Bradford’s billiards team in tip-top form

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Wayne Cooper starts the defence of his Yorkshire Championship snooker trophy with a tough tie against fellow Bradford player Gareth Green, who won the title in 2010 and beat Cooper in the 2011 Bradford final

BRADFORD’S billiards team started 2016 with an excellent 5-2 victory at Doncaster to put them back on track after recent disappointments.

Branson Hoole of Doncaster was left with something of a New Year hangover as Paul Devitt recorded a break of 37 and several others in the 20s to complete a 200-32 victory.

Bradford player Steve Wilman had given his cue a Christmas present – a new tip – and was rewarded with breaks of 49 and 41 in recording a 200-28 triumph over Graham Guest.

Then when Bradford captain Stephen Kershaw opened with a break of 61, it looked as if the last game would go the same way.

But Dave Parker hit back strongly with breaks of 37, 55 and 46 unfinished to restore some pride for Doncaster with a 200-129 victory, although it was not sufficient to prevent Bradford winning the match 5-2.

They are next in action on Saturday, January 16 at Harrogate.

Holder and four-times winner Wayne Cooper has been handed a tough opening match in this season’s Yorkshire Snooker Championship.

The draw was made at the Yorkshire Association meeting earlier this week and Cooper must face fellow Bradfordian and 2010 champion Gareth Green.

The pair have not met since four-times Bradford champion Green beat Cooper in the final of the Bradford Championships in 2011, the only final the nine-time winner has ever been beaten in.

In other Yorkshire Championship ties, another all-Bradford match sees Bradford No 1 player Lewis Walsh taking on clubmate Darren Goy in one of the stand-out ties for our district.

Yorkshire Handicap champion Josh Walker will play Craig Nicholson, while Yorkshire under-19 holder Russell Morgan takes on Donald Lynch.

Anthony Green tackles Gary Ambleton, Kevin Firth is up against Mikey Gaughan, Hanif Rafiq opens against James Dabell, with Damian Bentley playing Tommy Doherty, Kyle Dunn facing Chris Evans and Daniel Farmer meeting Joe Markie.

These matches will be played in Sunday, February 28 or Sunday, March 6 at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds.

Cooper, Firth and Walsh are at Castleford No 1 on Sunday (7.30pm) as defending Yorkshire Inter-District League champions Bradford No 1 look to maintain their place at the top of the Division One table.

Bradford No 2, captained by Rafiq and seeking to maintain leadership of Division Two, host Selby – also on Sunday (7.30pm) – at Cue Gardens.

The Yorkshire Under-16 Snooker Championship takes place a week on Saturday (11am) at the Northern Snooker Centre, with Cue Gardens hosting the Yorkshire Snooker Handicap the following day.

For further information contact tournament director Richard Bakes on 07940-651850.

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