Billiard balls lined up along the cushion

We recently looked back on the 2019 World Matchplay Championship as part of our ‘on this day’ series. The event was held from 22-26 April 2019 at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, UK.

Day 1

In 2019, 40 players from seven countries started out in the World Matchplay (100 up) Championship, being held at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, UK.

David Causier was yet to lose a match in 2019, having won the opening event of the year in Kirkcaldy (Scotland) in January, and was going into the Matchplay fresh from winning the UK Open held immediately before the event, where he beat Mark Hirst in the final. Peter Gilchrist had also picked up two trophies so far that year, with victories in the English Open and Sydney Open. Rob Hall, Martin Goodwill, Mark Hirst and Robert Marshall were among the other top seeds.

Causier had no trouble in his opening two matches, winning both 5-0. In his second match he made four breaks of 70 or more. Gilchrist recorded 4-1 and 5-0 wins, including a 104 unfinished. There were some deciding-game finishes as Terry Azor beat Chris Mitchell, Robert Marshall beat Rob Hall, and in the last session, Jon Marwood getting over the line on the ‘pit’ table against Gary Norman.

Day two will see 32 more group matches being played.

Day 2

One year ago, day two of the 2019 World Matchplay Billiards Championship was getting underway.

Rob Hall got off to a good start in the first session, defeating Terry Azor 5-0 with four sizeable breaks. Rob was one of 16 players enjoying 5-0 successes today, but we also saw a number of much closer battles. Mark Hirst, who had reached the final of the UK Open preceding this event, came from 2-0 down to defeat Steve Brookshaw 3-2. Eddie Duggan and Ron Bickerdike also had similar comebacks against Chris Coumbe and Adam Clarke respectively. There were 48 breaks over 50 on day 2, while many players would be keeping an eye on the group tables as we got into the ‘business end’ of the round-robin.

Two more rounds of group matches would be played on day three, with the top four in each group progressing to the knockout stages.

Peter Gilchrist(Credit: Spiteri Photo – Peter Gilchrist)

Day 3

Day 3 of the 2019 World Matchplay Billiards Championship was getting underway. David Causier and Peter Gilchrist wasted no time in winning their remaining group matches in the morning to finish number 1 and 2 seed respectively. Martin Goodwill hadn’t experienced much turbulence in his campaign, showing his usual consistent Billiards to take him into number 3 seed overall, having won group D by dropping just one frame. Meanwhile, a 3-2 win for Paul McGowan in the deciding frame over Ron Bickerdike kept his hopes alive to qualify for the knockout stage, securing the last spot.

The last 32 held later that day went much by the form book, with the top five seeds progressing through to the last 16. Eddie Duggan got through an exciting 4-3 win over Paul Mather, his reward was to play none other than David Causier!

In the last 16, Goodwill, Gilchrist and Robert Marshall got through their best of nine matches without dropping a frame. It was closer finishes for Nathan Mann, who beat Jon Marwood 5-3 to progress to his first quarter-final appearance in a World Championship, and Mark Hirst, who beat Chris Coumbe 5-3 in a late-night finish.

Day 4 (Quarter-Finals)

We’re onto day four of our rerun of the World Matchplay (100up) Championship one year ago. The atmosphere continues to rise on the penultimate day of the event, with the remaining eight players whittled down to just the two finalists.

The number one seed and defending short format champion David Causier had remarkably only dropped two frames in the entire event to this point, and he continued in the same vein in the quarter-final with a 6-0 defeat of Robert Marshall. Marshall nevertheless had a great tournament in reaching this stage, as despite being a regular in the latter stages of WBL events, he had very little match practice leading up to this tournament.

The mouth-watering clash between Peter Gilchrist and Rob Hall was ‘one-visit’ stuff as Gilchrist produced six breaks over 60 during the match. A 96 and 100unf break from Hall reduced his deficit to 4-2 but Gilchrist took the remaining frames to win 6-2. Mark Hirst got off to a good start against Nathan Mann and continued this form to come through 6-2, while Martin Goodwill defeated Darren Clark by the same score.

Coming later, our review of the semi-finals at 5 pm.

Day 4 (Semi-Finals)

In 2019, the semi-finals of the World Matchplay Championship were about to get underway at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, UK.

In the top half of the draw, David Causier faced Mark Hirst. Hirst had enjoyed a consistent year having reached two semi-finals and a final in the last three events. In their best of 13 match, Causier was in relentless form, making breaks of 100, 88, 101, 101, 98, 84 (all unfinished) and 90 to run out a 7-1 winner.

On the other table, we saw a more tactical match between Peter Gilchrist and Martin Goodwill. After sharing the opening two frames, Gilchrist went on to establish a 4-2 lead. He pushed on from there to run out a 7-2 winner.

The best of 15 final the following day between Causier and Gilchrist promised to be another classic match between these two players, with no less than 10 World titles between them.

David Causier
(Credit: Spiteri Photo – David Causier)

Day 5 (Final)

The final of the 2019 World Matchplay Billiards Championship was about to get underway at the Northern Snooker Centre between David Causier and Peter Gilchrist.

Causier was the defending short format champion, having won the previous event in 2017, but the winner today would be getting their name etched on the resurrected World Matchplay trophy, after the 100up event was renamed that year. The last time players competed for this particular trophy was in 2002, when Chris Shutt beat Roxton Chapman in the final at Midsomer Norton.

Causier made his intentions clear in the first frame with a 97 break, but Gilchrist soon settled in by taking the next three frames with breaks of 95unf, 100unf and 55. Trailing 3-1, Causier rattled off the next four frames with breaks of 92, 99 and 52, limiting Gilchrist’s scoring to just 49 points.

It was looking like this best of 15 final would go all the way. The next four frames were shared as Causier maintained his two-frame cushion at 7-5 and needing just one more for victory. Gilchrist then produced two excellent breaks under pressure (101unf and 85unf), to force a decider at 7-7.

In a tense final frame, Causier’s 76 break took him to the required 100 points to Gilchrist’s 87, as he lifted the title to conclude a great week of Billiards in Leeds.