The 100th English Amateur Snooker Championship Final will be contested between Ben Hancorn and Rory McLeod on Saturday 8th February 2020 at The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse.
Last Sunday, both players emerged from the second phase of this season’s historic edition at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds where they were joined by fellow successful regional heat qualifiers from stage one at the start of December.
Competing in this event for the first time, experienced ex-professional McLeod has made relatively serene progress to the final. Having originally come through the Midlands qualifier at the Cueball Derby with the loss of just one frame, McLeod defeated Tom Peasland 4-1 and then top scored with a 129 as he saw off former Crucible qualifier Bradley Jones 4-0 in the last 16.
Twice a winner on this season’s English Amateur Tour, McLeod denied Shaun Wilkes 4-2 in the quarter-finals before ending teenager Alex Clenshaw’s fantastic run, 4-1, to secure his spot in the showpiece.
The 48-year-old former European Tour event winner said “I’m so happy to reach the final and I know I have the game to win. It’s great to have a one-table set-up for the final whilst the World Grand Prix is going on. To potentially become the 100th champion – and having only entered the event once – would give me so much pleasure.”
In comparison to McLeod’s debut, Bristol based Hancorn will be hoping it’s second time lucky after reaching the final in 2008 when he narrowly lost 9-7 to future UK Championship semi-finalist David Grace.
A south west qualifier from Martock Snooker Club, 37-year-old Hancorn began his day in superb fashion as he crafted breaks of 113, 89 and 60 to move aside another former Crucible appearance maker in Simon Bedford, 4-0. Simon Blackwell – who still holds this season’s highest break with a 136 – was eliminated 4-2 in the last eight before the semi-finals witnessed Hancorn sink the last pink to seal a thrilling deciding frame victory over Sean Harvey, who himself had won via the final black the round before.
“I’m over the moon to reach the final and Cheltenham is only down the road from me. 12 years on from my previous final appearance, I’d very much like to get my name on the trophy and join the many incredible players that have won it. Winning the 100th edition would be very special to me, my family and snooker in the south west” said Hancorn, who is a multiple winner of the Bristol Open and was a finalist on last season’s Challenge Tour.
As finalists, Hancorn and McLeod each earn an EPSB invite to the 2020 EBSA European Amateur Championship in Portugal during March.
For the full results from Leeds, please visit snookerscores.net here.