Ladies Snooker - 2016 UK Championship / 2016 IBSF Australian Ranking Event
WOMAN'S OWN - EVANS AND PILLAI CLAIM GLOBAL TITLES
It was a very busy weekend of Women's Snooker action with professional and amateur championships being decided in opposite halves of the World.
Reanne Evans returned to winning ways when she won her eighth UK Championship at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, England.
The 11 time and reigning WLBS World Ladies Champion bounced back from a Final defeat to Ng On Yee at last month's inaugural Paul Hunter Ladies Classic in Germany.
She began her bid by comfortably qualifying top of her round robin without dropping a single frame (a trio of 3-0 victories). In the KO section the Englishwoman beat Sharon Lewis (Wales) and Paula Judge (Republic of Ireland) both 3-0 to set up a Semi-Final showdown with rival and defending champion On Yee.
The Hong Kong star didn't give up her title easily; recovering from 3-1 down to take it to a decider, although it was Evans who would hold her nerve for a 4-3 success.
In the championship rubber she would face maiden WLBS circuit finalist Tatjana Vasiljeva from Latvia. Vasiljeva, a wildcard and only female participant at the Riga Masters in her home country during June, came top of Group D with a pair of 3-0 wins before enjoying victories over Diana Schuler (Germany) 3-1, Suzie Opacic (England) 3-2 and Laura Evans (Wales) 4-1 in the Last 16, Quarters and Semis respectively.
Before the final, there was a minutes applause for the late Paul Hunter on the 10th anniversary of his passing in his home city. The final was watched by Paul's family, and his Dad, Alan, later presented the trophies.
Breaks of 36, 56 and 30 helped put the strong favourite 3-0 up before a brown to black clearance saw Vasiljeva get on the board. However, Evans finished the job with runs of 42 and 31 to cross the line 5-1 for her first UK title since 2011. She pockets £800 for the win, and a further £200 (sponsored by the Paul Hunter Foundation) for the high break of 92 she made earlier in event.
Elsewhere, Jenny Poulter (England) won the Seniors, Stephanie Daughtery (England) took the Under 21's and So Man Yan (Hong Kong) was the Challenge Cup winner.
Down Under at the Mounties Club in Sydney, India's Vidya Pillai ousted home nation girl Jessica Woods 4-3 in the final of the IBSF (International Billiards and Snooker Federation) Australian Ranking Event.
16 players from Australia, New Zealand and India took part. Two Round Robin groups of 8 were formed, with the top 4 of each advancing to the Quarter-Finals.
Both in Group B, Pillai won all 7 of her matches to come top, Woods won 6 out of 7 (only losing to Pillai 2-0) to finish second.
The Asian then eliminated Temple Geayley 3-1 and fellow countrywoman Amee Kamani 4-0, whilst Woods saw off Theresa Whitten (Australia) 3-1 and defending champion Chitra Magimairaj (India) 4-0. Against Whitten she constructed breaks of 32, 58 and 77 - which would be the highest of the tournament.
In a very entertaining final, Woods initially took a 2-0 lead before Pillai crafted breaks of 40 and 30 to help her go 3-2 in front. An exciting climax to the sixth saw Woods keep her hopes alight with a cool clearance from blue to black (it included an awesome long pot on the pink and position), but it was Pillai who claimed the last for a 4-3 win.
Pictures above are property of WLBS and IBSF
Written and published by Michael Day on the 10th October 2016