Snookerbacker

April 6, 2015

Magic Miller Scoops Snookerbacker Classic

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:19 pm

Brett Miller, a full-time roofer from Barnsley, hit new heights yesterday with the biggest snooker day of his career as he became the fourth and latest Snookerbacker Classic Champion, scooping the £1500 first prize plus entry fees paid for all EPTC events next season.

Brett Miller: The 2015 Snookerbacker Classic Champion

Brett Miller: The 2015 Snookerbacker Classic Champion

In what some may see as a surprise result given the strength of the field for Grand Finals Day, 25/1 shot Miller, who qualified by virtue of his consistent performances and first place Order of Merit status, kept a cool head all day and eventually ran out a comfortable 4-1 winner in the final over Welshman Daniel Wells.

Daniel won’t be too disappointed as he finished the tournament with a total prize fund of £1750, on top of a previous £100 prize, as he scooped the highest break of the tournament, 134, as well as the highest of Grand Finals Day, 115 (the 20th century of this season’s event), so despite losing in the final, the blow was somewhat softened.

Brett cannot be accused of doing this the easy way, after dispensing with Tom Barton in Round 1 he then saw off Syd Wilson, before coming through a brilliant match against 2012 champion Martin O’Donnell, who most people watching thought the likely winner given his form on the day, the deciding frame in particular was agonising to watch for both sets of supporters and it’s to Brett’s credit that he then went on to perform so well in the final against his more experienced opponent.

The Finalists and a rather worried looking Nick 'Chardo' Harry.

The Finalists and a rather scary looking Nick ‘Chardo’ Harry.

Afterwards it is fair to say that Brett was utterly gobsmacked. It was written all over his face what this meant to him and he was struggling to believe what he had just done. This continued onwards to the traditional Champions Curry after the final, Brett’s pal Mike describing him as ‘probably the most excited I have ever seen him’ and for me that’s what matters, the fact that the winner is genuinely over the moon on winning makes it all worthwhile.

Lots of people have been in touch with me already asking about Brett, primarily because they don’t know who he is. This is because Brett has only really entered this event all season and doesn’t take part in the wider pro-am circuit events. Something which he is considering doing more of in the future.

What is clear however is how much respect he has from the other players, the ones who know him know how good he is and even I mentioned very early on in the tournament that I thought he’d be playing a major part in it at the end. He believed in himself yesterday and it all came together, in his words ‘it’s amazing what a bit of self belief can do’.

It’s also a great advert for the Order of Merit List, with both Brett and Phil O’Kane who finished second on the list being in the semi-finals, Phil is unrecognisable from the feckless clown who we saw earlier in the season running to a qualifier with cue case in hand having been woken up minutes earlier to a huge cheer from the baying mob watching. I don’t know if this transformation will last, but while it does, he is a match for anyone on the table as he proved by knocking out last year’s winner Ant Parsons.

But the day belonged to Brett and he’s soon off to Q-School to see how he gets on there. If any potential sponsors are reading who might like to help him out, just get in touch with me and I’ll put you in touch.

All that remains is to thank everyone who has supported the event again this season; players, sponsors, venues, officials, spectators, scorers and of course the First Lady of the Baize, Mrs SB. To my continued amazement it continues to go from strength to strength though I will be considering the future over the coming months in terms of where I go with it. I have one or two thoughts but if anyone has any ideas or suggestions, then please again, feel free to get in touch.

You can see all the results and stats from Sunday here.

Until next season.

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

March 31, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals: Information and Further Prize Announced!

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:30 am

SB2015 A4 Poster2 (1) with amendsFor anyone who missed the Grand Finals draw last night live on Twitter I have copied it below together with the corresponding match times.

I am also delighted to announce that as well as the existing prizes in place, I have now secured a further £250 cash prize for the player that makes the highest break on Grand Finals Day.

This is in addition to the £500 overall highest break prize currently standing at 134 by Daniel Wells and the £1000 maximum break prize both sponsored by John Parrott Cuesports

This takes the overall prize fund this year to well over £8000.  

