Rob Hall, Callum Beresford, Oliver Sykes and Leo Fernandez all went home happiest after another busy weekend of EPSB action….
Hall is the National Billiards Champion
World number three Hall created history by becoming the winner of the inaugural EPSB English Billiards Championship.
Held across the weekend at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, Hall remained undefeated throughout as he emerged from a competitive field to claim the national championship title.
Action began on Saturday with the round robins phase. Hall topped Group B with four wins from four, making three century breaks in the process, including a 180 which would stand as the event’s highest.
As a group winner, Hall avoided the preliminary knockout round and went straight into the quarter-finals where he dispatched Eddie Duggan 389-238. He then top scored with 97 as he eliminated Chris Taylor 351-248 in the last four.
His opponent in the two-hour final was Darren Kell, who also had a 100% record up to that stage. Kell was involved in a dramatic semi-final tie with Ryan Mears, holding possession of the table in the dying seconds to win by just 17 points as the match-clock expired.
However, Hall wouldn’t be denied the championship as he registered runs of 82, 103 and 62 in a 574-391 title match win.
Martin Phillips triumphed in the English Billiards Championship Challenge Event – an event for those that did not reach the knockout rounds.
In total across the weekend, four players made century breaks – Hall, Mark Hirst, Taylor and Mears.
English Under-21 Snooker Championship Final Set
Beresford and Sykes will meet for this season’s English Under-21 Snooker Championship title after they both emerged from the second stage of the competition at Landywood Snooker Club last Sunday.
The latest phase featured the eight remaining contestants that advanced from the regional qualifiers earlier in the season.
Beresford, who turned 21-years-old earlier this year, may have some unfinished business to attend to having lost in the 2019 final after being two up with three to play.
The Rotherham cueist came back from 1-3 down to deny runaway EPSB Open Series rankings leader Ryan Davies 4-3 in the quarter-finals, producing a 63 break in the decider. In the semi-finals he strung together the final three frames to defeat Connor Benzey 5-2.
There will be a distinct contrast in the title match as Beresford is set to face south coast prospect Sykes, who at 16 is around five years younger.
A runner-up in last season’s under-16 and under-18 championships, Eastleigh-based Sykes booked himself another appearance in a national final after a couple of memorable victories.
In the last 8 he recovered from losing the opening two frames – before later coming through a deciding frame – to eliminate this season’s number one ranked junior, Lewis Ullah, 4-3. Sykes then had to construct another comeback, turning a 0-3 deficit into a 5-3 success against Josh Symes in the last four.
The best-of-15 frames title decider is scheduled to take place at this season’s EPSB Finals Weekend at the Northern Snooker Centre between the 11th & 12th June.
Hat-Trick for Fernandez
Former world championship qualifier Fernandez claimed his third EPSB Open Series title of the season at the Elite Snooker Club in Preston.
A total of 38 players took part and Fernandez came through his opening three rounds without dropping a frame, defeating Tyler Whittaker, Curtis Daher and Hong Quach, all 3-0.
He then stopped second-ranked Patrick Whelan 3-1 in the semi-finals before ousting maiden Open Series finalist Emre Eves 3-2 in the final.
The EPSB would like to thank everyone who contributed to help run the above events and all the players for their support by entering them.