A trio of former winners on the World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) circuit claimed more silverware at the Parris Cues UK Open at Barratts Snooker and Sports Club, Northampton, last weekend
The event was the second WDBS event of 2018 following the Northern Classic earlier in the month and saw players with both sensory and learning disability return to competitive action.
The weekend began with the Group 6 event for players with learning disabilities and saw Daniel Harwood win his third WDBS title from four attempts.
Harwood topped the round robin group with a 100% record and went on to meet fellow Liverpudlian Leroy Jay Williams in the final. Williams was the champion of the previous Group 6 event in Preston a fortnight ago and has now reached four consecutive WDBS finals
However, Harwood denied him a title double, winning the final to add to his previous victories on tour in Wolverhampton and Hull last year.
The remainder of the weekend saw attention turn to the Group 7 and 8 events for players with visual disabilities and deaf players.
On Sunday, the first championship to be decided was the Group 8 competition where Shabir Ahmed took the honours.
Ahmed won all his group matches on Saturday to qualify top and reach the semi-finals where he would face reigning Hull Open champion Blake Munton. In one of the most exciting finishes of the weekend, Ahmed recovered from the loss of the opening frame to take the contest on the final black in the decider with a fantastic long-range effort.
The final would be a repeat of last year’s Paul Hunter Disability Classic decider between Ahmed and Lewis Knowles. Looking for his first WDBS success, Knowles was also undefeated throughout the weekend, having not dropped a frame en route.
In an engrossing final, though, an emotional Ahmed wrapped up a 3-1 win for his second WDBS title on the circuit.
Elsewhere, former professional Paul Smith won his third WDBS title, but first since 2016 in Group 8 following a 3-0 victory over maiden finalist Bob Craft.
Smith was irresistible in Northampton, not losing a match, and compiled the tournament’s highest break with a run of 68 in the final.
The event was supported by title sponsor Parris Cues, with founder and renowned cuemaker John Parris in attendance on the final day at Barratts to present the medals. The event was also sponsored by Deaf Hub UK, who provided interpreter services and additional media support throughout the weekend.
Also supporting the event were recent Masters finalist Kyren Wilson and World Ladies Billiards and Snooker number eight ranked player Diana Schuler from Germany.
The next stop on the WDBS circuit will be a historic one as the tour heads overseas for the first time for the WDBS Belgian Open, to be staged in Bruges from 23-25 March 2018.
Entries for the event remain open, with full information available HERE.