Another increase in match length to 1000up allowed the players to stretch their wings a bit more than had been possible in the previous rounds. Winner of the Vimy Ridge Classic Rob Hall was unable to capitalise however, several 50+ breaks were no match for the scoring power of the 16 time world champion Mike Russell who simply overpowered Hall with breaks of 181,191 & 205 in winning 1000-498.
In the other semi final, the last remaining Indian Devendra Joshi put up a stiffer challenge to Martin Goodwill, but he too couldn’t manage a century; 92 being his best effort. Goodwill combined consistent break building (125,97,97,72) with his vast experience to carve out a 1000-707 victory and set up a final against Mike Russell, the player he had beaten quite comfortably in the quarter final of the Vimy Ridge Classic 4 days earlier.
Following the shock result in their match in the previous event there was certainly an air of expectation for the rematch, and some obvious needle between the two players all added to the anticipation. Martin was going to need a good start to be in with a chance of holding the ex world champion over the longer distance but Mike had other ideas. Following an initial break of 97 he crafted the highest break of the whole 6 days with a run of 397 to put a lot of fresh air between the two players on the scoreboard. Martin continued to battle by trying to dictate the pace of the match and closed the gap with breaks of 122 & 85, but the damage was done in the first session. Following a few smaller breaks Russell closed out the match with an unfinished break of 190; final score 1250-587.
After the final Mike Russell thanked the organisers in Canada and also apologised for not performing to his usual high standard this week. Whilst he certainly wasn’t scaling the heights of some of his previous performances in terms of breaks made, Mike treated the Winnipeg billiards fraternity to some skills the like of which they have not seen before, and it will have not gone unnoticed by those familiar with his play that he is cueing as well as he has ever done. Despite not being the current World Champion it will be a brave person who would bet against him regaining that title in 7 weeks time in Leeds.
|Semi Finalists||£650.00||?||$1,061.88||Devendra Joshi / Rob Hall|
|Quarter Finalists||£325.00||?||$530.94||Dhruv Sitwala / Phil Mumford / Nalin Patel / Chris Taylor|
|Last 16||£175.00||?||$285.89||Grant Thiessen / Guy Heys / Steve Jones / Fraser Durham|
|Daniel Scullion / Warren Dyer / Rick Kendall / Garry Marshall|
|High Break||£100.00||?||$163.37||Mike Russell (397)|