Roxton Chapman wins LITEtask UK Open Billiards Championship


From a record field of 64 players from 8 countries, 1999 UK champion Roxton Chapman from Peterborough emerged a somewhat surprise winner of the 2015 LITEtask UK Open Billiards Championship at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds at the weekend.

Chapman, who retired from professional billiards in the mid 2000’s and from playing altogether 5 years ago, dusted the cue off for a remarkable comeback, rivalling anything seen previously in any sport. Despite not having played at all for a number of years and certainly not at his best, Roxton ‘Rocky’ Chapman managed to outwit several of the world’s top players, including a win in the final over David Causier, the 2013 World Champion and current world ranked no.1. In a repeat of the 1999 UK final Chapman managed to prevail by just 58 points, a similar margin to his victory 16 years earlier. Prior to the final he had taken care of current English champion and 2015 world championship runner up Rob Hall in the semi final, and in-form former professional Robin Wilson in the quarters, both matches being won by small margins over the 90min matches. In the other half of the draw however, David Causier was wreaking his usual havoc on opponents with big breaks and massive scores, accumulating an incredible 3205 points in his 4 pre final KO matches. In the semi final he halted the progress of another former professional making a recent comeback to the game in ‘Dangerous’ Dave Nichols from Norfolk, so named for his aggressive and fast style of play which often wrong foots even the best of opponents. He was no match for Causier here however, only scoring 222 to his opponents 765.

Notable performances included French Indian Akhilesh Mohan’s surprise last 32 win over 1988 UK Champion and local club coach Ian Williamson, whose late father Jim was instrumental in resurrecting billiards a number of times in the past when it was at its lowest ebb. Improving Irish champion Wayne Doyle also put in a solid display with a run to the quarter final and English junior international, 15 year old Sean McAllister, impressed with two group wins. Performance of the tournament however must go to 13 year old Ryan Davies, who came in as a late wildcard replacement for a withdrawn player and proceeded to win 3 of his 4 group matches, following it up with a last 32 win over former Northern Ireland champion Paddy Donnelly before succumbing to Dave Nichols in the last 16.

The UK Championship has a rich history dating back to 1934 when Joe Davis first won the title. The event was resurrected by the late Jim Williamson in 1979 after a gap of 28 years, and following another hiatus since the early 2000’s it is again back on the billiards calendar, this time as an open event. This has been made possible with the help of new title sponsor LITEtask Ltd who are based in Leeds. Managing Director Mark Pears said ‘I have to say what a fantastic weekend. From a personal view I thoroughly enjoyed the 2 days and from a business point of view I couldn’t have asked for more, so thank you very much indeed. I can’t wait for the LITEtask World Championship in October’.

Following the final World Billiards Chairman Alan Chamberlain presented Roxton Chapman with the magnificent UK trophy, which has recently been restored to its former glory. He thanked sponsors LITEtask, hosts Northern Snooker Centre and tournament controller Eugene O’Connor and his team of dedicated referees who were kept on their toes over the weekend overseeing 157 matches over the two days.

With the extra ranking points available at this event it has allowed both Roxton Chapman and Dave Nichols to climb up to 34th and 35th position respectively in the world ranking list. Both players will be hoping this will be enough to gain them direct places in to the World Championship in October when the entry criteria are released next week.

The World Championship is also sponsored by LITEtask and takes place at the Northern Snooker Centre between 16th & 28th October.