INFORMATION FOR PLAYERS:

Dress Code: Shirt, trousers, shoes and waistcoat – no bow tie required.
Match Times: Please ensure that you arrive in plenty of time for your stated match time.

DRAW: All matches are the best of 7 frames and will all be live-scored online.

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

INFORMATION FOR SPECTATORS:

It is free to come along and watch so why not treat yourself to a Sunday of top quality live snooker?

March 30, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic: Rogers and Barton Clinch Last Chance Wins, Order of Merit Concludes.

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:10 pm

Sunday in Gloucester saw the conclusion of the qualifying heats of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic with the final four names being confirmed to make up the last 16, who now return to Gloucester this Easter Sunday to fight it out for the biggest cash prize in amateur snooker.

The day was to see two players progress as of right and the final place being decided from the ongoing Order of Merit list which has again been a popular by-product of the event with players who had not made it through by winning an event outright. Uncannily, it was again to be decided on the final frame of the qualifiers, as it was last season.

Mike Rogers - bit of a brainbox.

Mike Rogers – bit of a brainbox.

The top half of the draw saw victory for Mike Rogers, who overcame Kishan Hirani in his qualifying final.  Mike has been an SB Classic regular now for a couple of seasons and had narrowly missed out before on making the Grand Finals.

This time he went one better and despite not seeming to realise when I walked up to him to congratulate him that he’d actually qualified, thinking he had another match to play, he was delighted once the realisation dawned that he’d actually won through.

All this might lead you to believe that Mike is a bit dim, well, nothing could be further from the truth. Mike is actually coming to the end of a very intense Maths degree at University and to say he can totally baffle you within seconds of talking about his passion for all things numerical is putting it mildly (as is the word baffle). I still remember him first showing me a mathematical graph (which I’m sure is a layman’s description for what it actually is) and looking rather shocked and perhaps a little disappointed when I wasn’t as intrigued by it as he was as I tried desperately to change the subject.

By all accounts, Mike is also a very laid back kind of guy, which possibly explains his sometimes lethargic looking demeanour around the table and his frequent sighs and outtakes of breath. But his competitive streak must be in there somewhere or else he’d not have made it through a very tough final draw against a player in Kishan that many had down as a live contender for this season’s title.

It’s great to see Mike finally get over the line, I just hope he leaves his graphs at home on Sunday and brings Whitney instead, she’s far more interesting.

Tom Barton: Late Night Thrills.

Tom Barton: Late Night Thrills.

 The bottom half of the draw saw victory for Tom Barton, who eventually came through a decider against Kent star Phil O’Kane to nab the last automatic spot after over 12 hours of snooker on Sunday.

Tom was as ever accompanied by legendary snooker hardman Joe Lazarus, a man that’s so hard that Chuck Norris wears a pair of Joe Lazarus pyjamas for bed. Joe was again on top storytelling form while watching his protege and he also wolfed down almost half of Mrs SB’s victoria sponge while everyone else just watched, far too terrified to ask if they could have a piece for fear of falling victim to a cake-raged upper cut.

On the table, Tom had early victories over Majid Khan and Matt Glasby before coming up against Andy Marriott, a grand finalist from last season. The two slogged away for over 3 hours before Tom eventually made it over the line in the decider.

Despite this, Tom only wanted a few minutes after the match to gather himself together to face Phil O’Kane in the final, which was to go to a decider again, Tom producing the goods in the final frame and marking himself out as a real stamina man with a very solid technique and cool head under pressure, this being no doubt engrained in him by Joe who still coaches to this day. Joe has never struck me as a man that needs a lot of sleep, in fact he’s so hard that sleep probably needs a lot of him.

Tom seems a quiet, unassuming lad and clearly enjoys a very close relationship with Joe, who is a master at stealing the limelight. It’s great to see a new name in the mix and it will be interesting to see how Tom gets on against other, perhaps better known names on the amateur circuit. Under the radar is sometimes a very nice place to be.

