Karl Sutton produced a superb performance in the group five final to reach the last 16 of the 2021 Ultimate Pool Masters.
An odds-against favourite to progress in what was a keenly contested section of the draw, Sutton grew stronger as the evening went on as he stayed on course for a £10,000 payday later this year.
Action in Newcastle-under-Lyme began with a scrappy, low-scoring affair between Hiten Patel and Eddie Barker.
The opening two frames were shared before an important juncture in the third where Barker failed to get position on the black when it appeared as if the frame was at his mercy. Indian International Patel duly cleared up and then claimed the next two to take firm control with less than nine minutes to go.
Former International Masters Finalist Barker registered the first break and dish of the night in frame six to reduce his arrears, but Patel managed to win a drawn out seventh frame as the clock was expiring to record a 5-2 victory.
Sutton’s tilt at the title started with a match against long-time England teammate Ben Flack.
A European champion in 2016, Sutton moved 2-0 ahead before inadvertently potting the black midway through frame three and then watching his opponent square it up at 2-2.
The Lowestoft cueist got back on track as he reverse dished from a dry break in frame five but former World Masters and two-time European champion Flack did exactly the same in frame six.
What may have been a pivotal moment in the context of the match came in the seventh. Seemingly in a position of strength, Flack was rushed by the 15-second shot-clock and the ensuing error helped his opponent go back in front. Sutton then break dished in the eighth and chalked up frame nine to extend his lead to 6-3.
Flack quickly reverse dished after his opponent went in-off in frame 10 but that would be the final completed frame and Sutton advanced 6-4.
If Sutton was a little disappointed with his overall display during his first assignment, he would later feel very pleased with a clinical outing against Patel in the group decider.
The pair shared the first two frames (reverse dish for Sutton in frame one) before Sutton doubled the black in the third and then crafted a break dish in the fourth to go 3-1 up. The former World Championship Finalist swelled his profit after a fantastic pot on the black in the fifth, although Patel kept in touch with a reverse dish in the next.
However, that would be Patel’s last real say in the encounter. Sutton strung together the next four frames which included a reverse dish of his own in frame seven and a delicate back-double on the black in the ninth before finishing off with another break dish in frame 10 to ice an 8-2 triumph with just under 10 minutes remaining.
culled from Ultimate pool group