Craig Steadman ousted Wayne Brown in a thrilling deciding frame in the final to win the opening event of the 2023/24 EPSB English Seniors Snooker Tour.
Held at the Tradewell Snooker Club in Hull, the first of five events on this season’s Tour attracted a bumper field of 62 entries. The experienced 41-year-old Steadman – who recently reached the final of Q Tour Event One – was making his debut on the circuit.
A former Snooker Shoot Out semi-finalist, Steadman enjoyed a brilliant Saturday as he didn’t drop a single frame en route to Sunday’s last eight with 4-0 victories against Michael Dickinson (breaks of 51 and 66), Shaun Wilkes (59) and Colin Mitchell (96).
Returning the next day, four-time Q School graduate Steadman relinquished his first frame of the weekend to Steve Crowley in the quarter-finals but claimed the next four in-a-row (50 break, frame two) to go through 4-1. In the last four Steadman registered runs of 85 and 54 as he denied former English Amateur Championship runner-up and 2022 English Over-55 champion John Welsh 4-0.
Brown – a multiple-time English Seniors Snooker Tour event winner and the number one ranked player from the 2021/22 season – made his way through the other side of the draw, pipping two-time World Seniors Snooker Championship Crucible Theatre qualifier Stuart Watson 4-3 in the semi-finals.
Steadman deposited the opening frame of the final, but 2019 English Seniors Snooker Champion Brown responded by taking the next two frames (77 break, frame three).
Momentum swung again as Steadman posted an effort of 73 in frame four on his way to levelling before moving in front at 3-2, although Brown constructed a classy 131 clearance – the highest break of the tournament – in frame six to force the contest all the way.
In a tight, near 40-minute deciding frame, Steadman managed to wrestle the advantage when it mattered the most, claiming the title after sinking the final pink.
Event Two of the 2023/24 EPSB English Seniors Snooker Tour is set to take place on the weekend of October 14 & 15 at the Tamworth Sports Bar. You can enter the event here.