Martin wins Eastwood Open again
A very strong field turned up to compete in the Eastwood Open on Sunday 5th October 2008. The popular round robin format was used again which provided every competitor with at least three matches. The top two players in the four man group and the top three in the five man groups progressed to the quarter-finals.
Group A was a tough group which included ex-professional and defending champion Wayne Martin, England under-21 pool player Craig Lakin and the natural talent from Belper, Jimmy Gratton. Gratton won all four of his matches, only dropping one frame, to finish top of the group. Martin, Lakin and Steve Butler all won two matches each, but Butler missed out on a quarter-final place due to a worse frame difference. Tournament organiser Steve Lally failed to win a single frame but still thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Stewart Crosswell won all four of his matches to top group B. Peoples Hall players Hav Hussain and Zed Zubair finished second and third respectively, securing their places in the quarter-finals.
In four-man group C Chris Peich only dropped one frame as he topped the group. His Pegasus team-mate Mike Langdon needed to beat Zeb Ahmed to take the other quarter-final spot but Ahmed potted his way to a 2-0 victory and a place in the knockout stages.
Zeb Ahmed 2-1 Stewart Crosswell
Crosswell was disappointed with his performance in this match as he missed too many chances against an in-form Ahmed.
Wayne Martin 2-1 Jimmy Gratton
This was the match everyone had been waiting for. Gratton had been on fire all day and he looked set to knock out the defending champion, particularly when he made a superb 46 break. However, Martin never rolled over and he dug deep for a 2-1 win against the Belper player.
Chris Piech 2-1 Craig Lakin
A tight match was just edged by the young Pegasus player.
Nav Hussain 2-1 Zeb Zubair
The other three quarter-finals all went to deciding frames and this encounter between two Peoples Hall team-mates was no different, however Hussain produced some classy snooker to win the match and book his place in the semi-finals.
Wayne Martin 2-0 Zeb Ahmed
It was a good day for Ahmed who reached the semi-finals in his tournament debut, however Martin was just too strong for the Peoples Hall player. A nice 40 break from Martin in this match.
Nav Hussain 2-0 Chris Piech
Hussain came out all guns blazing against Piech and he won the match in no time at all. A run of 33 effectively sealed the match for Hussain as Piech was left with too much to do.
Final £60 / £30
Wayne Martin 3-1 Nav Hussain
A quality tournament was capped by a quality final. Hussain was buzzing whereas Martin was, by his own admission, struggling. Hussain went 1-0 up with some superb potting and he looked set to go 2-0 up but Martin had other ideas. A terrific 27 clearance stole the second frame for Martin and provided a timely reminder for Hussain that Martin was not going down without a fight. In the third frame Hussain again looked set for victory as he left Martin needing two snookers and all the colours to win the frame. Martin showed his class as he got the snookers he required and then cleared the table to go 2-1 up. The way Martin stole the third frame seemed to unsettle Hussain as he started to go for everything. This allowed Martin to start flowing and he took the fourth frame and the match 3-1. A superb display by Martin who never fired on all cylinders but still did enough to win his fourth successive Eastwood Open.
Jimmy Gratton 59,46,32,31 (£10)
Nav Hussain 47,33
Stewart Crosswell 43
Wayne Martin 40,39
Craig Lakin 31,31