Wharne Wins Ultimate Pool Masters Group 16
Rob Wharne became the penultimate player to book their place in the last 16 of the 2021 Apply Mortgages Ultimate Pool Masters after winning Group 16 of the event on Monday night in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Following a break in the schedule due to a Covid-19 issue last week, the tournament resumed at the Players Pool and Snooker Lounge with a quartet of cueists from four different nations.
Englishman Wharne opened up the evening with an entertaining and high-quality 8-5 victory over Ireland’s Shaun Sharkey.
The former Supreme Masters winner went 2-0 ahead, but a fluked black in the third frame signaled the start of a four-frame winning streak for 2019 European Championship runner-up Sharkey – a run that included a break dish followed by a reverse dish.
However, momentum shifted again as Wharne claimed six of the next seven frames (including a break dish and two reverse dishes) to record an 8-5 success.
The second tie of the night was the Irish Sea versus the Mediterranean Sea as the Isle of Man’s John Kennish faced Malta’s Lydan Debono.
Current national champion Debono started very strong, producing a break dish and a reverse as he established a 3-0 lead. However, opportunities were spurned by him in frame four and four-time Isle of Man Snooker Championship winner Kennish capitalised to get a foothold.
Kennish continued to grow in confidence and mounted a comeback, chalking up five frames in seven in total to level the scores at 5-5. He even had the chance to win the match outright with a clearance in frame 11, but lost track of the match clock and agonisingly ran just short of time.
It meant that a victor had to be decided via a 6-reds shootout. Whilst Kennish may have misjudged his timing earlier, he registered an impressive score of 29.94 seconds going first, a target that Debono narrowly missed out on bettering when he missed the final ball during his reply.
The Group Final
Following his heroics, Manxman Kennish had little time to recover for his final with Wharne a few minutes later, and it didn’t help that his opponent constructed back-to-back break dishes on his way to racing into a dominating 5-0 advantage.
Kennish got on the board, though, with frame six and briefly threatened another recovery when he reduced his arrears again to 2-5.
However, four-times world team championship winner Wharne soon closed that door and the match as he strung together the next three frames for an 8-2 success and set up a date with the to-be-confirmed Group 15 winner in August.
Next week sees the start of the last 16 and quarter-finals with a mouthwatering lineup of Jordan Shepherd, Chris Melling, Phil Harrison and Rob Chilton.
Group 16 Results
Shaun Sharkey 5-8 Rob Wharne
Break Dishes: Sharkey 2, Wharne 1
Reverse Dishes: Sharkey 1, Wharne 3
John Kennish 5-5 Lydan Debono – Kennish won via a 6-reds shootout
Break Dishes: Kennish 0, Debono 1
Reverse Dishes: Kennish 0, Debono 1
Wharne 8-2 Kennish
Break Dishes: Wharne 2, Kennish 0
Reverse Dishes: Wharne 0, Kennish 0
Please note – Last week’s Group 15 which was postponed due to Covid will be rescheduled to another date. The date of this will be published shortly.