Bradford cue ace Brian Mullaney dies aged 73

FORMER Bradford snooker champion Brian Mullaney has died aged 73.

He won the title in 1986 and created history as his brother Tommy took the Bradford billiards that year – the first time that siblings had held the crowns at the same time.

Mullaney, who died in the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford, also won the city’s billiards championship in 1994 and 2001.

This means that Colin is now the sole survivor of the 11 Mullaney siblings – five sons and six daughters, some of whom went to Australia as £10 Poms.

Brian’s funeral is at St Peter’s Church on Allerton Road tomorrow (10am), followed by a service at Scholemoor Crematorium at 11am, with a gathering afterwards at West Bradford Bowling Club on Duckworth Lane.

*BRADFORD’S two snooker sides met in Division One of the Yorkshire Inter-District League at Cue Gardens.

Hosts Bradford No 2 fielded a strong line-up but Bradford No 1 were in top form and came away with a 6-0 victory to elevate them to third with a game in hand on the top two.

Bradford champion Wayne Cooper faced a tough start, lining up against Simon Bedford, with both players having been on the main professional circuit in the past.

The first frame was evenly contested, with Cooper earning a hard-fought 70-36 win, but the second was outstanding, with Cooper making a total clearance of 131 to put the No 1 side in control.

Lewis Walsh set off with a break of 54 against Hanif Rafiq and held on to take the third frame 75-23 – and although Walsh made a break of 42 in the next, Rafiq fought back well until missing pink, which Walsh claimed for a 57-48 success.

Kevin Firth continued the away side’s great form, making a break of 46 to take frame five against Gareth Green 74-28, backing this up with a contribution of 34 in the last but only edging it on the black 68-55.

Cooper and Firth progressed to the semi-finals of the Bradford Snooker Pairs Championship with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Calverley Cons duo Richard Hagerty and Roy Beckford.

Cooper equalled the competition’s highest break of 76 in the first frame but Firth made an 81 in the next as the pair eased through at Undercliffe Cricket Club.

In the singles, Russell Morgan (Lilycroft WMC) is the first player through to the quarter-finals after seeing off Paul Davey (Undercliffe Cricket Club) 4-1.

Deadlines for both competitions is Sunday, February 19 and players should be finalising arrangements between themselves to play their matches.

* THE deadline for entry into the Yorkshire Snooker Championships is next Tuesday.

Entry forms can be found on the website www.bsa-cuesports.com and entries, together with fees, must be with Richard Bakes (07940-651850) by this date.

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