by Ben Hudd • March 13, 2023
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz snapped off the 2023 Premier League Pool at the Morningside Arena in Leicester, England, defeating Jayson Shaw 7-4 in the final to continue his sensational dominance of nineball pool in recent times.
Click here for full results and the final league table from the 2023 Premier League Pool
World number one Sanchez Ruiz was a thoroughly deserved champion following a marathon eight days in the East Midlands, upping the ante as the week progressed and eventually sauntering to a sixth nineball accolade in 14 months.
Sanchez Ruiz claimed the opening rack of the final despite losing the lag and soon doubled his advantage courtesy of a golden break. Shaw responded with a timely break and run, prior to receiving some fortune of his own which allowed him to restore parity at 2-2.
They then exchanged break and runs as the match was locked at three apiece. A third break and run from Shaw saw him take a 4-3 lead, only for a missed opportunity when cutting the three ball in the proceeding rack for a two-rack buffer to prove costly for the Brit.
Shaw subsequently scratched on the break and allowed Sanchez Ruiz to run out to lead 5-4, before the world number six became increasingly frustrated by his misfortune as the Spanish sensation moved onto the hill at 6-4 in front.
Shaw had the advantage of breaking to reduce the deficit but he left a look at a shot on the two ball for his opponent following a misfired safety. Sanchez Ruiz found the pocket and cleared the table, securing the $20,000 top prize and adding another prestigious honour to his growing collection.
Meanwhile, Bosnian youngster Sanjin Pehlivanovic had topped the table for the best part of the tournament, but needed to settle for a second-placed finish before his hopes were dashed by Shaw 7-4 in the semi-finals.
Sanchez Ruiz brushed aside Japan’s Naoyuki Oi in his semi-final by the same scoreline, with Oi having pipped Alex Pagulayan to fourth place to make amends for him narrowly missing out on the play-offs twelve months ago.