GROUP 2 FINAL
Eklent Kaci 5–3 Kelly Fisher
Mieszko Fortunski 4-5 Kelly Fisher
Eklent Kaci 5-2 Niels Feijen
Eklent Kaci beat Women’s World 9-Ball Champion Kelly Fisher 5-3 in the Group 2 final to join Chris Melling in Winners’ Group of Predator Championship League Pool at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes.
Four wins from six matches saw the Albanian Mosconi Cup winner finish second in the league table, setting up a play-off clash with Niels Feijen, which he won 5-2. In the final he would meet Fisher, who had defeated Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski in her play-off match in dramatic fashion. She fought back from 4-1 down to level the match, before a four-ball kick helped her win the decisive ninth frame to reach the final.
Both players ran out in their opening racks of the group decider but a dry break by Fisher in the third allowed Kaci to run out for a 2-1 advantage. He extended his lead in the fourth and again in the fifth, moving to the hill after Fisher suffered terrible luck as the cue was kicked in off the break.
The Women’s World Champion pulled it back to 4-3, but the Albanian took the eighth to ensure progression to next Monday’s Winners’ Group.
“I played quite well starting from the morning and winning the group, it feels good,” said Kaci. “All the players are in good stroke because everybody is play a lot. It becomes a case of one good break, or a good or bad safety.
“I wanted to get to Winners’ Group as quickly as possible. It will be a very tough group because you cannot win a group if you don’t play well, so it will all be top players.”
In his group semi-final, Kaci defeated Niels Feijen 5-2, while Fisher reversed a 4-1 deficit to advance from a match-of-the-group hill-hill thriller against Mieszko Fortunski, who had earlier topped the league table with five wins from six matches.
The league phase concluded with a straight shoot-out between Albin Ouschan and Ralf Souquet to stay in the tournament. Souquet was winless all day while his opponent was visibly frustrated and struggling, but Ouschan dug deep to win 5-1 and secure his survival in the event. David Alcaide will also return in Group 3, alongside Feijen, Fortunski and Fisher.
Darren Appleton and Billy Thorpe will join the tournament in Group 3, which begins at 12 noon (UK time) on Wednesday.
Predator Championship League Pool has a prize fund of $85,950. Every day features a seven-player group, with each player facing every other player once in a race-to-5. At the end of the group the top four advance to the play-offs, playing a semi-final and then final, also played as race-to-5. Play-off champions will advance to the big-money Winners’ Group on March 29, which will provide the showpiece conclusion of Predator Championship League Pool.
Players who finished bottom of each group are eliminated from the event, while the remaining five players in each group will continue to the next day’s play, where two new players enter the tournament.
Action from Table 1 of Predator Championship League Pool can be seen live on FreeSports (UK & Ireland), DAZN and Zhibo.tv (China). Viewers elsewhere in the world can tune in at Matchroom.Live, which also carries global coverage of Table 2.
FINAL LEAGUE STANDINGS