MARK Ball became Bradford Snooker champion for the first time after defeating Eccleshill Victoria Conservative Club team-mate Howard Mawson 4-3 in the final at Great Horton Conservative Club on Saturday.
This was always likely to be a tight affair, and so it proved as 2004 winner Mawson won a nervy opening frame 51-29.
Ball then got into the swing of things with a frame-winning break of 69 to level with an 88-0 success, and then went in front courtesy of winning frame three by 63-28.
Both players missed good chances in the next frame, but Mawson took it 64-16, only for Ball once again to take the lead with a 65-0 victory in frame five.
Mawson refused to lie down, however, and once again levelled the match at 3-3, making a superb break of 73 in a 75-10 success to set up the final-frame shoot-out.
This was a very cagy, low-scoring affair as both players picked off pots without much success of a following colour.
With only blue, pink and black remaining and the scores at 31-30, Mawson played a good safety, leaving the white on the top cushion, but Ball potted an excellent long blue and managed to get position on the pink, which he duly dropped down the rail for a 41-31 frame win and with it the trophy and Bradford Championship title.
Ball also made the competition’s highest break with a superb 131 in his first-round match.
It has been a very successful season for Ball, who also won the Conservative League Bob Bell Scratch Competition and came close on Sunday to lifting the Yorkshire Snooker Pairs trophy with Mick Jenson.
But experienced Bradford duo Wayne Cooper and Kevin Firth beat the pair 3-1 in the final at the Northern Snooker Centre for their third title in the last 5 years.
The Yorkshire snooker final between Leeds’ Johnathan Bagley and Castleford’s Peter Fisher, together with presentation of all the county trophies, takes place on Friday, June 2 at the Northern Snooker Centre (7.30pm).
It was originally scheduled for this Friday night, but had to be moved due to a clash with another competition.