BRENNAN BOOKS LAST 16 BERTH
Declan Brennan completed the top half of the Last 16 draw in the 2021 Ultimate Pool Masters after triumphing in group eight of the competition on Friday night at the Players Pool and Snooker Lounge in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
The 28-year-old – who is one of English 8-Ball Pool’s hottest properties – flew over from Mayobridge in Northern Ireland earlier in the day and became the first player in the tournament so far to reach the allotted target of eight frames in both of his matches.
Group favourite Brennan began his campaign against former European Champion Oly ‘The Bullet’ Bale, opening up with a reverse dish and then extending his lead to 3-0.
Bale responded, chalking up a reverse dish of his own followed by a break dish to rapidly reduce his arrears to 3-2, and with less than 15 minutes gone on the clock.
However, Brennan – a Supreme Series event winner in 2019 at this venue – scored his first break dish of the evening in the sixth, another reverse dish in frame nine and another break dish in the twelfth to wrap up an 8-4 victory with over four minutes remaining.
In the subsequent last 64 tie, former British Amateur Champion Craig Lakin survived a scare as he ousted a gallant Chris Patient.
Proceedings were going to the form book as the Derby cueman crafted a 3-1 advantage (reverse dish in frame three) but an unexpected miss from him in the fifth seemed to open the door for 9-ball specialist Patient who strung together the next three – including a break dish in the seventh – to take a surprising lead.
Lakin secured three of the next four frames (both players compiled reverse dishes), although ‘The King Pigeon’ Patient set up a grandstand finish as he made it 6-6 just as the clock ticked into the final ten minutes phase.
Cheered on by his supporters in the arena, though, Lakin withstood the pressure and managed to seal an 8-6 success.
PERFECT START TO THE FINAL
Both Brennan and Lakin would contribute to a perfect opening session of the final as all six frames were won in one visit from or immediately after the break.
Showing no ill effect from his quick turnaround, Lakin conjured up a speedy break dish in the first frame before two-time Northern Ireland national champion Brennan racked up two break dishes and a reverse dish to move 3-1 up. Back came ‘Money Makin’ Lakin, though; break and reverse dishes squaring it up at 3-3 to cap an incredible passage of pool from the two.
Somewhat inevitably, the standard dropped slightly after the commercial break. Brennan went back ahead at 4-3 and then punished a rules error from his opponent in the eighth to reopen a two-frame buffer.
Lakin executed a fine finish to keep in touch with frame nine but ‘The Destroyer’ Brennan was not to be denied a date with Josh Kane in the summer as he closed out the next three frames to record his second 8-4 result of the night.
culled from Ultimatepoolgroup.com