Hirst holds his nerve as Wibsey Libs win Hopkinson Plate thriller

Wibsey Liberal Club A, who have won the 2014-15 E Rosse Hopkinson Trophy. From left: Mark Hirst, Tom Bell, Damian Gallagher, Ian Carradice

Wibsey Liberal Club A, who have won the 2014-15 E Rosse Hopkinson Trophy. From left: Mark Hirst, Tom Bell, Damian Gallagher, Ian Carradice

WIBSEY Liberal Club A overcame The Leicester Street Club, formerly East Bowling Unity Club, to lift the E Rosse Hopkinson Plate Trophy at East Ward Labour Club.

There was plenty of support for both teams, and the spectators witnessed a tense finish to an excellent match.

Wibsey duo Ian Carradice and Tom Bell were up against Leicester Street’s Chris Richards and Tony Dawson respectively, and won three of the first four frames to trail by only 38 points at halfway.

Mark Hirst won his first frame for Wibsey against Andy Chisholm and Hirst’s team-mate, Damian Gallagher, defeated Steve Casey to overturn the deficit and lead by 33 points with two frames to play.

Casey took his final frame by 22 points, which at the time levelled the scores, as Chisholm led Hirst by 11 points at this juncture with only pink and black remaining.

Nerves and tension were high in the final frame but Hirst held his nerve to take the pink and black, and with it a two-point victory and the title for Wibsey.

Bradford’s Paul Devitt did exceptionally well at the recent Yorkshire Billiards Championship at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds.

He reached the final after coming through a strong field, defeating Bradford champion and tournament favourite Hirst in the semi-finals. Unfortunately for Devitt, his opponent in the final was defending champion Jonathan Bagley, from Leeds, who proved too strong, but Devitt can feel extremely proud of his achievement in getting to the final of this showpiece event.

Another Bradfordian is Wayne Cooper, who is hoping to become Yorkshire snooker champion for the fourth time.

The nine-time Bradford champion takes on Harrogate’s Gyles Behbood in the best-of-seven-frame final at the Northern Snooker Centre on Friday (7.30pm).

Cooper is looking to add the Yorkshire individual title to the pairs trophy he won with Kevin Firth in April, as well as being part of the Bradford side which retained the Yorkshire Inter-District League Division One title.

The Yorkshire presentations take place immediately after the final, with Bradford’s billiards team collecting a prize for their impressive runners-up spot.

Josh Walker claimed the Yorkshire Handicap and Russell Morgan won the under-19s title to cap a fine season for the district.

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