CHAMPION CANAVAN CLAIMS WORLD SENIORS CROWN
Jersey's Aaron Canavan will line up for Crucible Qualifying next month after winning the 2018 World Seniors Snooker Championship on Saturday night at Baths Hall.
After a long season of qualification heats both in the UK and abroad, the 16 finalists congregated in Scunthorpe for the tournament that was claimed last year by Peter Lines. Lines was unable to defend the title due to being back on the professional circuit – anyone aged 40 or over with amateur status was eligible to compete.
Canavan began his campaign with a 3-1 victory over 1985 World Champion Dennis Taylor, he then secured a berth on 'Finals Day' eliminating the Republic of Ireland's Johnny Farrell by the same scoreline in the Quarters.
The Semi-Finals on Saturday afternoon would prove dramatic. Canavan ousted Chinese Qualifier Cao Kaisheng on the Black Ball Tie Breaker after the scores were level at 2-2. Cao had done very well when you consider it was allegedly the first time he had traveled outside of his homeland.
Meeting him in the final was Northern Ireland's Patrick Wallace, a former professional who reached the Quarter-Finals of the World Professional Championship in 2001. Wallace had also come through via a Tie-Breaker in his Last 4 tie with the ultra-consistent Jonathan Bagley (England).
Bagley, the most successful amateur performer in these Seniors events over the last couple of campaigns, had ended the hopes of 7-time World Champion Stephen Hendry in the opening round. During the Tie-Breaker, Bagley agonisingly went in-off when attempting a safety to gift his rival the match.
With so much at stake, the extended final understandably became scrappy at times. Wallace led 2-1 going into the mid-session interval, and on the resumption he chalked up Frame 4 to move one away.
However, Canavan showed determination, securing Frames 5 and 6 to force another Tie Breaker - this time for all the marbles. Both players went for glory with very tricky cuts, but Wallace's missed attempt left Canavan a golden chance which he converted.
The Jersey cueist banks £10,000 and 10,000 Assetereum crypto currency coins - the title sponsors of the event. As well as the title and trophy, Canavan will be in the draw for World Professional Championship Qualifying in a few weeks time at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield where he will be three match wins away from the Crucible.
After withdrawals and eliminations, none of the advertised legends made it past the first hurdle, although Cliff Thorburn did lose in a Tie Breaker.
The final Seniors competition of the season will be the Seniors Masters at the Crucible, a few days before the World Championship itself. 8 players will compete for a £7,500 first prize and the John Spencer Trophy.
Picture above is courtesy of Monique Limbos. (Thank you for your help this event, Monique!)
Article written and published by Michael Day on the 24th March 2018