The path to 2022 English Seniors Snooker Championship glory began, the Under-20 Regional Development Tour resumed and the EPSB Open Series continued last weekend during another busy spell of EPSB action…
Seniors Qualifiers Discovered
For the first time, the EPSB hosted the English Seniors Snooker Championship which began with north and south regional qualifying events at the Tradewell Snooker Club in Hull and the Winchester in Leicester. Four qualifiers from each venue progressed to the national last 8 stage which is due to be held on the 29th January, 2022.
In the north, Anthony Massey, Scott Rogan, Mark Peevers and Richard Beckham all qualified.
Massey defeated Gary Milne 4-2 in the final round; Milne had compiled the day’s highest break of 114 the round before as he dethroned defending champion Wayne Brown 4-1.
Rogan pipped Mark Ball on the final black in the deciding frame, whilst Peevers and Beckham denied Andrew Greaves and Michael Wrigley both 4-2, respectively.
In the south, Jamie Bodle, Matthew Ford, Simon Dent and Andrew Norman all advanced.
Former English Amateur Snooker Champion Bodle didn’t drop a frame; eliminating Andrew Darken 4-0 in the final round.
Ford stopped John Hunter 4-1, whilst Dent defeated last season’s Seniors Tour number one ranked player David Brown, 4-1.
Arguably the overall player of the day, though, was former professional Andrew Norman who constructed breaks of 133 and 137 during his opening match success before then getting the better of Mukesh Parmar, 4-1.
Faizaan Mohammed won back-to-back Under-20 Regional Development Tour North titles after he triumphed at Event 2 held at the Elite Snooker Club in Preston.
Winner of the opening event at the Hazel Grove in August, Mohammed extended his lead at the top of the rankings and looks well on course for promotion to next season’s Under-21 Premier Development Tour.
Mohammed won all three of his group games – dropping only one frame – as he qualified for the quarter-finals. There, he came back from losing the first frame to defeat Andrew Robson 2-1 and then repeated the same trick to halt Edward Jones 2-1 in the semi-finals.
In the final, Mohammed faced Bailey Fisher, who had seen off Reece Wilson 2-1 in the other last four tie. Mohammed took a close first frame in the final, and was then more comfortable in the second to record a 2-0 win and chalk up successive titles on the circuit.
Fernandez and Davies Win on Open Series
Leo Fernandez and Ryan Davies were the latest event winners on the inaugural EPSB Open Series.
At Breakers Snooker Club in Leicester, former Crucible Theatre qualifier Fernandez claimed his maiden Open Series title.
The 2011 English Amateur Snooker Champion defeated WDBS competitor Blake Munton 3-0 and then local star Chae Ross 3-1. In the semi-finals he ousted teenager Connor Benzey 3-2 and then John Pritchett by the same scoreline in the final.
Fernandez crafted the highest break of the day with a 105. Benzey made two centuries – 104 and 100.
On Sunday, at Cueball Derby, the Open Series’ star player so far, Davies, collected an incredible fourth title on the circuit and stretched his advantage at the top of the rankings.
In an impressive field that included professionals Gary Wilson and Elliot Slessor, 19-year-old Davies defeated Lewis Parnham and Andy Marriot both 3-0 before squeezing past Jake Robinson 3-2 in the last eight. The Oldham-based cueist then negotiated the experienced Stuart Watson 3-0 in the last four.
In the final he faced fellow teenager, current English under-16 champion Paul Deaville, who was fresh from his last 16 heroics at the BetVictor English Open.
Deaville – who was £7,500 richer courtesy of his run in Milton Keynes earlier in the week – continued his fine form with wins over Jeremy Lee, Samuel Lee Stevens, Brandon Sargeant and Brandon Hall, but he was denied the title when Davies ran out a 3-0 winner.
Recent British Open finalist Wilson – who lost 3-2 to Watson in the quarter-finals – made the day’s highest break with a 123. Sargeant (121, 114) and Robinson (117) also made centuries.
The next Open Series events take place this Sunday at Sams in Hartlepool and the Winchester in Leicester.