9-Ball: GB9 Stalwart James Kay Lifts Last Ever Pro Cup Title
GB9′s final ever Pro Cup was contested by two of GB9′s longest serving players. Manchester’s James Kay, one of only a handful of players to have layer in every single GB9 event since the tour’s inception in 2008, came up against Wakefield’s Chris Hall, an ever present feature at the business end of competitions.
As most of the GB9 professional players were away at the European Open in Italy at the start of this event, this left the Pro Cup field unusually depleted – nonetheless, an enthralling campaign was undertaken by Kay and Hall en route to the final. The two players actually met one another in the opening round with Kay coming away victorious 9 racks to 7. This sent Hall through to the losers bracket where he eventually came up against Scotland’s Michael Valentine. He brushed Valentine to one side with an emphatic 9-1 victory to secure his place in the last 8. His next challenge came against Wolverhampton’s Darryn Walker, but he had no trouble in keeping the upper hand and ran out a 9-6 winner. In the semi-finals he faced another long time face on GB9 in the form of Bournemouth’s Damian Massey. It went down to the wire, but Hall was on the right side of the hill here, winning through 9-8 to qualify for his very first Pro Cup final.
Kay, through to the winners qualifying round, got further into his stride in overcoming Colchester’s Shaun Storry 9 racks to 4 to secure his place in the quarter finals. Here he also met Scottish opposition in the form of Andrew Morris, but managed to step up the necessary gears to see out a 9-6 win and meet Shaun Storry once again. The score was the same as his previous match and the winner was the same as his earlier match with Storry – Kay victorious 9-6 and making his way into the last ever GB9 Pro Cup final alongside Hall. The final was only one rack different to their opening match – a scrappy yet thrilling match which saw James Kay take the title 9 racks to 8 and bring down the curtain on the five years of Pro Cup competition.