Returning after an 11-year absence from the event, David Anderson secured a maiden South African National Snooker Championship last month at the Q-Masters Snooker Centre in Montclair.

Organised by Snooker and Billiards South Africa, this annual event is one of the most established national snooker tournaments in the world with roots going back to as far as 1937. This year 60 players travelled to the Durban based venue to take part.

Runner-up in 2005 and 2008 – his last appearance – Anderson didn’t take long to get into the swing of things as he won all six matches to top his group and qualify for the knockout phase as the number two seed. There he eliminated Cuban Moodley, Anton Klanfar, Rafique Limbada and Kiashan Moodley to set up a final with top seed Fakhrie Gierdien. Anderson lost the opening two frames of the final, but he wasn’t to be stopped at the last obstacle for a third time in his career as he turned proceedings around to emerge a 6-4 victor, despite his lack of recent matchplay snooker.

Although Anderson has enjoyed success in other cuesports, this most recent triumph will be especially sweet as snooker was the first that he harbored ambitions for when younger. In 1996, as a 15-year-old, Anderson reached the quarter-finals of the World Under-21 Championship in his homeland where he was eliminated by future professional world number two Stephen Maguire.

Unfortunately, shortly afterwards, he was involved in a severe car accident that left him hospitalised for six months. Despite having learnt to walk again, Anderson has been left with a handicap in his bridge hand that hampers him when he plays – especially in cold conditions. Yet he has managed to adapt to this problem, and although after the accident he mainly focused on the smaller tables, the national snooker championship was a title that still meant a lot to him.

Anderson said “It’s a full circle for me. I started in snooker, achieved everything else, but now I have got the one title that I wanted the most. I would like to thank my sponsors Max Tsai from Fury Cues and Andy and Jenny from Andy Cloth for their support.”

In the preceding South African 6-Red Championship Tauroq Samsodien went one better than his finish 12 months before to get his hands on the trophy. During the knockout portion of the competition Samsodien defeated Anthony Twiggs, Kyle Akaloo, Kiash Moodley and then Ricky Tregonning, 6-3, in the final.

2019 South African National Snooker Championship

Results (from the quarter-finals onwards)

Fakhrie Gierdien 5-4 Ricardo Tregonning

Faaris Khan 1-5 Jonny Sideratos

Tauriq Samsodien 3-5 Kiashan Moodley

Rafique Limbada 2-5 David Anderson

Semi-Final

Gierdien 5-0 Sideratos

Moodley 2-5 Anderson

Final

Gierdien 4-6 Anderson