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First year professional takes European title 17 October 2005

    Scott Ross, a 23 year old from Grangemouth claimed the European professional pool title for Scotland at the Villa Marina when he defeated his English opponent, John Chambers, by six frames to three.

    The final, between two young players in their first season as professionals, looked to be going down to the wire when the scores were tied at 3-3 but Ross pulled away to win the next three frames. He received the trophy, as well as a cheque for £2,000, from Okells Brewery managing direction Ian Lennox whose company had sponsored the competition.

    Around 400 players and 200 spectators descending on the Isle of Man for the tournament which had a prize fund of £18,000. It was the first time the Island had staged the event but players and officials were full of praise not only for the venue itself but the friendliness and co-operation of their hosts.

    Promoter Ross McInnes – a four times world pool champion – said: ‘Dozens upon dozens of people have come up to me and said it was without doubt the best competition in which they had played. This was from the point of view of the venue, the quality of the tables, the friendliness of the Villa Marina staff and the entertainment laid on for them.’

    The finals will be shown on Sky Sports and viewers will witness some excellent play with a fair spread of trophies between the competing countries. The men’s professional final between two of the game’s up and coming stars saw some quick-fire potting before Ross took control in the latter stages.

    Both Ross and Chambers were playing in only their second professional tournaments. The eventual winner had a nail-biting semi-final against another Scot, Craig Parker, before coming through 8-7 while Chambers – who hails from Burton-on-Trent - defeated Jimmy Carney (England) 8-4. Defending champion Andy Lucas from England went out at the last 16 stage to Ieuan Roberts.

    The women’s amateur final produced the most dramatic match of the night with England’s Sarah Trudgett fighting back from 1-4 down to beat her Scottish opponent, Yvonne Ewing, 5-4. Men’s amateur champion was Mark Armstrong (Scotland) after a 5-1 victory over England’s Mark Priest.

    Wales completed a double in the team event, their men defeating Northern Ireland 17-10 in the final while the women saw off the challenge from England to the tune of 17-6.

    The Isle of Man will have cause to remember the first staging of the championship as it pulled off a double triumph in a newly introduced competition, the Consolation Cup, for smaller teams. The men just edged home 17-16 in their final against Southern Ireland while the women had more to spare as they defeated Northern Ireland 17-8.

    The Island’s women almost reached the semi-final of the main team event after victories over Gibraltar (18-15) and Northern Ireland (19-14) in the group stages. They finished level on points with Shetland but lost out by just one frame, on countback, for a place in the semis.

    In addition to Okells Brewery, another of the main sponsors of the tournament was the Isle of Man Department of Tourism. Head of Leisure Services Division and chairman of the Sports Council, Eddie Lowey MLC, was also involved in presenting some of the awards. Mr.Lowey said the players had conducted themselves in such a way as to bring credit to themselves as well as their sport.

    Other main corporate sponsors were the Castle Mona Hotel, Island Automatics, Sleepwell Hotels and Hallmark Security.

    Wrapping up the championship, Ross McInnes said: ‘This tournament will live in our memories for a long time. It reflects great credit on the Isle of Man which has shown it can stage an event of this magnitude. The Villa Marina is a first class venue.

    ‘It is difficult to thank individuals because you always miss out someone but I have to pay tribute to the help received from Paul Moore of the Special Events Unit, Steve Dawson at the Villa Marina, Director of Tourism Geoff Le Page, and Steve Pickett from Heron and Brearley.

    • The finals are being shown on Sky Sports starting next week. Filming was in the hands of Manx-based MBS Productions and four one-hour programmes are being shown each day between October 24th and 27th. Each one will be repeated three times.

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