Midlothian pool shark Ross Fernie produced a stunning performance to lift the Belhaven Scottish Open Pool Championship and his first Scottish championship title.
Fernie, 28, from Rosewell, came out on top out of the 128 players competing for the top prize in Scottish pool at the Players Lounge in Falkirk, defeating Glasgow’s Scott Ross 10-8 in the final.
Fernie had to come through a tough qualifying section just to even get through to the final stages. By winning two matches at the Corner Pocket Club in Dalkeith last month, Fernie booked his place against 126 other qualifiers from across Scotland and last year’s champion, where they would fight it out for a share of the £10,400 prize fund and the coveted title of Scottish champion.
“I am absolutely buzzing. I always seem to get a decent run in this event but just fall short so to actually get over the line and win it is unreal,” a delighted Fernie said.
The Midlothian cue-man won his opening two matches and then came through a real battle against Uddingston’s John Owen in his first match last Sunday morning, battling from 6-3 down to secure an 8-7 victory. Another two victories earned Fernie a place in the semi-final where he emerged a 9-7 winner over fellow Scotland Internationalist, Marc Fleming (Dundee).
In the final, it was the Glaswegian who made the better start, winning the opening two frames and looking the slightly stronger of the two in the opening exchanges of a high quality-contest. However, Fernie was in great form himself and got himself 9-6 in front after some great pool. The Glaswegian wasn’t for giving up though and won the next two to close the gap to 9-8 and just when the enthralling match looked like it was going to go to a decider, the Glaswegian missed, leaving Fernie a simple black which he pocketed to secure the title and a cheque for £2000.
Fernie said: “I felt good in the final until I went 9-6 up and the pressure hit me like a train. I thought I had blown it when I missed a good chance when 9-8 up, but thankfully I managed to fall over the line.”
Two of Fernie’s greatest supporters were there to see him lift the title in Brian York and Jenny Lawson, who own the Corner Pocket Club where Ross plays and who also sponsor him to play in the events.
York said: “He has been knocking at the door for a while now, so for him to finally lift the title is brilliant. We are so proud that his hard work and dedication has paid off with this victory and we are sure he will win many more titles in the future.”
It has been a fantastic year for Fernie, who juggles playing on the Scottish and UK pool circuits with a full-time job as a driver. This season he won his first Scottish ranking title earlier this year, which has taken him up to number three in the Scottish rankings.
He said: “Winning my first Scottish ranking event this year was great, but to now win this one is just brilliant. I have so many people to thank for their support. Jenny and Brian have done so much to support me, which I am hugely grateful for, but also Ronnie Ferrier, who sadly died a few years ago. Ronnie did lots for pool in Midlothian, but he was hugely supportive of me when I was starting out in the game.”
Fernie will now turn his attention to the World Championships next month, where he will travel south of the border to represent Scotland in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.