Reviewing amateur snooker action from across the globe, this month’s edition of the WPBSA International Round-up takes us to Eastern Europe, Asia and Oceania…
Mark Canovan claimed his fourth New Zealand Snooker Championship following a 6-3 final victory over Bayden Jackson at the Papakura Club in Auckland.
Winner of the title previously in 2003, 2004 and 2014, Canovan qualified for the knockout portion of the event comfortably, dropping just two frames as he finished top of his group. In the last 16 he eliminated Steve Addison 4-0 before dispatching Rob Redgrove 5-1 and then Neil Cameron 5-0 in the quarter and semi-finals respectively. Cameron had dethroned defending champion Shannon Swain via a deciding frame in the last eight.
Jackson – victor in 2011 and 2017 – relinquished just seven frames in eight matches to reach another final, defeating Ian Muir 5-1 in the other last four tie. However, it was Canovan who started the best-of-11 final better, establishing a 3-2 advantage at the interval. On resumption he then compiled the highest break of the match with an 82 and would later secure his first head-to-head triumph over Jackson to lift the trophy once again and retain his number one spot in the national rankings.
The Canterbury cueist also collected the tournament’s highest break prize with an effort of 98.
Andres Petrov continues to dominate the domestic snooker scene in Estonia as he won the national championship for an eighth consecutive year.
Held at Club 147 in the capital city of Tallinn, 24-year-old Petrov was seeded through to the knockout portion of the competition where he eliminated Heigo Harend 4-0 and Alexander Leitmäe 4-1 to progress to Finals Day.
There, he defeated recent Tallinn Snooker Cup finalist Mark Magi 5-1 in the semi-finals before a 6-3 victory over Denis Grabe 6-3 in the final. Grabe – who is a distinguished American Pool player on the international stage – got to the final again courtesy of a 5-0 win over Marko Jersov.
Former EBSA European Amateur Championship runner-up Petrov produced a series of breaks over 60 on the final day, including a 109 – the highest of the tournament – against Grabe.
Nodar Bakradze triumphed at the Georgian Snooker Championship for a fourth year in succession, although he had to come from behind and survive a deciding frame in the final to retain the title.
Snooker in Georgia continues to grow in popularity and standard – a total of 35 players took part in this the fifth edition of the championship at the Star Snooker Academy in capital city Tbilisi, and a record-breaking number of breaks were recorded during it.
Bakradze enjoyed a straightforward passage to the final, not dropping a frame as he eliminated Erekle Khitalishvili, Giorgi Durglishvili and Alex Almasia all 3-0 before ending the hopes of Levan Rcheulishvili 4-0 in the semi-finals. It was the fourth time that Bakradze had defeated Rcheulishvili at the last four stage.
Making his way through to the final for the first time was Shavlego Chigogidze who had seen off Zurab Tsereteli in the other last four meeting. Despite going 2-0 down in the best-of-seven frames final, it looked like an upset was on the cards when Chigogidze strung together three in a row to move 3-2 up. However, Bakradze wasn’t to be denied as he finished strong to win 4-3.
Three-time world women’s snooker champion Ng On Yee made a winning return to competitive action when she claimed the 2020 Hong Kong Women’s Open on home soil.
The current women’s world number two last took to the baize for a tournament back in February during the WWS Belgian Open which she won following a defeat of Reanne Evans in the final.
Held at the Legends Snooker Club in Cheung Sha Wan, On Yee made breaks of 66, 51 and 49 as she saw off Cheung Yee Ting 4-0 in the final.
So Man Yan compiled runs of 49 and 43 as she got the better of Jaique Ip Wan In 3-1 in the third/fourth place play-off.
Thank you to everyone that helped contribute to this month’s edition.
Article by Michael Day.
Reviewing amateur action from across the globe, the latest edition of the WPBSA International Round-Up takes us through Europe and to the other side of the world.
Former World Seniors Snooker Champion Aaron Canavan was once again crowned king of Jersey following a dramatic and high-quality final victory over rival Gary Britton at the First Tower Billiards and Snooker Club in Saint Helier.
The annual island championship was halted mid-tournament earlier in the year due to coronavirus restrictions but was recently commenced and concluded. Either side of the suspension, Canavan didn’t drop a frame on his way to yet another domestic final where he faced familiar adversary and defending champion Britton – between them the pair have claimed the majority of the island’s major snooker honours over the past 15 years.
In a fantastic start to the final six-time winner Britton took the opening frame with an 85 break but Canavan registered runs of 98 and 67 to move 2-1 up. The next two frames were shared before Britton forced it all the way with the aid of a 75. However, Canavan managed to win the decider and claim the national championship for a ninth time, avenging a deciding frame final loss to Britton in the 2019 final.
Fergal Quinn won his maiden Northern Ireland Under-21 Snooker Championship after a thrilling climax to the final against Robbie McGuigan at the Antrim Sports Club.
The scheduled date for the final was held over due to McGuigan having contested the overall national championship the week before. He made a bright start to the match, crafting efforts of 62 and 65 as he established a 3-1 lead in this junior encounter.
Quinn, though, was persistent after the mid-session interval, levelling the tie and then forcing it all the way after McGuigan had gone back ahead with frame seven. In a tense deciding frame, McGuigan came back after trailing early on, but having potted a long pink, he missed a tricky black down the cushion with the rest which allowed Quinn to step up and become the champion.
At the same venue the following week Chucky Preston won the 2020 Car Repairs Northern Ireland Women’s Snooker Championship.
The Newtownards cueist qualified for the knockouts after five out of six victories in the group before a 2-0 triumph in the semi-finals and then a 2-0 defeat of Cathy Pegg in the final.
Preston – who has risen up the world women’s rankings in a short space of time – has recently dominated the domestic women’s circuit in Northern Ireland, but it is the first time that she has secured the national title.
Kimberley Cullen defeated Corien Simpson 3-1 to capture her second New Zealand Women’s Snooker Championship at the Porirua Club.
Cullen won three of her four group games to qualify for the knockouts. After receiving a bye in the quarter-finals she got the better of Suzanne Hart 3-1 and then repeated that scoreline against Simpson.
Previously the winner in 2015, Cullen is also the current Oceania women’s snooker champion.
Elsewhere in New Zealand, Vincent Tate staged a notable recovery to claim the national seniors snooker title, coming back from 3-0 down to oust Dale Kwok 4-3 in the final.
The overall New Zealand Snooker Championship is due to take place in November.
A fifth Bulgarian National Snooker Championship was won by Georgi Velichkov – the nation’s number one ranked player having triumphed at seven of this season’s eight events.
Velichkov dropped just one frame in seven matches on his way to the final at the Arena Zapad Academy in Sofia. He then ended the hopes of youngster Viktor Iliev 5-3 in the title decider. Velichkov also constructed the tournament’s highest break with an effort of 92.
Iliev – who dethroned defending champion Bratislav Krastev 4-3 in the last four – would be celebrating a fortnight later when he defeated Maxim Kostov 4-2 to retain the national under-21 championship.
Winner of the competition in 2018, Miha Zajc is once again the snooker champion of Slovenia.
Played throughout at the Biljardnica Kaval in Ljublijana, Zajc advanced through the early rounds and would end the reign of defending champion Kieman Sorak 5-1 in the final.
Like many countries across Europe, snooker continues to grow in Slovenia. Plans are being made for further playing opportunities in the near future. You can learn more about the championship and ambitions here.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this month’s edition.
Article by Michael Day.