Victories for Melling and Peach at the GB9 UK Open

Tony Drago crashed out of the inaugural GB9 UK Open, as he lost to Chris Hall in the second qualifying round. Drago had sailed through round one, despite confusion with the rules halfway through the match. Neither player realised that the tournament format was ‘winner breaks’. Drago was leading 6-1 by the time this was uncovered, but the change didn’t affect him. The former snooker pro powered through the racks in quick succession, to beat Kevin Nuzzell 10-1 and become the first player of the day to make it through.

Tony Drago
Tony Drago

His second game was a lot tighter. Ranked 6th in the GB9 rankings, Chris Hall raced into a 4-1 lead. The Maltese man pulled it back to 4-4 and the pair matched it each other rack for rack to bring the score to 6-6. After this, Hall gave Drago little opportunity at the table and finished the match with four excellent racks, to win 10-6.
At the exact same time a very similar story was unfolding a few tables along. Chris Melling’s second round game was almost identical to Drago’s. Having received a walkover in the first round, he faced Spanish player Juan Carlos Exposito. Melling also found himself 4-1 down, and squared it to 4-4. The players again matched each other over the next period and the match came to 7-7. Melling showed his experience though and, after making a very tricky cut on the 7 ball in his final frame, he won the match 10-7.
Daryl Peach, who won the GB9 British Grand Prix at the same venue yesterday, also progressed to the second day’s round of matches. He comfortably beat youngster Alvaro Canoniga 10-2 in the first round and progressed to the last 32 with a professional 10-6 victory.
The tournament, which forms part of GB9’s 10-day festival of pool in Telford, concludes tomorrow, in what promises to be a very high quality and competitive conclusion.

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