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Hallworth is 103rd English Amateur Snooker Champion

Home » Hallworth is 103rd English Amateur Snooker Champion

Lincoln’s Steven Hallworth has defeated Callum Downing 6-4 to win the 2024 Landywood English Amateur Snooker Championship at the Landywood Snooker Club.

The title represents the biggest title of Hallworth’s career to date and sees the 28-year-old join an illustrious list of former winners since 1916 which includes Ray Reardon, John Spencer, Terry Griffiths, Jimmy White and Stuart Bingham.

With the final weekend held for the second successive year at the Landywood Snooker Club – title sponsors for the event – the prestigious tournament welcomed 16 players who had qualified from three regional qualifying tournaments held last October.

Among them was former professional Hallworth, who notably survived a final frame decider against Sean Maddocks in qualifying and came into the event on the back of a successful campaign which has seen him claim two event victories on the English Amateur Tour.

Drawn against former English Under-14s champion Vladislav Gradinari in the last 16, the weekend would prove to be dramatic from the off as he survived an impressive comeback from his young opponent from 0-3 down, to get over the line a 4-3 winner.

Another final frame would be required in the quarter-finals as this time it was Hallworth who had to fight back from 2-4 down, hitting breaks of 65, 70 and 60 in the final three frames to stun Craig Steadman and make it through to Sunday.

Up against King’s Lynn’s Nathan Jones, Hallworth would enjoy a smoother passage into the title match as he scored a 5-0 whitewash to secure his final place.

Awaiting him would be compatriot Callum Downing, whose run to the final represented a significant achievement for a player returning to competition after time away from the sport.

The 31-year-old notably ended the title defence of 2023 winner Paul Deaville in the Midlands qualifiers, before overcoming Lewis Ullah, Matthew Glasby and most notably 1989 English Amateur Championship winner Nigel Bond in the semi-finals to reach the showcase final.

It was Hallworth who would make the early-running as he claimed a 2-0 lead – the second with a clearance of 25 as would become a theme of what would be a tightly contested final.

Breaks of 51 and 79 helped Downing to draw level at the mid-session interval, before the next four frames were shared, with Hallworth clinching the fifth and seventh frames with crucial clearances on the final balls to stay in the match despite scoring a high break of just 37 for the majority of the match.

From 4-4, however, it was Hallworth who used his wealth of experience to take control of the final and ultimately claim the final two frames to complete a 6-4 victory and become the 103rd winner of the world’s oldest recognised snooker competition.

“It means the world to lift this title,” said Hallworth. “The history and prestige attached to it is something else. The names on the trophy are incredible and now mine will be on it.

“It’s not very often as snooker players we leave an event with a smile on your face. If you can’t celebrate the wins when they come then what are you playing for. I was buzzing to strap that trophy into the passenger seat of my car last night and drive home, I’m absolutely made up.

“I wasn’t too happy with my game before the event, I’d just hit it hard in Benidorm for my stag do with mates from my village, plus fellow players Oliver Brown, Sanderson Lam and Oliver Lines – Oli Lines will be the death of me! I love those boys to bits and we had a great time.

“When we got back I was commentating on the Championship League so hadn’t really practised, but I was fresh for the event and fought really hard all weekend which was so, so pleasing.

“All my focus now is for Bosnia and the WPBSA Q Tour Global Playoffs next week. I’m confident and nobody will want to draw me so hopefully I can get the job done out there and come back with a tour card. The week after I then get married so what a month this could turn out to be!

“Huge shout to my sponsors Jim Smith of J S Tailoring Lincoln and my title sponsor T R Weston & Son LTD steel fabricators in Lincoln. Glynn & Claire Weston have been life long family friends and have sponsored me for the last few seasons.

“To have them there yesterday see me lift the trophy made it all worth while. Win or lose they want to be there to support me and go have them by my side for the photos with the trophy honestly meant everything to me. Players in general, not just myself, appreciate the support of people and companies like you wouldn’t believe.

“It’s this support that allows us to do what we love and hopefully one day have moments like yesterday. I owe an awful lot to them and to everyone that has supported me previously.”

Learn more about the Landywood English Amateur Snooker Championship.