Hollings’ delight at champion display

Joe Hollings Bradford Handicap Champion 2016

ECCLESHILL Victoria Conservative Club’s Joe Hollings is the latest player to become Bradford Snooker Handicap Champion after defeating Andy Boswell from Girlington Conservative Club in the final.

Hollings won by three frames to one at Great Horton Conservative Club and is only the third player to win the Eric Hodgkinson Trophy after Adam Tipper in 2014 and Gareth Green in 2015.

Hollings won the first frame, but Boswell levelled with a black-ball decider, before breaks of 30, 27 and 34 from Hollings settled the tie.

Despite this success, Hollings was unsuccessful in the first round of the Bradford Snooker Pairs with partner Alan Austin, going down 3-2 to last season’s beaten semi-finalists John and Chris Wellham.

Defending ten-time Bradford champion Wayne Cooper started the defence of his title with a 4-0 victory against Dave Tolson, while 2004 champion Howard Mawson secured his place in the next round of the singles with a 4-1 victory over Dave Stirk – the same score by which 1987 champion Mark Hirst triumphed against Hanif Rafiq.

The draws for the next round of the singles and pairs will be made at Undercliffe Cricket Club on Sunday prior to Bradford No 1’s match with Harrogate in the Yorkshire Inter District League (7.30pm).

The side are looking to bounce back after recent defeats to Sheffield No 1 (4-2) and Castleford No 1 (5-1).

Bradford No 2 are in a similar position having recently lost 5-1 at Sheffield No 1. They head to Wakefield aiming to get their season back on track.

The Bradford billiards team secured a 6-4 win at Doncaster, on a night when all three games were very one-sided.

Steve Wilman was quick out of the blocks for Bradford and consistent breaks in the 20s took him to a convincing 200-71 victory over Branson Hoole.

The boot was on the other foot in the second game as Doncaster’s Dave Palmer opened up with a break of 42 and established a commanding lead, which Bradford captain Stephen Kershaw never looked like overhauling.

The home man completed a 200-77 victory to leave the teams with three points each from the first two games.

In the final game, it was Bradford’s turn to control the one way traffic again, as a break of 52 took Paul Devitt to 129-43 lead.

On reaching 192 it looked like he would record the biggest win of the night.

But Graham Guest compiled a careful break of 41 to reduce the final score to 200-108 and in doing so became the only loser to secure even a single point, as Bradford ran out 6-4 winners.

Bradford’s next game is a rearranged fixture at home to Harrogate on Saturday, January 7 at Great Horton Conservative Club.

Two singles matches in play tonight (Thursday 15th dec) side by side at Undercliffe Cricket Club 

Walker v Firth and Tipper v Wellham an interesting evening of snooker for anybody wanting to watch both 7:30pm both best 7 frames.

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