Steven Hallworth recovered from two frames down with three to play as he ousted Ryan Davies 4-3 in the final to win the opening English Amateur Snooker Tour event of the new 2023/24 EPSB season.
The prestigious five-event campaign brings together former professionals, experienced amateur players and promising youngsters from across the country. The top ranked players at the end of the term will be invited to play at the EBSA European Amateur Championships – where a World Snooker Tour card is on offer – and for England at the HIBSF Home Internationals.
This season’s event one was held at the Landywood Snooker Club in the West Midlands, with a bumper field of 77 players entering the tournament.
Hallworth began in the last 64 where he made breaks of 82, 54 and 129 as he defeated current English under-14 champion Shaun Liu 4-0. The former professional exponent and Shoot Out quarter-finalist then saw off Gary Milne – an event winner on the Seniors Tour and Open Series last season – 4-1, despite Milne crafting a 112 break.
Having made it through to Sunday, Hallworth eliminated the 2022 English under-14 champion Vladislav Gradinari 4-2 (breaks of 56 and 76) and then the 2022 English under-21 champion Callum Beresford 4-1 in the last 16 and quarter-finals respectively.
In the last four, the 27-year-old came from behind twice early on to stop Phil O’Kane 4-2 and reach the title match.
Emerging from the other side of the draw was Davies, who last season completed a career grand slam of national junior titles when he won the under-21 championship at his final attempt.
The former Open Series Order of Merit winner was on course for another EPSB accolade as he dropped just one frame in his opening two rounds before dispatching three ex-professionals in consecutive rounds – Craig Steadman (4-3, last 16), Peter Devlin (4-3 from 3-1 down, quarter-finals) and Farakh Ajaib (4-1, semi-finals).
Hallworth secured the first frame of the final although Davies – aided by runs of 81 and 53 – claimed three successive frames to move 3-1 up and one away from victory.
However, Hallworth was not to be denied as he took frames five and six to level before compiling an effort of 57 in the deciding frame on his way to the title.
Across the weekend nine different players constructed century breaks. Sydney Wilson – who finished as the Tour’s number one player in 2021/22 – made the top two breaks of the competition with 132 and 131.
Event Two is set to take place at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds on the weekend of October 28 and 29 (closing date for entries is midday on October 20). For full information on the English Amateur Snooker Tour please visit here.