Sunday 26 June

Pro Series Treble for Rampant Hill

In-form Michael Hill continues to rule this season’s Ultimate Pool professional circuit after defeating Rob Wharne 8-2 in the final to win the 2022 Pro Series Event 6.

‘The Machine’ is enjoying an incredible campaign. He strengthens his grip at the top of the provisional rankings with his third Pro Series title of the year following victories at Events 1 and 4. The Englishman also makes history, becoming the first player to secure titles at three consecutive Pro Series weekends.

Success in Blackpool is synonymous with Hill – all six of his world championships have been won in the seaside town – and he bounced back from a last 16 loss to Chris Melling in Event 5 on Friday with a string of impressive results and performances on his way to his latest title.

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He defeated friend, doubles partner and former world champion Phil Harrison 7-2 in the last 32 before eliminating the experienced Brian Halcrow, 7-3, in the last 16.

Hill’s closest match came in the quarter-finals when he faced former Pro Series event winner Declan Brennan. In the decider, the Northern Irishman broke dry and went in-off; Hill duly jumped on the opportunity, reverse clearing for a 7-6 victory.

In the last four Hill ended the run of Karl Boyes 7-5 to make a record-equalling fourth final on the series, drawing level with current number one professional Shane Thompson. Despite the loss, four-time Mosconi Cup winner Boyes made a big impact during his maiden weekend within the Ultimate Pool pro ranks.

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Wharne’s final appearance was his best run at an Ultimate Pool event having previously reached the semi-finals of the 2021 Masters and 2022 Pro Series Event 1.

Perhaps inspired by Karl Sutton and David McNamara’s heroics the day before in Event 5, the similarly ranked Wharne emerged from a gauntlet of highly decorated players to get to the final.

‘Whacker’ eliminated former world champion and Event 3 winner Jack Whelan 7-5 in the prelim round and then Thompson 7-3, current European champion Dejan Grech 7-2, Jimmy Croxton 7-6, and Neil Raybone 7-3.

However, just like he did at the same venue back in March at the aforementioned first event, Hill stopped Wharne’s momentum, stomping his authority early on with a 4-0 lead and later converting for a glorious hat-trick.

From his three final wins this season, Hill has a frame aggregate of 24-5.

Arguably the greatest small table 8-ball pool player of all-time, Hill didn’t win an Ultimate Pool title of any description during 2021, but suddenly, he is seemingly back to his ominous and dominant best.

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