Jamie Curtis Barrett and John Welsh will contest the 101st English Amateur Snooker Championship final later this year after the duo came through the latest phase of this season’s prestigious competition at the Landywood Snooker Club in Great Wyrley, Walsall.
Both players will be maiden finalists in the event and will be looking to etch their names on the iconic trophy. First won in 1916, the English Amateur Snooker Championship has been claimed by several of the sport’s all-time greats.
The two remaining cueists started their campaigns by coming through the Northern Area qualifiers at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds back in October to make the national last 16. On that day in the final qualifying round, Curtis Barrett got the better of former European under-21 finalist Hayden Staniland, whilst Welsh pipped current English under-14 champion Stan Moody.
Curtis Barrett began his day at Landywood with a 4-0 success over fellow ex-professional Sanderson Lam, making breaks of 61, 60 and 93 in the process. He then recorded another whitewash win as he ended the hopes of Matthew Glasby 4-0 in the quarter-finals, this time chalking up efforts of 64 and 61.
The 37-year-old faced a very different task in the semi-finals, though, against 2017 champion Billy Castle. There was never more than a frame between them with Curtis Barrett needing to win the final two frames – the ninth frame being on the final black – for a pulsating 5-4 victory.
Welsh was also involved in plenty of drama throughout the day as he recorded two amazing back-to-back recoveries on route.
In the last 16 Welsh recovered from 3-0 down to oust 20-year-old Hamim Hussian 4-3. Incredibly, he then repeated the same trick as he denied former winner Leo Fernandez in the exact same fashion in the quarter-finals. The 57-year-old Welsh made breaks of 50 and 64 during another four-frame streak to stun Fernandez, who the day before had won an Open Series event in Northampton.
Another in-form player awaited Welsh in the semi-finals – English Amateur Tour Event 1 winner earlier this season, Jed Mann. The 22-year-old had eliminated the previous two number one ranked players on the EPSB Seniors Tour – David Brown and Wayne Brown in the last 16 and 8 respectively – but he couldn’t topple last season’s English Over-55 Championship finalist Welsh, who registered runs of 46 and 54 in a 5-1 victory.
Details on when and where the final of the 101st English Amateur Snooker Championship will take place will be announced in due course.