The Pro Cup final was guaranteed to be a sparkling affair. Winslow’s Stewart Colclough, one of GB9′s most consistent players ever, was facing newly crowned World 9-Ball Champion Darren Appleton at his home-coming tournament.
Appleton appeared to bring his World Championship form back home with him. His first match of the tournament was against his fellow England partner from the World Cup Of Pool and good friend Chris Melling. What on paper was a mouthwatering tie ended up being anything but; Appleton won through 9-2 and saw himself into the winners bracket. Here he faced Andrew Morris in a much closer affair. 9-6, however, was enough to see Appleton through to the quarter-finals and a date with Chris Hall. The opponent may have changed but the scoreline stayed the same – 9-6 once again seeing Appleton over the latest hurdle and into the semi-finals to face another globally recognised name in Karl Boyes. The 9-6 results were becoming a habit now – once again this was the score in favour of Appleton, and it was a score that saw Boyes out and Appleton into the final.
Colclough had a much less solid, and significantly longer, start to his Pro Cup campaign. Going straight in at the deep end with a 9-8 hill-hill thriller, Colclough failed to see off Chris Hall meaning a showdown with Arfan Dad awaited him in the losers bracket. He picked his feet back up here and saw off Dad 9-7 to put himself one match away from the quarter finals. He next met Northern Masters runner-up Shaun Storry and, despite making 3 break and runs in the match, Storry found himself on the wrong end of a 9-6 final score. Colclough went through to the last 8 to face another East Anglian in the form of Craig Osborne. Yet another long match followed with Colclough winning through 9-7. By this point Colclough had played a quite phenomenal 72 racks out of a maximum possible 76 en route to the semi-finals. Perhaps all this table time helped, however, as an imperious display including four break and runs saw him eliminate provisional British number 1 Jayson Shaw 9 racks to 5 to put him into the final alongside the World Champion.
Whether or not Colclough needed the rest, he was glued to his chair for most of a relatively one-sided match. Appleton pulled off a terrific display to see off the Cheshire shooter 9-2 and bag himself the coveted gold medal on his first GB9 competition of 2012.