Hussain edges close final against unlucky Sant
Three new players competed in the latest Hucknall Open snooker tournament including 8 year old Alfie Moore and 15 year old Callum Hodgman. It’s always great to see new players tourning out but even more pleasing to see that the game of snooker is still attracting juniors in the modern computer age.
The event attracted 12 entries and players were split into two groups of 6. Every competitor played at least 10 frames and the top 4 players in each group progressed to the quarter-finals.
In a tight group where 60% of matches were tied, Dean North (Hucknall) came out on top thanks to a better frame difference than Manny Sant (Bulwell) who finished second. Other qualifiers with one win each were Dave Jobling (Newark) and Malc Grocock (Hucknall). Ashley Dobb (Hucknall) and Danny Cresswell (Hucknall) both failed to win a match.
Nav Hussain (West Bridgford), Steve Butler (Gotham) and Ant Moore (Belton) all qualified for the knockout stages. A nice 55 break by Moore in his match against Butler was the highest of the group stage. The other three players in the group could not be separated with each drawing 3 and losing 2 matches. After a brief discussion amongst group members it was agreed that a blue ball shootout would decide the final qualifier. Michael Ioannou (Hucknall) and 15 year old Callum Hodgman (Hucknall) lost out to 8 year old Alfie Moore (Belton). The Belton potter luckily fluked the blue in the middle bag to secure his place in the quarter-finals.
Nav Hussain is in fine form and he reached his second successive Hucknall Open final with relative ease, firing in the day’s highest break of 71 in his quarter-final victory over Dave Jobling.
Dean North and Steve Butler reached their first semi-finals with wins over Ant Moore and Malc Grocock respectively.
Manny Sant was also on form although he had to work hard to beat Alfie Moore in the quarter-finals. It was a fine debut for the Belton lad and everyone was impressed with his play during the tournament. Definitely one to watch for the future.
After defeating Dean North in the semi-finals, Sant came up against Hussain (who had easily beaten Butler in the semis) in the final.
Sant got off to a good start in the final, but Hussain hit back and took the frame thanks to a nice 35 clearance. Sant made a nice 30 break at the start of frame 2 and Hussain was unable to score heavily enough to reduce the deficit, Sant taking the frame to set up a decider.
The green ball played an important part in the deciding frame, Hussain refusing a pot early on elected instead to lay a good snooker by rolling up behind the green. Sant then gave away 15 points in fouls as he made three unsuccessful attempts to swerve his way out of the snooker. Nevertheless, Sant remained in contention and in the closing stages, with just 5 balls left on the table, Hussain found himself snookered on the green as it nestled behind the pink. Hussain played off the cushion, hit the green and outragously potted it into the corner pocket. He then rubbed salt into the wounds by potting brown, blue and pink to steal the victory from Sant. It was very harsh on Sant, who had played very well, but you have to hand it to Hussain who is so calm under pressure. “What pressure?” I hear him say!
Losing semi-finalists £10
Highest Break £5
Nav Hussain 71