Kiss it - a KO for O'Kane.

Kiss it – a KO for O’Kane.

Phil O’Kane meanwhile had his own adventure on Sunday. He went into the day needing to win either 12 or 13 frames, depending on how scores went, to catch Merseyside’s Josh Mulholland and pip him to 2nd spot in the Order of Merit List, behind Brett Miller, who had qualified much earlier in the event but whose place could only be finally confirmed on Sunday (Brett, frame on the way on Sunday).

Phil did just that and tried his best in the final to try and make the blow a little less hard to swallow for Josh by winning through and getting him his place, but it wasn’t to be and Kent’s finest bowed out in the final frame as Josh received updates on Twitter.

Brett has really impressed this season and has only been beaten in each event by the eventual qualifiers, he’s been scoring heavily and I think he has a real chance of causing an upset on Sunday. His eventual winning tally in the Order or Merit speaks for itself and consistency wise he’s right up there with the best of them.

As for Phil, he was genuinely delighted on Sunday and is a big favourite with everyone on the amateur tour. He’s a natural comedian and a favourite with Mrs SB who thinks he’s ‘a bit of a charmer’. Very much like a nasty fungal infection, he’s grown on me over the years too. We’re both looking forward to seeing him again on Sunday and who knows, this could be just what he needs to make that step up?

I can’t leave you however without directly quoting Phil’s philokane-asophical insight into his change in attitude. Step aside Terry Griffiths, there’s a new mind guru in town:

O’KANE’ISM OF THE DAY 

Aaron Cook: ‘Phil, I don’t think I have ever seen you this focused’

Phil: ‘No Aaron, that’s just what happens sometimes when you realise you’ve made a massive fuck up of your life’ 

A big thanks as ever to all at the SWSA, all the players who have supported the event this season, my kind team of sponsors and the referees on Sunday Roycey and Chardo.

All the scores from Sunday can be found here and the final order of merit standings, grand finalists and current highest break here.

Now here is a picture of Joe Lazarus as he has just rang me while I was writing this to ask why there isn’t a picture of him anywhere. 

JOE PUT THE GEEZ IN GEEZER

JOE PUT THE GEEZ IN GEEZER

Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals: DRAW LIVE ON TWITTER TONIGHT

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:45 pm

The draw for Grand Finals Day of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic will be tweeted from 6pm this evening. To follow this as it happens you should follow me on there by accessing this account.

In the spirit of transparency, I should say that I will actually to doing the full draw automatically using the usual software a couple of minutes before tweeting it. But I won’t post the link to the draw page until I have finished the tweets. So anyone who doesn’t like suspense and prefers to be ‘the first to know’ can I’m sure find this information if they are desperate/sad/anoraky enough to look hard for it.

 

March 28, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Last Chance Saloon Gloucester

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:41 pm

Sunday sees the final qualifying heat of the Snookerbacker Classic in Gloucester where we will see the final three Grand Finalists decided.

You can keep up with the scores from the day here and the race for the 2nd spot on the Order of Merit here with either Josh Mulholland or Phil O’Kane set to take the 2nd spot behind runaway leader Brett Miller who is already confirmed as a finalist.

The referees for the day will be Martyn ‘Rolls’ Royce and Nick ‘Chardo’ Harry.  

March 25, 2015

SB Classic Last Chance Saloon: Lowdown for Players

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:07 am
It's a big day for Kent's finest on Sunday.

It’s a big day for Kent’s finest on Sunday.

Sunday in Gloucester sees the final 3 Grand Finalists decided for this season’s Snookerbacker Classic as the qualifiers and the ongoing Order of Merit list reach their conclusion.

The draw for Sunday was done last night and is here.

Anyone drawn to play in Matches numbered 1-8 will be commencing at 10am. Anyone drawn to play in Matches numbered 9-16 should arrive no later than 11.30am to the venue.

