Adam Davis was the happiest man in Blackpool last night after becoming Barcelo World 8-Ball Pool champion for the first time.
And Northern Ireland’s Emma Cunningham regained her the ladies’ singles title after a six- year wait.
Stoke potter Davis defeated former champion Phil Harrison 11-9 to lift the trophy at the Imperial Hotel and claim the £8,000 winners’ cheque.
“I had so many demons in my head throughout the match,” said the 24-year-old after potting the winning 8-Ball
“I twitched so many times but I just kept telling myself to believe. Fortunately, I managed to hold myself together.”
Fourth seed Davis looked to have got Harrison’s measure when he led 7-4. However, Harrison, a 10-2 semi-final winner over Mick Hill, showed flashes of that form to level at 8-8.
Davis showed excellent temperament to clear up to regain his lead at 9-8.
He took frame 18 as well to stand on the verge of victory before Harrison had his last throw of the dice.
And presented with his opportunity in what proved to be the final frame, Davis cleared up to the cheers of his supporters, including girlfriend Gemma plus parents, Alan and Janet.
“I just tried to tell myself I was clearing up in the club,” he said. “It’s just a great feeling to be world champion..”
Harrison admitted: “I deserved to lose. I tried my hardest but I couldn’t get anything down from the break. Adam took his chances and I didn’t.”
24-year-old Milton Keynes- based Cunningham overwhelmed Australia Renata Delahunty 8-2 to pocket an £1,800 top prize.
Both players suffered nerves, especially first time finalist Delahunt. But Cunningham triumphed after four previous final disappointments against pre-tournament favourite Sue Thompson.
“I am chuffed,” she smiled after being re-united with the trophy. “It was a struggle early on because both of us were nervous. All those teenage years when I had no fear`are gone,” she laughed.
“People were telling me I was favourite but I didn’t see it that way.
“I knew how well Renata had played throughout the week and the score line does not really reflect the match.”
Delahunty admitted:”I have suffered with nerves throughout my career.
“Just when you think you’re over them, they come back again. “I had my opportunities but Emma is a worthy world champion.”
England’s five-year reign as Barcelo men’s world team champions is over after underdogs Ireland scored a famous 8-5 win.
Simon Fitzmaurice sank the winning 8-Ball at the expense of England skipper Lee Kendall.
It was Team Ireland’s first victory since 2005. “You don’t expect to win when you are playing England because they have been the best team in the world, said manager John Magee.
“However, sometimes they don’t always win and this time it was our turn.”