POCKET ROCKET PINHEY WINS BRONZE
The West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation took the WEBSF Bronze Waistcoat Open Snooker Championship to the South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester. The Academy, sometimes referred to as the ‘Dream Factory’, is a hot bed of professional snooker talent. However, the Academy realises that all top professional players have developed from snookers grass roots which is why they encourage players of all ages and standards, to visit and enjoy the top quality conditions and coaching expertise that this venue has to offer in abundance. It seemed fitting that the WEBSF should hold their under 19’s tournament at this superb venue to end the 2012/13 season on a high. Twenty players descended on the Academy from Gloucestershire, Devonshire, Cornwall, Herefordshire, Bristol, Gwent and as far afield as China and Russia to compete for the coveted title.
The tournament was held over two days, day one saw the players play in groups to determine who would qualify to play in the main event and who would play in the plate the following day. Group A was dominated by the current WEBSF Silver Waistcoat Snooker Champion, Haydon Pinhey from Plymouth, Pinhey won all his games 3-0 posting two 50 breaks for good measure. The others that qualified from this group were Reece Watters, Tavistock, Jamie Hawkins and Jason Cowley from Bristol. Group B saw another clean sweep for Ben Fortey, Hereford, aided by a 46 break, followed by Jed Mann also from Hereford, Greg Midwinter, Stroud and Bradley Anderson, Tavistock. In Group C Dan Legassick made breaks of 38 & 40 to edge Chinese prodigy Yijun Feng into second spot. Aaron Cook and Lewis Parnham from Gloucester also qualified. Callum Lloyd from Newport powered, undefeated, through group D and looked every bit a favourite as he posted the highest break of the tournament, a fine 73. Kieran Dwyer also showed that he would take some beating, finishing in close second. Brett Broad, from Redruth and Ivan Kakovskiy from Petersburg completed the line-up for the main tournament the following day. The remaining players would be joined by the main tournament first round losers in the plate competition also held on the following day.
Day two got underway with the preliminary round of the plate. Lewis Parnham, Grigoril Kudriavcev, Mikhail Terekhou and Connor Arthur all won through to the plate quarter finals, Unfortunately Jamie Hawkins from Bristol had to pull out of day two due to illness. In the quarters Lewis Parnham, Connor Arthur, Jed Mann and Aaron Cook all kept their form to reach the semi-finals and be guaranteed prize money. The semis were a tense affair with Connor Arthur and Jed Mann both winning deciding frames to take them into the plate final. This was duly won by Connor Arthur with a convincing 2-0 score line.
The main event began with sixteen qualifiers from the day before which soon whittled down to eight, with no surprises against form. The only overseas player remaining at this point was Yijun Feng from China. In the quarters Haydon Pinhey was made to work hard to beat Reece Watters whilst Ben Fortey and Dan Legassick made light work of their matches, both wining without dropping frames. Arguably the toughest match of the round was between Kieran Dwyer and Callum Lloyd, both very capable of winning the title. It was Kieran Dwyer that took control on this occasion to win 2-0 and set up a semi-final clash against Ben Fortey. Matches where increased to the best of five frames and Kieran Dwyer continued his winning ways to beat Ben Fortey 3-1 and move into the final. Dan Legassick and Haydon Pinhey have met on many occasions over eight years of WEBSF tournaments with Pinhey leading the head-to-head 21-7. Legassick though has the game to out-pot any player on his day. However, it was not to be on this occasion with Pinhey, who is enjoying a season of success, ran out a convincing 3-0 winner to join Dwyer in the final. The final promised much with two talented players that are well matched. Dwyer played well recording a 50 break in the final but it was Pinhey who took the spoils 3-1 aided with a 59 break. He now reigns supreme as the 2013 WEBSF Bronze Waistcoat Open Snooker Champion.
The Tournament Director said, “The WEBSF Management Team fully aware of the potential of these young players. This year it’s been Haydon Pinhey that has excelled on the table, adding this under 19’s Championship title to the under 22’s WEBSF Silver Waistcoat Tour title he won last month. With sufficient sponsorship and sound guidance he promises to continue his journey towards the professional ranks. Taking the tournament to the South West Snooker Academy has attracted players throughout the region and even afar afield as China & Russia. This adds another dimension to our tournaments, providing an excellent test of skill and valuable experience for home grown players against players from overseas. Special thanks to referee Steve Brookshaw who officiated throughout the two days and to the tournament sponsors: The Southwest Snooker Academy, Gloucester, KC’s Snooker Coaching Centre, KS ELEKSAFE (UK) and the West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation.”
Details of this and other WEBSF tournaments can be found on http://www.websfsnooker.com, WEBSF Facebook or by contacting Steve Canniford, Mobile 07891940995.
Report by Steve Canniford