BRADFORD potter Mark Hirst made the final of the latest English Billiards Open Series event at Cue Gardens.
The weekend competition boasted the world champion and world No 1 Peter Gilchrist, as well as three other members of the world’s top ten.
Hirst won his group on Saturday and progressed to the decider on Sunday – where he went down by an incredible 1448-65 to world No 2 Dave Causier, who overwhelmed all his opponents to take his umpteenth Bradford Open title.
Bradford ace Hirst was not the only one to suffer against someone whose lowest score over the two days was 733, while the lowest high break he recorded in a match was 201.
The highest break of the event was 709, also by Causier, in his quarter-final against Gilchrist, who he beat 809 (709, 58) to 562 (51, 309, 192).
The score in the final was harsh on Hirst, who had performed superbly all weekend. But with Causier making breaks of 489, 605, 158 and 149 in just four visits, there was little Bradford’s former professional could do.
Stephen Kershaw won two of his four games in the group stages but, having been on the wrong end of two heavy defeats against top-ranked players, just missed out on qualification on points difference.
Yorkshire Inter-District League defending snooker champions Bradford No 1 extended their lead at the top of Division One with a 5-1 victory over second-placed Huddersfield at Undercliffe Cricket Club.
Wayne Cooper was in fine form, winning the first frame against Jack Ellis-Pownall 68-23 – which included a break of 30 – and he set off in the next with a run of 38.
Ellis-Pownall hit straight back with a break of 36 before an untimely miss and Cooper cleared with 56 for a 94-36 success.
Kevin Firth fought out two tough frames against Conrad Norcliffe to win 74-34 and 72-11, the latter with the aid of several snookers, putting the host side 4-0 up.
Lewis Walsh retained his place after an excellent performance at Castleford but struggled in his opening frame, with opponent Michael Whaley clinical both on attack and defence to pull a frame back 84-16.
But Walsh then won a scrappy last frame 65-35, with both players struggling to get any rhythm.
Bradford No 2 take on Castleford No 2 at Cue Gardens on Sunday (7.30pm), while the billiards side entertain Huddersfield at Great Horton Cricket Club on Saturday (7.30pm).
The semi-finals of the inaugural Bradford Snooker Handicap take place at Eccleshill Victoria Conservative Club on Saturday (7.30pm).
Adam Tipper tackles Adam Crossan, while current Bradford champion John Wellham faces Sonny Sandhu.