Snookerbacker

April 1, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals: Meet the Finalists

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:30 pm

Sunday sees the conclusion of the 4th Snookerbacker Classic as the final 16 fight it out for the big prizes in Gloucester. I thought I’d take the time to speak with them and ask how they assess their chances on the big day.

I’ve also included links to the prices that have been compiled by Boylesports if anyone would like a bet. All the matches on Sunday will be live-scored so if you’ve had a bet you can keep up with the action as it happens, ball by ball, here. The match prices for the first round including correct score and handicap odds can be found here.

It should be a cracking day as an amateur field doesn’t really get any stronger than this. If you are around please come and watch some top quality snooker from the UK’s leading amateurs.

Ant Parsons

Ant Parsons

SB Classic Best: Winner 2014.

The defending champion is in no mood to let his title slip without a fight, he won through in Leeds this time and is ready for battle.

I am going to Gloucester to defend my title and I’m there to get the job done. I think the qualifier I came through in Leeds was probably the second toughest one after Jamie’s qualifier in Gloucester so I have to be pleased with that performance. Only Martin O’Donnell and me know what it takes to win this and we’ve both proved we can do it when we get down to the nitty gritty. It is mentally draining, you have to play a lot of matches in a short space of time and you need to be mentally ready. I’ve not over-prepared but definitely not under-prepared, I’ve had a couple of sessions with Mike Dunn before he went to China and that’s sharpened me up. I’m not phased by the draw, whoever wins on Sunday will have earned it, on paper it’s tougher than when I won last year, but I’m ready and I’m going there to win again, it’s been my main focus this season.

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 15/2

Ben with 2015 prize

Ben Harrison

SB Classic Best: Semi Finalist 2014.

English Amateur Champion and last year’s semi-finalist Ben came through this season in Gloucester, his focus has changed a bit this season but he’s still up for the challenge.

I had a bit of a lay off from snooker after qualifying but now it’s nearly Grand Finals I am putting in the hours in Gloucester. I feel a lot more relaxed these days as snooker isn’t now the be all and end all for me as I have a job now so I don’t put myself under the pressure that I used to. I have developed a good all round match game and I know if I have to I can dig deep and get results, but if I turn up with my best game at the weekend I am in with a chance. Even though SB gave me an early start, I still have to say that this is such a great tournament, it’s so well run and enjoyable to play in and I’d love to finish the day as champion. I wouldn’t say I am confident, but I will give it my best shot.  

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 9/1

Syd Wilson

SB Classic Best: Quarter Finalist 2012 and 2014.

Syd is a long-standing supporter of the Classic and won through in the first event in Liverpool despite some rather dodgy preparation with yours truly. This is his third Grand Finals Day and as well as this he’s got his sights set on a few more events.

I feel OK, I love the SB Classic and have always enjoyed playing in it, I suppose my priority is the Q-School, World Championships and EASB ranking series (I hope to qualify for the World Amateur and European Mens) as I’m in a good position in those rankings currently so I’m just looking to keep myself sharp and it goes without saying I always want to win. I had an indifferent middle part of the season but I’m starting to hit my stride at the right time which is good. As for the draw on Sunday, it doesn’t matter to me, everyone there can play and that’s that. I’m really looking forward to it and to seeing Mr and Mrs SB again.

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 15/2

Daniel Wells

Daniel Wells

SB Classic Best: Debut.

Daniel impressed in Gloucester on his SB Classic debut, knocking in 133 and 134 in the process, he’s on his way back from China and hopes that won’t affect him too much.

I feel my form is good, I have been working hard at my game with the World Championships around the corner so I will be sharp. My only concern is that I don’t arrive back from China until Friday so I need to make sure I don’t feel too tired. The draw is tough as Eden is a good player but if you are to win a tournament as good as this you are going to have to beat some good players along the way and that is what I hope to do.

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 8/1

Tom Barton

Tom Barton

SB Classic Best: Qualifying Round 3

Tom won through in the Last Chance Saloon and is happy to be a bit under the radar and hoping to cause a bit of an upset.

