending champion Paul Gafa always rises to the occasion at the Open, and once again his game was solid and meticulous as he brushed aside all-comers to reach the final from the winners' side. In a tournament dominated by Pauls, Paul Dawson emerged as winner from the losers' side, taking out Paul Alexander on a deciding frame in the preliminary final. In the end, it was Paul Dawson who lifted the trophy, beating Gafa in the grand final.


On Sunday, it was the turn of the ladies, and with very little separating the field, it was always going to be a close event. Former England International Michaela 'The Jester' Lester squeezed through on the winners' side by seeing off a rejuvenated Linda Redwood who was playing some beautiful pool, but she'd been run close along the way, not least by last year's runner-up, Suffolk player and England triallist Chantelle Wosko. This 4-3 win sent Chantelle into the losers' side and she proceeded to win last-frame deciders against Corinne Gratton and then Linda to qualify for another stab at Michaela in the grand final. She'd clearly learned a lesson from their previous encounter and won comfortably, 4-1, to force the tournament into a deciding match between the two stand-out players, and, unsurprisingly, this went all the way. Chantelle had her chances but was unlucky to snooker herself on her last ball and Michaela took out a bold finish to emerge as champion.


Well done to Michaela, Paul and Tony, and to all who took part in the events. Next Sunday we have the main London Open and with 100 players already confirmed, it really does promise to be the biggest and most exciting London Open in years. Good luck to everyone playing, and thanks as ever to Nigel, Clair and the Spots & Stripes team for being such fantastic hosts.




Photos



Ladies Winner Michaela Lester


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Juniors Winner Tony Griffin


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Seniors Winner Paul Dawson


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CLICK HERE for event details






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