The final ranking event of the 2023/24 season took place last weekend at the Tradewell Snooker Club in Hull with champions crowned across eight classification groups.

A total of 79 cueists from seven nations, a new record for the Wilson Interiors Hull Open, embarked on East Yorkshire for the latest staging of the prestigious event which was first held in 2016.

On an historic weekend of WDBS action, two players moved to the summit of their group ranking lists, two more reached a ranking event final for the first time in the career and a record break by an ambulant player was achieved.

Read about how the action unfolded below.

Beaumont Goes Back-To-Back

England’s Dave Beaumont followed up on his maiden ranking event title at the Belgian Open by defeating Tony Southern 3-0 in the final of Group 1+2.

Beaumont dropped just a single frame across his six matches in the event and also compiled the group’s high break during a 2-0 group stage victory over Gary Swift.

Playing in only his fourth WDBS ranking event, the eventual champion dominated his five-man group, which also featured Neville Helou – who had travelled from New South Wales in Australia to compete in the WDBS ranking event for the very first time.

A whitewash victory over Nathan Williams, another player competing for the first time, put Beaumont in the final where he faced the groups top-ranked player Southern.

Southern was no match for Beaumont on this occasion, however, as he made it back-to-back titles with an impressive display which also moves him to a career-high of second in the world rankings.

Kelly is King in Hull

Daniel Kelly defeated Kal Mattu 3-0 in the Group 3 final to win the second ranking event title of his career.

The Irishman was the dominant player across the weekend, dropping just two frames in six matches as he topped his five-man group before defeating the group’s two highest-ranked players to secure the crown.

Joe Hardstaff proved a stern test for Kelly in the semi-final, drawing level at 1-1, but was only able to score a single point in the third frame and the former Irish Open champion then took the fourth to reach the title match.

Mattu, the only player to take a frame off Kelly in the initial group phase, was his opponent again in the final but was unable to deny the Irishman his first title away from home soil.

Hometown Glory for Gibson

Carl Gibson defeated Nigel Brasier 3-0 in the Group 4 final to win the title in his home city and move to number one in the ranking list for the first time.

Gibson has now won all three ranking titles in 2024, adding the Wilson Interiors Hull Open crown to the British Open and Belgian Open titles won earlier in the year.

The local player started strongly in his opening group stage contest against Brasier as he compiled a 99 break, a new record for an ambulant cueist in a WDBS event, en-route to a 2-0 victory.

Gibson’s toughest test came in the semi-final match against recent World Snooker Tour (WST) Hall of Fame inductee Daniel Blunn.

Blunn took the opener and also led 2-1 in a the best-of-five frame contest, but despite making a half-century in the decider he was unable to deny Gibson his place in the title match.

There he would meet Brasier, who had created one of the stories of the weekend by eliminating former professional world number eight Dean Reynolds and world number one William Thomson to reach the first ranking event final of his career.

The 3-0 scoreline in the final did not fully reflect the action on the baize, with each of the frames being closely contested, but ultimately it was Gibson who showed his experience to get over the line and memorably secure the world number one position in his home city.

Fantastic Five in a Row for Bolton

Dave Bolton secured a fifth consecutive ranking event title by defeating Dalton Lawrence 3-1 in the Group 5 final.

Bolton continues to look unstoppable in WDBS ranking events and was once again in dominant form as he dropped just three frames across eight matches at the Tradewell Snooker Club.

The Englishman compiled a quartet of half-centuries across the weekend as he topped his group, despite an unexpected defeat to Belgian Open finalist Dave Waller, before whitewashing Jason Ellis to reach the final.

Lawrence reached the final by defeating Gerdy Dupont 3-1 in the last four, which also secured his place at next month’s Champion of Champions event, and took the opening frame of the title match against Bolton.

Bolton ultimately proved too strong, however, and a break of 51 in the third frame helped the 48-year-old on his way to glory.

Butt Back to Winning Ways

Mohammed Faisal Butt defeated Alan Reynolds 3-1 in the Group 6A final at the Tradewell Snooker Club.

