It has been another very busy campaign on the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards circuit with over 100 event days/weekends having taken place across the 2022/23 season.
Details on the upcoming 2023/24 season – including formats, event dates and membership information – are set to be released in the coming weeks. In the meantime, let’s look back at who won what over the past several months.
George Pragnell was the star of the show on the English Amateur Snooker Tour as he finished the season as England’s number one ranked amateur player.
The 28-year-old enjoyed a sensational season, claiming three of the five Tour events; Event 1 (Tradewell SC, Hull), Event 2 (The Winchester, Leicester) and Event 4 (Woking SC). Throughout the term Pragnell won 21 out of 23 matches on the Tour, and at one point had a 13-match winning streak.
Ashley Carty (Event 3, Elite Preston) and Martin O’Donnell (Event 5, Landywood, Great Wyrley) were the other event winners – the duo finished second and third respectively in the rankings. Both O’Donnell and Carty will once again be part of the World Snooker Tour having earned promotion via the WPBSA Q Tour.
Harvey Chandler finished fourth in the rankings and Patrick Whelan, fifth.
In the tournament’s 102nd edition, teenager Paul Deaville became the youngest winner of the prestigious English Amateur Snooker Championship since 2003.
The 18-year-old came through a regional event at Cueball Derby to qualify for the last 16 finals weekend at the Landywood SC in early April. Deaville made it to the final where he defeated former champion and ex-professional Leo Fernandez 6-2 to add his name to an illustrious list of title winners which goes all the way back to 1916.
Hamim Hussain can be extremely pleased with his efforts on the EPSB scene this season having written several headlines.
Hussain won five EPSB Open Series events and was clear at the top of the rankings (earning a free Q School entry) ahead of second placed Ryan Davies – last season’s runaway number one. In total, 426 players took part in Open Series events in 2022/23 and several new venues hosted events.
Birmingham native Hussain also compiled a 147 maximum break during the fifth EAST event at Landywood.
In the Open Series Playoff sponsored by the Tradewell, the highest seed in the event Daniel Womersley defeated former professional Riley Parsons 3-1 in the final for the other free Q School entry.
Carty won the 2023 English 6-Red Snooker Championship, lifting the Jake Nicholson Trophy after a brilliant weekend’s action at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds. In an all-South Yorkshire final, Carty pipped Shaun Wilkes 7-5 for the top prize.
Liam Pullen and Ryan Davies were the standout performers on this season’s EPSB junior circuit.
Pullen revelled on both the domestic and international scenes. The 17-year-old finished the season as England’s number one ranked junior player after winning three of the six English Under-21 Premier Development Tour events. Amazingly, he won events 5 and 6 back-to-back during the same weekend at the Winchester.
The York cueist also won the English Under-18 Snooker Championship at the Cueball Derby after denying Oliver Sykes 4-2 in the final along with breaks of 139 and 122.
A finalist in both the World Snooker Federation Junior Championship in Australia and the EBSA European Under-18 Snooker Championship in Malta, Pullen qualified for the sport’s professional circuit for the first time after graduating from the UK Q School Event 1 in Leicester at the end of May.
Davies very nearly joined Pullen on the World Snooker Tour but narrowly missed out in the final round of Q School Event 2 via a deciding frame.
The Oldham resident won Events 1 and 4 on the Under-21 PDT and finished second in the rankings. He also notched up two further event victories on the Open Series and came second when all the points were totted up – Davies is the most decorated winner in Open Series history.
In March at the Crucible in Reading, Davies secured the English Under-21 Snooker Championship for the first time – with his last opportunity due to his age – after defeating Lewis Ullah 5-0 in the final. It meant that Davies completed a unique career grand slam of junior snooker and billiards accolades.
Sean Maddocks claimed this season’s other U21 PDT event title – at Event 2 – when he defeated Pullen in the final.
This season’s PowerGlide English Under-14 Snooker Championship featured 163 youngsters taking part through several club qualifying events up and down the country. 12-year-old Shaun Liu – who made two century breaks during stage two of the tournament – defeated Nicholas Ayers 4-0 in the final held at Landywood.
In the new EPSB Junior Series, several champions were discovered across the various regions.
In the under-16 category, Daniel Boyes, Harry Wyatt and O’Shay Scott were the number one ranked players from the North, Midlands and South sections, respectively.
In the under-21 category, Lewis Ullah (North), Mitchell Berry (Midlands) and Oliver Sykes (South) all claimed number one accolades, too.
Dave Allender, Lee Stephens and Nigel Bond claimed three big titles on the EPSB seniors circuit during the 2022/23 campaign.
Playing in EPSB competition for the first time this season, 47-year-old Allender won Events 1 and 4 on the English Seniors Snooker Tour and finished the term as the number one ranked player just five points ahead of second placed Craig Butler.
Wayne Brown (Event 2), Jamie Bodle (Event 3), Simon Bedford (Event 5) and Gary Milne (Event 6) were the other event winners on the Seniors Tour.
The top eight players from the end-of-season rankings qualified for the 2023 English Seniors Snooker Championship at the Cueball Derby. A two-time event runner-up earlier in the season, the third time was a charm for 41-year-old Stephens as he got the better of Butler 3-1 in the final to become a national champion.
Former World Championship finalist and British Open champion Bond dropped just one frame all weekend as he won the 2023 Rick Connolly Chartered Financial Planning English Over-55 Snooker Championship at the Club 147 in Leicester.
Jamie Hunter completed this season’s EPSB Women’s snooker double, winning 11 out of 11 matches across both competitions.
In September, Hunter defeated Chrissy Allwood 3-0 in the final to win the 2022 The Winchester English Women’s Snooker Open, and in May at the Landywood SC the Widnes cueist saw off Mary Talbot-Deegan 3-1 in the title match for the 2023 Inter County Logistics English Women’s Snooker Championship.
Hunter is the sixth different winner in as many editions of the national championship.
Rob Hall continues to dominate the English National Billiards Championship; the world number three successfully defended the national title at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds after denying Jonathan Marwood 562-322 in the final.
William Chambers and Riley Ellis finished joint-top of the English Junior Billiards Tour rankings after each winning both events in their respective regions.
Special mentions also go to Stan Moody and Manasawin Phetmalaikul – both familiar and successful figures on the EPSB scene in recent years – for winning maiden World Snooker Tour cards.
Moody – who has won English under-14, 16 and 18 national championships in recent years – won the WSF Junior Championship in Sydney (and nearly did the double Down Under when he reached the final of the open category a few days later).
Last year’s English 6-red runner-up Phetmalaikul came through the Asian Q School in Bangkok, Thailand.
The EPSB would like to thank all the players, members, officials and venues that have helped support the circuit this season!