Ryan Davies, Dave Allender, Sean Maddocks and Wayne Brown were all event winners during the opening weekend of the new 2022/23 English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards season.
Players, officials and supporters paid their respects to the late HM Queen Elizabeth II with a minute’s silence held at both venues on the Saturday morning before play began.
Under-21 Prem Tour
Last season’s Open Series number one player Davies collected yet another EPSB accolade when winning the Under-21 Premier Development Tour Event 1 title at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds.
The 20-year-old Oldham-based cueist made a 101 on his way to pipping Paul Deaville 3-2 in the opening round before more comfortable victories over Aidan Murphy (3-1), Jake Crofts (3-0) and Connor Benzey (3-1).
His opponent in the title match was Samuel Lee Stevens who was making his debut in a final at this level. The 18-year-old was dominant during his run which saw him drop just one frame in four matches. He defeated former multiple event winner Kayden Brierley 3-0 in the semi-finals.
However, Davies was not to be denied as he won 4-0 for the first title of the campaign.
Having lost in the first round on Saturday, former professional player Maddocks made a quick adjustment to his surroundings to claim the Event 2 title on Sunday.
The Liverpudlian was made to work very hard for the victory, though, showing nerve to come through four consecutive deciding frame finishes en route to the final. The 20-year-old eliminated Ryan Hughes (3-2), Mitchell Berry (3-2), Stevens (3-2) and Mickey Joyce (3-2).
In the final, Maddocks faced Liam Pullen, one of the circuit’s most rapidly improving players. 17-year-old Pullen registered a plethora of breaks throughout the weekend and ended the hopes of Bradley Cowdroy 3-0 in the other last four tie.
Maddocks took the opening three frames of the final before a resurgent Pullen got himself back into it at 3-2, although Maddocks got over the line with frame six.
There was a very busy weekend of action at the Pot Black Lowestoft venue with the opening Seniors Tour events taking place.
Participating in his maiden EPSB competitions, 46-year-old Allender enjoyed a dream start with victory in Event 1.
Allender defeated Mark Taylor (3-2), George Apperley (3-0), Mark Peevers (3-1) and then Stephen Delaney (3-0) to reach the final.
On the other side of the draw, Graham Beardmore advanced through impressively, relinquishing just three frames in five matches, denying former professional Craig Butler 3-1 in the semi-finals. Allender, though, would claim the top prize with a 4-2 win in the title match.
On Sunday, last season’s number one ranked seniors player in the country, Brown, was once again celebrating an event title.
A three-time event winner last term – from six events – Brown has had a memorable year which has seen him reach the final of the EBSA European Seniors Snooker Championship in Albania.
Formerly of the sport’s top tier, Brown defeated Michael Dickinson (3-0), Steven Porter (3-0), former English amateur champion Jamie Bodle (3-2) with the aid of a 113 break, Beardmore (3-0) and Butler (3-2) to appear in another final.
Delaney – a semi-finalist the day before – would meet him in the final. On his way, Delaney ended the run of Event 1 winner Allender 3-2 in the last 16 and made a trio of half-century breaks as he defeated Gary Miller 3-1 in the semi-finals.
The opening four frames of the final were shared, but Brown was the stronger at the end of the contest as he recorded a 4-2 win.
The EPSB thanks the host venues and officials for their hospitality and hard work throughout the weekend.