Lee Stephens defeated Craig Butler 4-1 in the final to win the 2023 English Seniors Snooker Championship at the Cueball Derby.
The one-day, eight player play-off featured competitors who finished at the top of this season’s English Seniors Snooker Tour rankings – a circuit which comprised of six individual events throughout the season.
Featuring on the seniors scene this term for the first time, 41-year-old Stephens only played in three of the six Tour events, although he made those appearances count by reaching two finals and a further quarter-final.
Stephens – the 2022 World Snooker Federation Championship runner-up – began his day in Derby with a narrow 4-3 victory against this season’s number one ranked senior, Dave Allender, registering breaks of 56 and 76 in the process. The Chester cueman then dispatched recent English amateur semi-finalist Gary Milne 4-0 with the assistance of breaks of 79 and 70.
Coming through the bottom half of the draw was the number two ranked Butler, who showed superb consistency on the 2022/23 circuit with four semi-finals and a further two quarter-finals to his name.
The 48-year-old from Brighouse eliminated 2019 champion Wayne Brown 4-2 (breaks of 50 and 65) before ousting local favourite and last year’s runner-up Jamie Bodle, 4-3. Winner of the 100th anniversary English Amateur Snooker Championship, Bodle came back from 2-0 and 3-2 down, but Butler compiled a crucial break of 81 – to go with his 84 in the opening frame – to progress.
However, Stephens was not to be denied the national seniors title, as he won four consecutive frames (breaks of 42 and 56) to add his name to the list of champions.
Stephens will also receive an invite to compete at the 2023 EBSA European Seniors Snooker Championship in Bulgaria this summer.
The EPSB would like to thank the officials and the host venue for the event, the Cueball Derby.