The 900 – Groups 1 and 2 – 20 September 2022

Jason’s Francis “youngest” brainchild took its first steps yesterday as the first two groups of this season “900” were played in the Crucible club in Reading.

A quick reminder: this competition is for amateurs only, it’s played under variant rules, similar to the shoot-out, it’s just one frame, over 15 minutes maximum and under a 20 seconds shot-clock.

Jason, as usual, did a sterling job. Thank you Jason!

The setup is really nice:

He got Michaela Tabb back to work

And a great commentary team: Neal Foulds, Rachel Casey, and “The Shirt” Lee Richardson.

Because of Queen Elisabeth II funerals, Group 1 had been postponed and we had two groups played yesterday. Exceptionally, Group 1 was played in the afternoon, which was great for me as … being in Greece, the “normal schedule” would be from midnight to 3 am here. Far too late for me, I’m afraid.

I really enjoyed it. This event is a celebration of diversity and there was real quality snooker on show.

Group 1:

Michael Collumb was the deserved winner of the first group, he played really well. There was plenty more to enjoy though. Not many would have given Dennis Taylor a chance, but he impressed. It’s quite obvious that he has put the work in for this one. Beating Billy Castle, who was playing well himself, is no mean feat. He may be retired and 73 years old but the inner competitive beast is well and truly alive! Take a bow Dennis!

Maria Catalano isn’t back to her former level. She has gone through extremely though times, following her father death. But she looked better – in a better place and playing better – than a few weeks ago and she appeared to enjoy her game against Dennis. This is a huge positive.

I enjoyed all the matches. Connor Benzey comes across as not just a very good prospect but a lovely young man as well.

Group 2:

I didn’t see much at all from this group. I’m not a night owl, I’m afraid.

Ashley Carty was probably the favourite on paper in this group, but he fell at the first hurdle. Over just one frame those things can happen of course. Zach Richardson won it.

Billy Castle, Dennis Taylor, Connor Benzey, Michael Collumb, Jamie Bodle, Zach Richardson, Andrew Norman and Stuart Reardon will compete today, aiming at reaching the Winners Week.

Here are some images shared on social media by Jason Francis and Michaela Tabb: