Craig Steadman navigated a very tough gauntlet of opponents – highlighting the strength and depth of the circuit – as he won the 2023/24 English Amateur Snooker Tour Event Four title at the Landywood Snooker Club.
Going into the latest EAST event, the 41-year-old was already enjoying a fruitful season on the amateur scene having won back-to-back English Seniors Snooker Tour events, an Open Series event, qualified for the English Amateur Snooker Championship Finals Weekend and reached the final of Q Tour Event One.
The former professional started his campaign with a blockbuster last 64 tie against Event Three winner Billy Castle. Steadman hit breaks of 62, 70 and 71 as he established a 3-1 lead, although he later needed to come through a close deciding frame after Castle forced the contest all the way.
Steadman then defeated Jon Wibberley 4-0 before seeing off Events One and Two winner Steven Hallworth 4-0 in the last 16 with runs of 51, 55, 80 and 52.
In the quarter-finals, ‘Rock-Steady’ came from 2-1 down to deny Peter Lines 4-2; last week Lines compiled a 147 maximum break at the Woking Snooker Centre on the national seniors tour.
Last four challenger Gary Milne crafted contributions of 51 and 53 as he took the opening frame, although Steadman responded with efforts of 78, 69 and 50 as he ran out a 4-1 victor.
On the other side of the drawsheet, English under-21 snooker champion Ryan Davies made his way through to yet another EPSB final.
A former EPSB Open Series number one and Event One finalist on this season’s EAST, 21-year-old Davies dispatched Mal Billaney 4-1, Jake Robinson 4-0, Simon Bedford 4-2 and Tom Maxfield 4-0 to reach the semi-finals. There, Davies compiled breaks of 55, 114, 66 and 124 – the latter remaining as the highest break of the tournament – in a 4-2 success over Matthew Glasby.
In a thrilling final which went back and forth, former world ranking event semi-finalist Steadman posted runs of 81 and 59 as he established a 3-2 lead. He looked set to win the match with frame six, but missed when 53 points up and Davies stepped in with a counter-attacking break of 78 to take the meeting to the seventh and final frame.
However, Steadman was not to be denied the title as he came through the decider with breaks of 31 and 37.
Throughout the weekend at Landywood, eight different players made century breaks.
The final event of this season’s English Amateur Snooker Tour is set for the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds on the weekend of January 13 & 14, 2024. Entries for this event close at 12:00 midday on Friday, January 5, 2024. You can enter the event here.