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Amateur Snooker - 2015 Welsh National Championship

Darren Morgan claimed his second Welsh Amateur Snooker Championship victory; amazingly 28 years since his first.

The 49 year old from Newport had a successful professional career including wins at the 1996 Irish Masters, and as captain of team Wales in the 1999 Nations Cup.  He also reached the semi-finals at the Crucible Theatre in 1994, and once was as high as number 8 in the World Rankings.

But his latest win on the amateur scene will give him great satisfaction, as he lifted Welsh Snookers most prestigious snooker prize.

Morgan has been a regular in this tier of competition for a number of years now, and he navigated his way through the earlier regional heats to reach the latter stages.

In the quarter finals he beat Welsh number 1 and regular European Tour participant Gareth Allen by 5 frames to 3.

Then Morgan truly rolled back the years with a weekend to remember at the Merthyr Labour Club.

On the Saturday he beat fellow veteran Elfed Evans 6-0 with breaks of 68,68,61 and 60 to set up a showdown with former pro Daniel Wells the next day.

Wells, a very familiar name on all circuits, had previously won his semi-final a few weeks earlier with success over the 2014 champion Jamie Clarke. Despite falling 3-0 down, Wells made two century breaks and a crucial 65 in the decider.

So the best of 15 frame final over two sessions was to be a generation affair with young Daniel born in 1988 - a year after Morgan had won his first Welsh and World Amateur Championships!

In what should have been a close clash of cultures; the older statesman exhibited his pure class.

Darren blitzed the opening embers taking a 3-0 lead with runs of 102, 51 and 100. He further extended that advantage to 6-0 with a break of 63, then took the seventh frame on the black, before sealing proceedings in the eighth for the most emphatic and surprising of score lines.

The champion told the South Wales Argus newspaper -

“It’s the biggest tournament for amateur players in Wales and to win it against the youngsters still going for the pro tickets is very pleasing. They will be practicing five or six hours a day but I just do half an hour here or there these days - just to get my arm going.”

Morgan continues to travel in order to quench his snooker thirst, although he doesn’t appear to have the desire to compete for a professional ticket again - despite obviously still having the game to compete should he did.

Live on Sky Sports he won the 2011 World Professional Seniors Championship, and he will be making the trips to Prague and Africa later in the year for the European and World Masters events.

2015 Welsh Snooker Championship

RESULTS (from the Quarter-Finals onwards)
Jamie CLARKE                5-3            Callum LLOYD
Daniel WELLS                5-0            Edward TOPHAM
Darren MORGAN           5-3            Gareth ALLEN
Elfed EVANS                   5-2            Tyler REES

(Semi-finals) - breaks in brackets
CLARKE        (62,73,40)             5-6     (102,101,65,49,46)    WELLS
MORGAN      (68,68,61,60)      6-0     EVANS

WELLS                                           0-8    (102,51,100,63)    MORGAN

written by Michael Day, published on 13th June 2015