Green secures number five

GARETH Green has claimed the Bradford Snooker Championship for the fifth time after a hard-fought 4-2 victory over Stefan Risidi in the final at Great Horton Conservative Club.

But Green didn’t have it all his own way, especially in the early stages.

It was a short turnaround from the semi-finals, which took place only two days before, where Green was outstanding against Bradford team-mate Josh Walker.

The 4-0 win included equalling the competition’s highest break of 80 – ironically Walker had made the same break a round earlier – while Risidi made breaks of 38, 33 and 56 in his 4-2 success over Lewis Walsh, who himself had a 64.

Against Green, Risidi showed why he deserved to be in the final, taking the first frame 75-21, which included a break of 47 and he looked confident among the balls.

A tactical battle ensued in frame two, with some excellent safety. Risidi had chances to double his lead, but Green made a telling 31 break to level the match at 1-1 with a 71-31 frame win.

Frame three was over in a flash, however, with Green winning it 83-9, making a break of 59 and looking good for a high score until an uncharacteristic miss.

The match was levelled again though, with Risidi this time getting the better of another tactical frame and making a 35 break on his way to a 61-36 score.

This was a well-contested match and, although Green got away in frame five with a break of 35, Risidi levelled as the pair headed into the colours.

Green then took green to pink to go 3-2 up with a 61-40 victory, but again Risidi refused to lie down and made a break of 36 in the next.

However, just as it looked like a 3-3 game, a rare mistake let Green in, who once again took the final colours to win 61-37 and with it his fifth title.

He is now only two behind former world champion Joe Johnson and halfway towards ten-time champion Wayne Cooper.

The following night was quite the opposite for Green, who was way below his best when Bradford No 1 took on Wakefield in the Yorkshire Inter-District League.

Richard Smith took full advantage to sneak the first frame 55-41, although Green made a 46 break to take the second 81-9.

Gareth’s brother Anthony Green was in outstanding form though, making breaks of 45 and 63 against Craig Longbottom to win both frames, while Josh Walker rescued the last frame of the night for a 4-2 Bradford victory after opponent Elliott Glover had made a 47 break in frame five.

Bradford have two matches to play on Sunday with the title still in the balance – Castleford No 2 away at 1pm and Leeds away at 7.30pm, while current leaders Sheffield No 2 have the one match, at Castleford No 2 on Sunday night.

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