The usual rules apply for late arrivals. Dress code is collared shirt or polo with trousers and shoes.

All the information about this year’s tournament is here, including links to reports from all of the qualifiers so far.

The ongoing Order of Merit can be viewed here. As things stand Brett Miller is already comfortably through to Grand Finals Day with second place being currently held by Liverpudlian, Josh Mulholland.

Although Josh is level with Ryan Causton, he holds second place as his performance in his best event, the first Liverpool qualifier, was narrowly better than Ryan’s performance in his best event, the second qualifier in Gloucester. Josh won 14 frames to Ryan’s 12 and had a ‘frame difference’ of +4 to Ryan’s +3. So by virtue of that single frame, he may squeeze into the Grand Finals.

As Ryan is in Malta and was unable to enter on Sunday and a lot of the chasing pack are also not playing it means that only one player, namely Phil O’Kane who is 12 frames behind Josh can possibly catch him. To do this Phil must reach his section final and depending on frame scores in his earlier matches win at least one frame in that final. Otherwise, it is Josh who will progress to the Grand Finals on Easter Sunday. 

Can I also remind players that the clocks go forward an hour on Saturday evening. Yes Phil, I am talking to you.  

March 16, 2015

SB Classic Liverpool: Davison Dominates at Scotties

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:30 am
Paul with his prize

Paul with his prize

Saturday saw yet another big name put himself in the running at this season’s Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals as York’s Paul ‘Snowy’ Davison made it through to Gloucester on April 5th with a display that saw him lose just one frame all day.

The first round saw 4-0 victories for John Whitty, Alex Taubman and Josh Mulholland as well as Davison, with Josh compiling the first of four centuries on the day, 105. Wins were to follow for Andy Marriott, Anthony Jeffers, Rhys Williams and young Sean Maddocks from Liverpool who scored an impressive victory over Jack Bradford.

Sean is one of the recipients of the Eden Resources/ Snookerbacker Scholarships that have been in place this season to help youngsters gain valuable tournament experience by granting them a free entry into the Classic, it’s great that this season we have seen one of them come out with a win to boost confidence. Hopefully, Sean can use this as a springboard.

Sean was to lose next round against the impressive Mulholland who with that win rose to joint 2nd in the Order of Merit List with Ryan Causton. Unfortunately Josh and Ryan can’t play the final event in Gloucester so the chasing pack have a fighting chance with a good run.

Davison in the meantime was scoring consistently heavily and ended Josh’s run in the semi-final compiling two centuries along the way and making the final having not lost a frame.

In the other half of the draw a courageous clearance from Alex Taubman from 62-0 behind in the decider ended John Whitty’s chances of making the Grand Finals for a second consecutive year and John’s fellow scouser Anthony Jeffers was to set up a meeting with Taubs defeating Andy Marriott in a decider from 3-1 down.

Jeffers, a quarter-finalist in the Classic Grand Finals last year, began to get into the groove in the semi final and looked to be peaking at the right point in the day. Taubman being another who, though well placed on the Order of Merit, cannot enter the final event in Gloucester and is set to miss out on the Grand Finals.

The final saw Davison lose his first frame of the day but in truth he never really looked in danger and rode out a comfortable 4-1 winner over Jeffers under the watchful eye of Peter Bennett the referee and Rob Spencer, the scorer, who again kept order during the day.

I can’t sign off without mentioning the four Scottish boys who came along on Saturday, they left without a win between them but happy nonetheless as Stevie Baillie’s request for a cake ‘just for us’ in return for entering was met by the gracious Mrs SB, she even put a Scottish flag on the top. They’d had a nice time the night before and loved the club, Stevie saying that if he ever opened a snooker club himself, he’d want it to be like Scotties.

So, it’s Paul who joins Jamie Clarke, Eden Sharav, Martin O’Donnell, Syd Wilson, James Brown, Sean O’Sullivan, defending champion Ant Parsons, Daniel Wells, Ben Harrison, Reanne Evans, Jamie Bodle and Brett Miller at Grand Finals Day. We now await the final 3 who will all be decided at the Last Chance Saloon in Gloucester on March 29th, two qualifiers on the day and whoever finishes second on the Order of Merit list.

