Craig Steadman continued his perfect start to this season’s English Seniors Snooker Tour as he made it back-to-back titles after defeating Neil Craycraft 4-1 in the final of Event 2 at the Tamworth Sports Bar.
Steadman has now won 12 out of 12 matches on the circuit; last month in Hull he claimed the opening leg of the Tour and his latest success means he extends his lead at the top of the national rankings.
A total of 50 players entered the Tamworth competition, and there was a very impressive standard throughout the weekend, once again showing the strength and depth of the Tour.
Former Snooker Shoot Out semi-finalist Steadman top scored with a 91 break during a 4-1 win against Philip Blackburn in his opening match before ousting Steve Crowley 4-3 in the last 32, making breaks of 47 and 60 in the deciding frame. The 41-year-old made it through to Sunday after a 4-1 victory over reigning English Seniors Snooker Championship title holder Lee Stephens, registering a run of 110 in frame four.
Returning for Finals Day, Steadman moved 2-0 ahead of Stuart Watson in the quarter-finals before his opponent won the next three frames – a spell that included a 124 break. However, Steadman took the final two frames to squeeze through 4-3.
In a high-profile semi-final, Steadman compiled breaks of 84, 116 and 54 in a 4-0 victory against current English over-55 champion Nigel Bond.
Craycraft navigated a very tough path on the other side of the draw to reach the final. The 50-year-old eliminated Danny Connolly 4-2, Craig Butler 4-3, Gary Milne 4-0 and then Wayne Brown 4-0 in the last four. The final three of those opponents all finished inside the top eight of last season’s rankings.
In the final, Steadman got off to a brilliant start as he crafted a break of 111 in depositing the opening frame and went on to secure the next two to go 3-0 up and one away from the title. Craycraft produced a resilient, counter-attacking 65 clearance in frame four to win it on the final black and avoid the whitewash, but Steadman completed the task in frame five.
Steadman has enjoyed a very fruitful start to the season; as well as a Q Tour UK/Europe event final appearance, he has now won two Seniors Tour titles and an EPSB Open Series event. He has also made it through to the 2024 English Amateur Snooker Championship Finals Weekend after qualifying from the north regional heat.
On top of the latest rankings is Steadman with 200 points followed by Brown (125), Craycraft (100), Watson (85) and Gary Miller (60), who all make up the top five.
During Event 2, there were eight century breaks made by six different players. Brown collects the highest break prize for his contribution of 137 which he made in the quarter-finals.
Event 3 is set to take place at the Woking Snooker Centre on the weekend of November 25 and 26. For information on the Tour, please visit here.