THIS year’s Bradford Snooker Championship final will be an all-Eccleshill Victoria Cons Club affair as 2004 champion Howard Mawson is set to take on Mark Ball on Saturday, May 20 at Great Horton Conservative Club.
Mawson hasn’t been in the final since lifting the crown, despite numerous appearances in the semi-finals, and took on doubles partner Lewis Walsh at Eccleshill.
The match swung one way and then the other, with Walsh leading 1-0 and 3-2 and Mawson making a 79 clearance to go 2-1 up before eventually winning the match 4-3.
Both played some outstanding snooker, with some high-quality potting and superb safety exchanges, the difference in the end being that Mawson was clinical when he got his chances in the deciding frame.
The other semi-final was at Great Horton Cons, and Ball was never behind, with Firth levelling at 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3.
Ball made a 56 break in the first frame, while Firth’s best was a 49 in the fourth.
The deciding frame went down to the wire, and when it looked as though Firth was going to clear after potting blue, an unfortunate in-off kept Ball interested.
Ball took the blue, but Firth potted a terrific long pink, but as he played to pot the black into the corner, fortune was against him as the white dropped into the middle bag to give Ball a deserved 4-3 victory.
It proved to be a great week for Ball, who earlier that week lifted the Conservative League’s Bob Bell Trophy by beating Anthony Clay 3-0.
Bradford’s snooker sides were both in action on Saturday at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, the No 1 team of Wayne Cooper, Josh Walker and Mark Slater overcoming Leeds No 1 5-1, while Bradford No 2’s trio of Hanif Rafiq, Boover Singh and Peter Hamilton battled out a deserved 3-3 draw against Leeds No 2.
The following night at Undercliffe Cricket Club, Bradford No 1’s team of Cooper, Firth and Walsh played Leeds No 1 in the return fixture, and again won 5-1, with Cooper making the highest break of the weekend with a 74.