DEFENDING champion Wayne Cooper was dramatically knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the Bradford Snooker Championship when his Bradford team-mate Kevin Firth fought back from 3-1 down to snatch a 4-3 victory at Undercliffe Cricket Club.
Firth looked down and out, and even at 3-3 it looked like ten-times champion Cooper would edge the match.
He was in prime position and heading towards a hard-fought win but a rare miss allowed Firth to claw his way back into the frame and then close out victory on the colours for a semi-final place alongside 2004 champion Howard Mawson, Mark Ball and Lewis Walsh.
The semi-final draw has been made, and Undercliffe’s Firth will take on Ball (Eccleshill Vic Cons) at Great Horton Conservative Club on Thursday, April 20, while pairs partners Walsh and Mawson line-up against each other at their home club Eccleshill Victoria Conservative the night before.
Both matches start at 7.30pm.
Walsh and Mawson, meanwhile, team up on Saturday in the final of the Bradford Snooker Pairs, where they take on three-times winners Gareth and Anthony Green (Harold Club) in the best-of-five frame decider at Great Horton Cons (8pm).
The duo were edged out last season by Josh Walker and Russell Morgan and will be looking to go one better in this year’s final.
Cooper, Firth and Walsh were in action at the weekend in the Yorkshire Inter-District League when they travelled to Harrogate for Bradford No 1 in Division One and came away with a 5-1 success.
Cooper made breaks of 30 and 40 in defeating Kaiz Shazad (77-27, 72-1), Walsh tied frames with Andy Blamire (69-34, 7-46), with Firth taking both frames off Stuart Jauncey (52-39, 62-37).
Bradford No 2 are precariously placed near the foot of Division One after successive 4-2 defeats to Harrogate and Wakefield and must hope for better fortunes in their remaining fixtures against Leeds No 2 and Sheffield No 2.
The quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Yorkshire Snooker Championships takes place on Saturday (11.30am) at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, with four-time champion Cooper and fellow Bradford player Simon Bedford both in the mix for the title.
They are joined by Daniel Womersley, Ryan Walton, Peter Fisher, Johnathon Bagley, Will Lemons and Brett Miller in a strong last eight.
The draw is made on the day and players are requested to be present by 11.15am.
(Posters courtesy of Simon Jackson)