In the final of the 2012 Paul Medati Trophy, two of the best international players in the world came head to head: 2011 World 9-Ball semi-finalist Mark Gray against 2011 Mosconi Cup debutant and defending Paul Medati Trophy champion Chris Melling.

Gray was looking to kick-start his GB9 career after a frankly dismal 12 months, but his road to the final filled him with passion and confidence that he can taste tournament victory once again. Midlands Classic runner-up James Kay was first on Gray’s hitlist, leaving the tournament with a 9-3 defeat and sending Gray through to the last 32 and a meeting with Nottingham’s Kevin Simpson. He came up against a stern test but held on for a 9-7 victory. A 9-4 victory over Darlington hotshot Phil Burford was followed up in the quarter finals with another 9-4 win, this time against Kevin Uzzell, ensuring a semi-final against the in-form Chris Hall. Gray’s professional nouse was all that really separated the two in the match, and a 9-6 victory secured his first main event final berth since 2010′s edition of the Paul Medati Trophy.

Chris Melling Paul Medati Trophy Champion Melling Captures Second Straight Medati Trophy


Melling began the defence of his title with a 9-4 victory over GB9′s player/referee Martyn Royce in the last 64, and then followed this up by squeezing past a resilient Craig Waddingham 9 racks to 8. In the last 16 he recorded his second 9-4 result of the competition, this time against Stewart Colclough. Into the business end of the tournament, Melling came up against Jayson Shaw but managed to hold off the challenge of the Glaswegian, winning through 9 racks to 6 and setting up a semi-final date against another Scot, this time in the form of Edinburgh’s Andrew Morris. Melling held off a spirited fight from Morris and took a 9-6 victory, booking his place in the final and putting him one step closer to defending his title.

The final couldn’t have started off closer – the first 12 racks split six each including a phenomenal run of 6 consecutive break and runs, three for each player. Melling had a hidden gear through it seems, and from the 13th rack onwards put together some tremendous pool to leave Gray stranded. He eventually sealed the match in the 18th rack, coming through 11 racks to 7. He wins the gold medal, the £2000 winners’ cheque and, perhaps most poignantly, became the first player to ever successfully defend a GB9 main event title.

After his win, Chris gave a few words to GB9. “Obviously it’s great to beat Mark in the final, we both played fantastic pool and I don’t think either of us deserved to lose really. I think my break won me the game in the end. At 6 racks all Mark made a pretty bad error and I took my chance and then broke and ran. It’s all about maintaining form – my form’s
been great over the last 18 months and long may it continue!”. He also explained how the Pal Medati Trophy in particular is an important tournament to both himself, and those close to him. “I do a lot for charity both on and off the table whether it’s pool or snooker so it’s always great to be involved in a tournament like this. It’s close to my heart because my mum passed away through cancer last year. I’d like to dedicate this win to Lee Vause, Darren Vause and Tyrone Vause as their mother’s just passed away through cancer as well and they were all really good friends of mine. Hopefully this win will be something they can remember too.”

The second Pro Cup of the 2012 season ended up as a repeat of the third Pro Cup of last season, seeing ’Guapo’ Karl Boyes come up against The Tornado, Tony Drago.

Boyes’ path to the final started comfortably enough, putting together a solid showing to beat Darryn Walker 9-3 and send himself through to the winners qualifying bracket. The wheels temporarily fell off the Boyes bandwagon, however, with Imran Majid hammering Guapo 9-1 to send him across to the losers bracket. He did make it through to the quarter finals from here, but only just – a 9-8 victory over Arfan Dad enough to set up a last 8 meeting with Shaun Storry. Boyes seemed to turn on ruthless mode at this stage, taking a 9-1 victory setting up a second meeting the competition with Imran Majid. The Maharaja couldn’t make it past Boyes this time, however, and it was Guapo who won 9-6 to go through to his first GB9 final for eight months.


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