March 11, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic: Saturday in Liverpool

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:52 am

SB2015 A4 Poster1 with amendsSaturday sees the latest penultimate qualifying event take place at the George Scott Snooker Centre in Liverpool and the draw can be viewed here where updated results will be posted on the day.

All first round matches will commence at 10.00am with the usual rules applying for late arrivals. Dress code is collared shirt or polo with trousers and shoes.

All the information about this year’s tournament is here, including links to reports from all of the qualifiers so far.

The ongoing Order of Merit can be viewed here, the top two from this list who do not make the Grand Finals by another route will also make the Grand Finals. Brett Miller has already claimed top spot so the race is now on for second place with Ryan Causton currently in pole position. 

You can view the full terms and conditions of entry here.

March 9, 2015

SB Classic Derby: Ruthless Bodle Joins Grand Finalists

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:20 am

A very happy Jamie with his prize

Sunday in Derby saw local man Jamie Bodle, an England International and former tour professional, join the cracking line-up in Gloucester for Grand Finals Day on April 5th.

This heat was something of an odd one as it’s only the second time that myself and Mrs SB have not attended a qualifying event in the 4 years we’ve been doing the Classic. We had a family occasion to attend and were ably assisted by Mark Jones, who stood in as tournament director for the day and Andy Guest of My Snooker Stats who showed up to do a bit of live scoring for us.

Also present were referees Rob Spencer and Peter Bennett to make sure the day carried on regardless, even though there was an absence of cake that at one point threatened to lead to a mass mutiny, led by Joe Steele’s dad and cake-addict Garry. 

Many people’s favourite for the day was Paul Davison, but the Yorkshire man was beaten in Round 1 by Alex Taubman. It was quite an incredible achievement by Alex who is recovering from a seriously debilitating illness which threatened to rule him out for the rest of the season as recently as a fortnight ago. But he was to lose in the following round to Ryan Causton, who himself has one foot in the Grand Finals courtesy of the Order of Merit list, with just 2 more qualifying events left.

But it was Jamie who stole the show, in a display described by one pundit as ‘almost flawless’ he was to end Ryan’s run 4-1 in the semi-finals, compiling two centuries and racking up a 97% pot success rate in the process, as good as you will see at any level.

He faced Callum Downing in the final, who himself had seen off John Eames, Hugo Tomas and Adam King to get there, but Jamie proved too strong and by all accounts was a very worthy winner.

The Bald Truth: Mark Jones and Jamie.

The Bald Truth: Mark Jones and Jamie.

Mark has asked me to make a few further points and speaks very highly of the venue and the tables, which were prepared very early in the morning by Terry Salt, the club was extremely accommodating of the SB Classic and that’s really great to hear.

Mark also says that the referees were very professional as you would expect and that they added an air of kudos to the tournament. He also wanted me to say that he replaced the glass in the prize that smashed in the post with one of his daughter Hannah’s prized certificates. Proving that when it comes to the SB Classic, there is no level you shouldn’t stoop to in order to ensure the day runs smoothly. I just hope Hannah has stopped crying now.

I’m not going to mention that Mark himself thought he did a much better job than me as his big bald head will only expand further and we both know it isn’t true. 

A personal big thank you from me to everyone at Cueball for again hosting this event and a special thanks to Diana Schuler, Jamie’s other half, for taking the photographs. Remember that last year, this venue produced the eventual champion Ant Parsons, will their 100% record remain in tact?

This Saturday we are back on the road and land again at Scotties in Liverpool for a really high quality heat. And yes, there will be cake.

You can view the results from the Derby qualifier here and view all the Grand Finalists, the updated highest breaks and Order of Merit table here.

There are still a handful of places left in the final qualifier in Gloucester, to enter click here and follow the instructions.

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