WAYNE Cooper, Kevin Firth and Mark Slater had what could be a successful last hurrah as Bradford No 1 bounced back in style from their opening-game defeat at Castleford No 1 to claim a 6-0 whitewash at Harrogate in Division One of the Yorkshire Inter-District Snooker League.
Cooper, one of the finest players for Yorkshire in recent years, long-time doubles partner Firth and perennial stand-in Slater, who have taken Bradford to county glory so often in the past, have all decided to call it a day at representative level, but were called on for one last time together as their replacements were unavailable
Harrogate captain Andy Blamire was Cooper’s opponent and was beaten 70-12, 88-8, with Cooper making breaks of 35, 43 and 45 in the process.
Firth had efforts of 38 and 40 in defeating Stuart Jauncey 61-37, 66-15, while Slater made breaks of 51 and 34 to win both frames against Kaif Shazad 71-57, 58-36.
Standing down, due to work and family commitments, was a tough decision for ten-time Bradford champion Cooper and, for the same reasons, Firth and Lewis Walsh will not be heavily involved.
Slater, who has been happy to step in as a reserve over the last couple of seasons, has also cited family commitments.
Cooper, in particular, has enjoyed a very successful time with the Bradford team, having played for them for over 20 years, winning several league titles along the way.
He will be a big loss not just to the Bradford team, but the Yorkshire League in general due to his skill and consistency.
The Bradford team for the rest of the season is likely to be four-times Bradford champion Gareth Green, his brother and pairs champion Anthony Green and former Yorkshire Handicap champion Josh Walker.
Bradford’s next match is at home to Sheffield No 2 on Sunday, November 12.
The semi-finals in the Bradford Billiards Championships will take place at Undercliffe Cricket Club on Wednesday, November 15 (7pm).
Mark Hirst will face Paul Devitt, while Jason Devanney meets Trevor Kershaw in the 90-minute matches.