The victory will give confidence to the 44-year-old Englishman as he prepares to once again face Reynolds in the Champion of Champions next month, where he was defeated 6-0 by the Scotsman last year.

Butt saved his best form for the knockout stages, following up a quarter-final victory over Liam Crook with a stunning whitewash victory over Ryan Ryding, who he had previously lost to in the initial group phase.

In the final he faced Reynolds, who had not lost a single frame en-route to the final and was aiming for a third consecutive Group 6A crown, but the Englishman was too strong on this occasion and charged into a 2-0 lead before ultimately getting over the line 3-1 to take the title.

Heroics in Hull from Haslam

Matthew Haslam came from 2-0 down to defeat Ryan Pinnington 3-2 in the Group 6B final of the Wilson Interiors Hull Open.

The success secured Haslam’s place in next month’s Champion of Champions event and saw him defend the title that he won at the Tradewell Snooker Club in 2023.

Twelve cueists competed in the classification group and Haslam was the joint-best performer in the first round as he, along with Pinnington and world number one Leroy Williams, topped his group without dropping a frame.

The 19-year-old came from behind to defeat Ben Rogers 2-1 in the quarter finals before whitewashing Christopher Goldsworthy to reach the final.

There he would meet Pinnington, who had impressively reached a maiden ranking event final by whitewashing the reigning British Open champion James Hart before holding his nerve in a decider against Williams after the group’s top ranked player had come from 2-0 down.

The 25-year-old made a dream start to the title match, firing in a 41 break to move 2-0 ahead and one away from glory.

Unfortunately for Pinnington, he was this time unable to hold off a comeback as Haslam battled back to 2-2 and then dominated the decider to win the title.

O’Brien Wins Title at Tradewell

Colvin O’Brien won an all-Irish final against Dylan Rees 3-1 to win the Wilson Interiors Hull Open for the first time in his career.

O’Brien made history at the turn of the year when he made the first ever century break in a WDBS event at January’s British Open and he has continued his fine form by winning back-to-back ranking event titles in Bruges and Hull.

Four victories from six group stage matches proved enough for the 38-year-old to reach the knockout stages, where he then overcame Mike Gillespie in a dramatic contest that he trailed 2-0 before getting over the line in a decider.

Rees was his opponent in the title match after whitewashing defending champion Paul Smith in the semi-finals, but it was O’Brien who took the glory in the battle of the Irish cueists as he compiled a break of 44 to secure the crown in frame four.

Vital Victory for Taylor in Hull

Gary Taylor won his first ranking event title in over a year to return to world number one and book his place at the Champion of Champions.

Taylor, who lost to Luke Drennan in the final of last year’s Hull Open, secured a 3-2 victory over Belgium’s Kristof De Bruyn to lift a first title since the 2023 Belgian Open.

A strong field of sixteen players entered the Group 8 event, the highest of any classification group in the tournament, and Taylor topped his group with a clean sweep of wins before whitewash victories over Richard Gott and Daniel Booth in the knockout stages saw Taylor reach the final without dropping a frame.

De Bruyn topped a tough group that saw world number one Lewis Knowles eliminated in the opening round, and then beat Nitesh Chavda and Drennan to set up a final meeting with Taylor.

The title match was a dramatic and hard-fought contest that saw the two players trading frames and it seemed fitting that the match went to a decider, which Taylor was able to take 51-16 to be crowned champion.

Glory for Grant in Challenge Cup

David Grant defeated Robert Marriott 2-0 to win the Challenge Cup at the Wilson Interiors Hull Open for a second consecutive year.

The Challenge Cup sees players who did not qualify for the final day’s knockout stages compete for glory and it was Group 8 player Grant who took the title by defeating Ronnie Allen, Lewis Knowles, Tony Davies and finally Marriott at the Tradewell Snooker Club.

WDBS would like congratulate all the winners and thank everyone at the Tradewell Snooker Club and Wilson Interiors for their support with the event.

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