Patrick Whelan and Aidan Murphy were the latest event winners on the inaugural EPSB Open Series this past Sunday.
Whelan – who came into the weekend as the number two ranked player on the overall rankings – claimed his second Open Series victory of the campaign. His first came on the opening day of the Series at the Tradewell Snooker Club, and it was at the same venue in Hull where he collected his second.
The 23-year-old began in fantastic fashion, making breaks of 130 and 54 as he defeated Luke Tranmer 3-0 before 3-1 and 3-0 victories over Stephen Delaney and Mark Killey in the last 16 and eight respectively.
A big meeting came in the semi-finals when he faced number one ranked player Ryan Davies. The teenager has won three Open Series titles this season already – including the latest two at the Tradewell. He extended his match winning streak at the venue to 13 whilst getting to the last four, but that’s where it ended as Whelan ousted him 3-2.
In the final, Whelan’s opponent was professional player Ashley Hugill, who showed his class throughout the day with a plethora of sizeable breaks, including an effort of 136 – the highest of the day. In the last four he denied 19-year-old Kayden Brierley 3-1.
However, Whelan – receiving an 18 points per frame handicap as he was facing a professional – registered runs of 74 and 40 in a 3-1 success.
The victory sees him close the gap on rankings leader Davies.
At The Winchester in Leicester, 17-year-old Murphy secured his maiden Open Series title.
Recent winner of the English Under-18 Southern Area Championship, Murphy qualified from his group and then defeated Lee Shanker – an event winner at Barratts Northampton just over a fortnight ago – 3-0 in the semi-finals and Stuart Watson 3-1 in the final.