Devitt beaten by the bell in thrilling billiards final

Trevor Kershaw, left, and Paul Devitt before their Bradford Billiards Championship final, which Kershaw won by a point

Trevor Kershaw, left, and Paul Devitt before their Bradford Billiards Championship final, which Kershaw won by a point

THERE was high drama in the final of the Bradford Billiards Championship at Great Horton Conservative Club.

Trevor Kershaw won the title, beating Paul Devitt by one point after being saved by the bell.

The players traded 30 breaks in the first hour and, without ever finding their best form, play in general was very cautious in what became a low-scoring match.

Kershaw led 157-126 at the interval and did most of the scoring on the resumption, building up a lead of over 70 at one stage.

Yet for most of the session, Devitt was rarely more than a decent break behind and it came with less than 15 minutes to go when he made a 45 – the highest of the night – to get back to within 20 points.

Further chances for both players were scarce as the clock ran down and the tension mounted.

There were few risks taken, some unlucky misses and the odd fluke but, with less than two minutes to go, Devitt – still nine points in arrears – got another scoring opportunity and, having scored eight, he was left with a regulation red.

However, he hesitated momentarily on the shot, only for the bell to sound before he struck the cue ball, leaving his opponent, who had led for most of the game, with a single-point victory to become champion for the second time, having also won in 2008.

* Bradford No 1 needed a 6-0 victory to overhaul Sheffield No 1 in snooker’s Yorkshire Inter-District League but ended their season on a disappointing note with a 3-3 draw against Castleford No 1.

Wayne Cooper started in superb style, a 137 total clearance giving the defending champions the perfect start, and a second-frame victory followed to give his side hope.

Castleford’s Mikey Tomlinson had failed to show at the end of the first match, so a quick shuffle saw Lewis Walsh playing outside his comfort zone in second against Keith Towler, who was solid and potted a superb black to edge the first, thereby denying Bradford the title.

Towler backed this up with a 53 break to level at 2-2 and, with no sign of Tomlinson and nothing really to play for, the Castleford manager – 82-year-old Alex Crum, a popular figure around Yorkshire – stepped up and managed to take a frame off Kevin Firth in a light-hearted encounter.

* The Yorkshire Snooker Pairs takes place at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds on Sunday (9.30am).

Entry is £15 on the day for best-of-five frame matches throughout and the usual Yorkshire dress code applies. Players are advised to get there early, as Kirkstall Road and several other routes near the club will be closed due to the Leeds Half Marathon.

For more information, tournament director Alex Crum can be contacted on 07904-300881.

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