Gavin Robinson defeated legendary duo Lee Kendall and Ronan McCarthy to win Group 10 of the 2021 Ultimate Pool Masters and set up a last 16 date with Simon Fitzsimmons later this summer.

Action at the Players Pool and Snooker Lounge began with a low-scoring affair between Robinson and former two-time European Champion and Mosconi Cup winner Lee Kendall that needed to be settled via a 6-reds shootout.

There was never more than a frame between the pair as all six frames went to whoever broke.

Home venue hero Kendall led three times – producing a break dish in the third frame – but North-East cueman Robinson delivered a break dish of his own in frame six as time was wearing thin to force the third shootout of the competition so far.

Having never been in front, Robinson potted two balls from his break in the tiebreaker and cleared the rest in 30.47 seconds, a time that Kendall could not better.

The second last 64 tie of the evening was an all-Northern Irish affair between another two of English 8-Ball Pool’s most recognisable figures – Ronan McCarthy and Emma Cunningham.

In his first competitive match in well over a year, McCarthy break dished in the opening frame but four-time World Women’s Champion Cunningham punished a miss from her opponent to level up at 1-1.

However, despite some exquisite shot-making from Cunningham, 10-time pro tour event winner McCarthy (reverse dish in frame four) got on a roll and ran out an 8-2 winner – a scoreline that wasn’t necessarily a true reflection of the contest.

GAV GOES GAME

McCarthy claimed the opening frame of the group final, creating a reverse dish off his opponent’s dry break, however, former World Doubles Championship finalist Robinson did likewise in frame two. 

The next two frames were shared in the same order and the pivotal moment of the match came in the fifth. When Robinson snookered himself on the black and subsequently went in-off for good measure, the table was at McCarthy’s mercy. But a perplexing miss from McCarthy when trying to play a cute positional shot with side unexpectedly allowed the Coundon resident back to the table to complete a 3-2 lead. 

Robinson built on this big moment, reverse dishing in frame six and then extending his lead to 5-2. Now pressured by the clock, McCarthy constructed a quick break dish to reduce his deficit but was probably pushed too much in the next frame when going for a reverse dish and lost it. Although Robinson inadvertently sunk the black midway through frame ten, he finished up as a 6-4 winner when the 50-minute match-clock expired – dispatching his second experienced rival of the night in Newcastle-under-Lyme. 

culled from ultimatepoolgroup.com

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