I’ll be honest, I am not that confident with some of the names I’ve seen in the mix! I’ve never been one to say I’m going to win a match or a tournament. But I am going to really enjoy the experience and hopefully if I go in not expecting much it might work in my favour. I’ll enjoy it whatever happens.

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 40/1

A very happy Jamie with his prize

Jamie Bodle

SB Classic Best: Qualifying Round 2

Jamie produced some great snooker in Derby to win through including a semi-final performance which saw him achieve a 97% pot success rate. He’s on his way back from Malta where he has been competing in the European Championships to join us on Sunday.

I’m in pretty good form at the moment… I have been upping my practice recently due to the European Championships and SB Grand Finals so I feel that I am in good shape. The draw is very tough, as it is a high quality field of players. Hopefully I can produce good snooker, take my chances and give these young guns a run for their money!

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 22/1

Martin O'Donnell

Martin O’Donnell

SB Classic Best: Winner 2012.

The first ever SB Classic champion; The MO’D is back in Grand Finals following an early qualification in the first Gloucester heat.

I haven’t played a great deal in the last month with this and that and if I’m honest I’ve not had a great deal of motivation to practice until now. It feels nice to be going to a competition again and I know it will be a great day and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve played Jamie Clarke once before and I had an absolute flyer against him and beat him 4-0, but we’re both different players now and that doesn’t really mean anything. I’m putting the hours in this week and have been playing The Storm all day today, I don’t know what to expect on Sunday, but I’ll enjoy it whether I win or lose, it’s a cracking tournament. 

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 8/1

Sean O'Sullivan

Sean O’Sullivan

SB Classic Best: Debut.

Sean ‘The Storm’ is already confirmed as a professional next season having fallen off the tour last year. He hopes this is the first and last time he’ll be in this event, but he’ll miss the cakes…

Well I’m feeling confident going into Sunday. More excited than anything else as it’s my first, and hopefully (for all the right reasons) my only Grand Finals. So I’m hoping to make the most of this brilliant tournament. My form has been good going in to it after getting to the final of the pro-am at the same venue last week. Also I feel I’ve been playing pretty well all season so I’m hoping to continue that on Easter Sunday. Also, Mrs SB makes the best cakes ever so even if I lose that’s a great consolation!

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 13/2

Reanne Evans

Reanne Evans

SB Classic Best: Qualifying Round Semi-Final

The greatest ladies player of them all and multiple World Champion lands in Grand Finals Day ahead of her World Championship qualifiers next week.

I’m playing well in practice and have just set my table up in a new facility and it’s playing really nicely. I’m really looking forward to Sunday as it kicks off a huge month for me and hopefully my results will help me kick on to the next tournament. It’s a very tough field and I know to win it will be very very tough but I have given myself a chance. I really enjoy playing these events as SB and Mrs SB create a really nice atmosphere and I’m really pleased that it’s proving so popular with all the top amateurs, it’s well deserved. I think it should have a lot more recognition from official bodies, who should offer further prize incentives to the winner, as it’s the best amateur tournament out there in my opinion and really well run.  

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 28/1

James Brown

SB Classic Best: Debut.

James came through in our only heat in Preston. As a first time SB Classic entrant, he’s hoping his experience will tell on the day, he starts off against Ben Harrison.

I’m actually really confident about Sunday, I’m playing really well and scoring heavily and if I can hit the ground running against Ben I think I can go all the way. We’ve played before and we know each other and he’ll know that he’s in for a tough match. I’ll be playing every day between now and Sunday to make sure I’m well prepared and we will see what happens, but like I say, my game is in good shape so I’ve nobody to fear. 

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 33/1

Jamie Clarke

Jamie Clarke

SB Classic Best: Semi-Finalist 2014.

Jamie was within one ball of reaching the final last season and this weekend he is hoping to put that to rest. He qualified from the first event in Gloucester back in October and now plays in his third consecutive Grand Finals Day.

