Daniel Blunn claimed his third World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) title at the inaugural Welsh Open in Cwmbran last weekend.
Held at Redz Snooker Club, the tournament was the first that was open to players from all eight disability classification groups, including players with physical, sensory, and learning disabilities.
Over 48 players competed across 12 groups, with the best performing players progressing to the knockout stages and the remaining competitors paired in our first ever mixed classification doubles competition on the final day.
The main competition reached a thrilling climax as Daniel Blunn defeated Andy Johnson 3-2 in a deciding frame to claim his third WDBS title.
The duo, both of whom have cerebral palsy, came into the final as previous WDBS champions.
Blunn took top honours in Group 3 competitions in Gloucester and Manchester, while Johnson claimed victory in the Group 4-5 competition in Manchester back in 2016.
The final had all the hallmarks of being a tight affair and so it proved as they needed all five frames to determine a winner.
Ultimately, however, it was Sutton Coldfield’s Blunn who prevailed, dominating the final two frames to secure a hat-trick of titles.
Meanwhile, there was a remarkable story in the Mixed Classification Doubles event as 88-year-old Albert Taylor paired with Danny Luton to claim the title.
The pair defeated Group 8 duo Tony Davies and Lewis Knowles – the latter also a finalist at the recent Derby Open – 2-0 in the final to claim victory.
The highest break of the competition was 48, made by David Church on the opening day.
The weekend was supported by WDBS player Nigel Coton, who recently teamed up with Snooker Legends to organise an exhibition evening in Lincoln, from which surplus monies raised from the evening were donated to the WDBS and added to funds provided by regular sponsors J&S Trading and Christine Cummings to form the overall prize fund for this event.
Nigel Coton said: “We have seen another fantastic weekend of snooker staged by the WDBS.”
“The organisation is growing significantly and to see a record 48 entries to this event is brilliant – let’s try to get it up to 64.
“Everyone involved has really enjoyed it and had a great time. The event has been another real success.”
The event was also attended by current main tour professionals Michael White and Lee Walker, who kindly took time out from their schedules to meet the players and pose for photographs.
The next WDBS tournament will be the 2017 Open Disability Snooker Championship, running from 22-24 September 2017 at the Golden Cue, Bilston.
The weekend tournament will be open to players from Groups 1-5, but players from all eight groups are encouraged to visit our regular Friday open day.