Steve Butler secures maiden Open victory
The latest Hucknall Open attracted 13 entries and players were split into two groups. Every competitor played at least 6 frames and the top 4 players in each group progressed to the quarter-finals.
Callum Hodgman (Hucknall), who made his tournament debut two weeks ago, continued to improve, securing victories over Mick Kirk (Anstey) and Matthew Clarke (Worksop). Dean North (Hucknall) is another player who improves with every tournament he plays and he sailed through the group, losing only to Dave Jobling (Newark) and Kirk who both also qualified for the knockout stage. Wayne Martin (Hucknall) was the other qualifer, no mean feat considering he did not have his regular cue available due to it being in for repair. John Forbes (Bilborough) only just missed out on qualification having lost matches against the in-form players.
Hayden Staniland (Worksop), Macauley Croft (Worksop) and Ashley Dobb (Hucknall) all won two of their five matches and qualified for the quarter-finals. Steve Butler (Gotham) scraped through at the expense of Josh Mallender (Worksop) thanks to his better frame difference. Michael Ioannou (Hucknall) had a bad day at the office, failing to win a single frame.
Steve Butler and Mick Kirk both reached their first Hucknall Open finals. Butler despatched one of his bogey players, Dave Jobling in the quarter-finals and then knocked out Dean North in the closest of semi-finals. Another impressive performance by North who will surely reach his first final soon.
Kirk had a tough run to the final, beating the very dangerous Ashley Dobb in the quarters and former champion Hayden Staniland in the semis. Staniland was cueing well and made the days highest break of 63 in the group stages.
The final iteself was a scrappy affair, both players looking tired after a long day full of hard battles. Plenty of chances went begging on both sides but it was Butler who came out on top, notching up a rare a 2-0 victory to secure his maiden Hucknall Open title.
Losing semi-finalists £10
Highest Break £5
Hayden Staniland 63