Declan Brennan ousts Chris Melling to win Ultimate Pool Champions League 2024

Credit: Ultimate Pool GroupCredit: Ultimate Pool Group
Credit: Ultimate Pool Group | Ultimate Pool Group
Northern Ireland’s Declan Brennan claimed his second televised title with Ultimate Pool as he pipped Chris Melling via a 6-red shootout in a thrilling final to win the 2024 Champions League.

The 31-year-old was one of four players who made it through to the competition’s Finals Night at the Players Pool and Snooker Lounge in Newcastle-under-Lyme following 20 weeks of live action on TNT Sports.

Brennan, ranked ninth in the professional standings at the start of the night, faced number one and the most decorated winner ever on the Ultimate Pool circuit, Wales’ Tom Cousins, first up in the semi-finals.

A rematch of the WEPF World Masters final held in Morocco last year that Brennan triumphed in, the Mayobridge cueist played a perfect opening set which he won 4-1 to take the lead, although two-time world champion Cousins secured set two 4-0 to force the tie into a 6-red shootout against the clock.

Having won the lag, Brennan elected to go first and recorded a decent time of just over 26 seconds after not getting an ideal initial split. In an exciting climax, Cousins was on course to better it, but missed an all-or-nothing final pot to see his opponent progress to the final.

In the second semi-final, two of the sport’s former world champions and all-time greats crossed cues as Melling defeated fellow Englishman Carl Morris in straight sets (4-1, 3-2).

The final featured four-time Ultimate Pool event champion Melling - winner of the inaugural Champions League in 2021 - and Brennan, who was looking for his second accolade with the organisation having created history nearly three years ago when he won the first Pro Series event at this venue. On that occasion, he got the better of Melling in the title match in front of the cameras.

In their latest meeting - which was a high-quality affair throughout - Brennan chalked up set one (3-2) before a resilient Melling recovered from one frame down to win the second set (4-2) and take the contest all the way to a shootout.

Brennan was put in first and he produced a fantastic effort of just over 20 seconds to heap huge pressure on Melling, who is renowned for his fast pace around the table.

In response, the balls following Melling’s break-off landed awkwardly, and as he tried to separate the balls with his next shot, inadvertently played an illegal push that would have added an extra five penalty seconds to his time. With the game surely up already, he graciously conceded and Brennan was crowned the fourth different champion in as many editions.

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