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EPA Pool Tour - 2019



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EPA Pool Tour 2019
Tour 4 Winner - Mike King
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EPA Pool Tour 2019
Challenge 4 Winner - Rob Wharne



The fourth tour of the season found two of England's finest in great form, namely England Men's Mike King and U23's Sam Bircher.

King's route to the final saw him pitted against Premier League player Eddie Barker, running out a 7-4 winner to set up a clash with Tour 3 winner Adam Davis. King had played Davis at the same stage at tour 3 and found himself on the receiving end of a faultless Davis display, losing 7-0. He was clearly not deterred by this and looking for a little revenge. He exacted this with a 7-5 win. His toughest challenge came in the quarters where he faced an inform Mike Larkins. Larkins took a seemingly unassailable 6-2 lead but failed to close the match out when his chance was presented, giving King just the opportunity he required as he clawed it back and took the deciding frame. A semi-final ensued against Josh Corkett, who must have been weary after overcoming tough opposition in the form of D'Imperio, Ward and Brierley, all in close matches. A slow start for Corkett saw King take a 7-3 lead before eventually closing out the match 8-5.

Bircher, meanwhile, was making his own way through a tricky field, taking out tour 2 semi-finalist and former Master's Champion, Callum Singleton in the last 16, and tour 1 winner Josh Kane in the semi-finals. No one appeared able to push Bircher close and having made a final last year, he was looking good value for his first tour win. Bircher got off to the perfect start in the final, taking a 3-0 lead, but a missed opportunity in the fourth provided King with a chance to get on the board and from there he never looked back, taking a 7-5 lead. It seemed all over in the next frame as King was clearing for the match, but an unexpected miss on the black gave Bircher a glimmer of hope. This was short-lived, however, as a good break in the final frame gave King a chance of redemption which he duly took, taking the match 8-6 and the much coveted EPA Tour title along with it.


SEMIS Josh Corkett [8-5] Josh Kane [8-3]
QUARTERS Mike Larkins [7-6] Guvy Gill [7-4]
LAST 16 Adam Davis [7-5] Callum Singleton [7-3]
LAST 32 Eddie Barker [7-4] Brett Wild [7-3]
LAST 64 Steve Oxley [7-1] Adam Toms [7-2]


Rob Wharne is familiar with the winner's enclosure and he notched up another victory in the Challenge event at Tour 4. The former England player faced some tough opposition along the way, defeating Tour 4 winner Mike King, Callum Singleton and Challenge event 3 winner Shane Thompson amongst others, certainly not the easiest of routes. His opponent in the final, Josh Corkett, faced tough opposition of his own including fellow Bristol based player, Harjeet Singh and Rochdale's Matt Brierley. Corkett was also coming off the back of a semi-final appearance in the tour, so was clearly in fine form. Form doesn't matter though if you don't get to the table and this was an issue for Corkett early on as Wharne got off to a flying start, clearing his own break and then Corkett's dry break. Corkett replied with a clearance of his own. A few more safety-oriented frames then ensued, with Wharne just edging them to take the match 6-3 and pick up his second Challenge event of the season, having also won it at tour 2.


SEMIS Shane Thompson [5-2] Harjeet Singh [5-1]
QUARTERS Brett Wild [5-3] Aki Khan [5-3]
LAST 16 Callum Singleton [5-3] Matt Brierley [5-3]
LAST 32 Mike King [5-1] Sammy Craddock [5-0]
LAST 64 Oliver Lawrence [5-2] Paul Davies [5-1]
LAST 128 Rich Wharton [4-0]


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