Amateur Snooker - 2017 EBSA European Snooker Open
2nd-4th June 2017 / Rafaelo Resort, Shengjin, Albania
MAGIC MORGAN SECURES RIGA BERTH
Darren Morgan will once again have the opportunity to perform on the sport's top tier after he defended the EBSA European Snooker Open in Albania on Sunday.
A reward for winning this title is a wildcard place in the main draw of the Riga Masters professional event later this month. It seems very likely that Morgan will accept the invite and take his Round 1 place in Latvia.
12 months ago in Lithuania, the Welshman won the title and then sensationally went all the way to the Semi-Finals in Riga before losing to eventual champion Neil Robertson.
On route to the final in Albania this weekend he narrowly beat top female player Wendy Jans (Belgium) 4-3 in the Last 32 and former Crucible Qualifier Andrew Pagett 4-1 in the Quarter-Finals.
His final opponent would be fellow ex-professional Michael Judge. The Irishman had seen off newly crowned European 6 Reds Champion Kristjan Helgason (Iceland) via a deciding frame in the Last 8.
A final with a great number of years of professional experience between them, it was 51 year old Morgan who took the early advantage in opening a 2-0 lead.
Judge - 10 years younger, got on the board by chalking up Frame 3, but it was Morgan who ran out a 4-1 victor, finishing in style with a break of 105.
80 players from a host of European countries took part in this tournament. Judge made the highest break with an effort of 108.
Despite having been off the main circuit for a decade now, Morgan remains very active on the amateur circuit and still plays to a high level. Last year at the Riga Masters, Ken Doherty and Xiao Guodong were among the players he eliminated.
Attention in Shengjin now moves to the European Masters, Ladies and Team Championships.
For more information, and the full results, please visit the European Billiards and Snooker Association's tournament page here.
Written and published by Michael Day on the 4th June 2017