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WPC Semis Set: Peach and Boyes Lead Charge from Blackpool
Nov 10, 2007, 5:48 AM

MANILA, Philippines – In an almost surreal turn of events, two residents of Blackpool, England, will be competing in the semifinals of the World Pool Championship Saturday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Daryl Peach of Blackpool will face Hungary’s Vilmos Foldes in one semifinal, and fellow resident Karl Boyes will face Roberto Gomez of the Philippines.

Prior to this year, no Brit had ever advanced past the quarterfinals of the WPC. Now there are two from England in the semis, and from the same seaside resort town, no less.

The surprising Boyes, a 25-year-old English 8-ball player who only recently took up 9-ball, scored a convincing victory over up-and-coming Filipino Joven Bustamante in their quarterfinal match. He led 9-4 before an errant shot brought Bustamante back to the table.

Bustamante put up a good fight, drawing to 9-8, but he jarred a 5 ball in the 18th game. Boyes immediately leapt to his feet and even gave a small fist pump.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Boyes said. “When I saw it rattle, I almost jumped onto the table.”

Boyes ran out, and then broke and ran the final rack for the 11-8 win.

“I’m just happy really,” he said. About his recent career decision: “I think I’ll stick with 9-ball for a while.”

Boyes will face Gomez, the remaining Filipino in the event and now the apparent favorite. He has utterly dominated his last four opponents, including an 11-0 victory over Niels Feijen in the round-of-16 and an 11-4 win over 2005 runner-up Kuo Po-cheng of Taiwan in their quarterfinal match.

“That’s added pressure for me, because I want a Filipino to win the event and I’m the only one left,” the 29-year-old Gomez said after the Kuo match. “I still feel a little bit nervous, because there are still two more matches to go.”