I have always loved playing in this event, we are always extremely well looked after and the prize money is great. We are very lucky to have SB to keep a quality amateur event on the snooker map. I think next year for there to be several SB tournaments with prize money in each, a little bit like the PIOS would be a great idea. Going into Sunday, I am feeling good, playing well and practicing hard. I’m playing every day in the run up so I am giving myself every chance.

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 13/2

Paul Davison

Paul Davison

SB Classic Best: Debut.

Paul or Snowy as he’s known to most, has got a busy month coming up but he’s focused on the job on Sunday having qualified from the last event in Liverpool a couple of weeks back. The bookies make him clear favourite to win the title on Sunday.

I’m looking forward to the tournament and was delighted to qualify in Liverpool. I have been practicing very hard and I feel very confident leading up to this with the English Amateur and the play-off’s just around the corner as well. Hopefully my form will hold and this will be a successful month for me.

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 9/2 FAV

Mike Rogers

Mike Rogers

SB Classic Best: Qualifying Round Final

Mike came through the Last Chance Saloon and is delighted to have made the finals after coming so close in the past.

After not playing to my potential all season I was delighted to come through last Sunday considering the quality of opposition in each round. Having come so close to qualifying for the finals last season I’m just glad I have got there this time around; knowing Mr and Mrs SB it’s bound to be a great event. I’ve never played Paul Davison before and I’m not expecting anything other than a battle! Hopefully I can just play well, enjoy myself and make a fist of it.

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 50/1

Phil O'Kane

Phil O’Kane

SB Classic Best: Qualifying Round Final

Phil came through in second place on the Order of Merit and produced a fine display in Gloucester last weekend. He is known for his jokey personality and sharp one-liners, but it sounds like Sunday might well bring out his serious side…

It’s taken a couple of years to reach the Grand Finals, but I couldn’t be happier about doing so. I’ve upped the hours I’ve been practising a lot and it’s good to see the hard work paying off. I put a lot of that down to the match practice and having these tournaments to play in, competing with top amateurs around the country can only do your game good. I played Reanne a couple of events ago in Gloucester and I lost 4-3, quite a good game and I’m looking forward to this one again and hopefully I’ll end up being a winner this time round.

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 50/1

Eden Sharav

Eden Sharav

SB Classic Best: Debut.

Eden is another qualifier from Gloucester who impressed a lot when winning through, he aims to be the first ever Scottish winner and faces Welshman Daniel Wells first up.

I’m playing good just now so really looking forward to Sunday. Me and Dan are good mates and we used to practice together quite a bit so I think we will both be quietly confident going into the match and we’ll both be up for it. 

LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 9/1

Brett Miller

Brett Miller

SB Classic Best: Qualifying Round Final

Brett strolled through via the Order of Merit and is putting in the hours for Sunday, he’s also clearly in confident mood.
 
I’m confident and if I’m on my game I can win this tournament. All the qualifiers I have played I have ended up losing to the eventual winner and unlike me every one of them play full time. I have been putting a couple of nights a week in running up to the Grand Finals and as a result I am playing with a little bit more consistency. That’s what let me down in every match I’ve lost in the Classic. I’m really looking forward to a good day out and I fear no one.
 
LATEST BOYLESPORTS ODDS: 25/1
SB2015 A4 Poster2 (1) with amends

DRAW: All matches are the best of 7 frames

10am start:
Ben Harrison v James Brown – Referee: Mark Seaman
Jamie Clarke v Martin O’Donnell – Referee: Nick Harry
Sydney Wilson v Jamie Bodle – Referee: Alan Collis
Brett Miller v Tom Barton – Referee: Martyn Royce

NB 11.30 start:
Phil O’Kane v Reanne Evans – Referee: Mark Seaman
Sean O’Sullivan v Ant Parsons – Referee: Nick Harry
Eden Sharav v Daniel Wells – Referee: Alan Collis
Mike Rogers v Paul Davison – Referee: Martyn Royce

Quarter Finals – NB 2pm

Semi Finals – NB 4pm

Final – NB 6pm – Referee: Nick Harry

MATCH BETTING CAN BE VIEWED HERE

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