Englishmen Allan Taylor and Jamie Barrett are the first men through to the Snookerbacker Classic Finals after an eventful opening day at The Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds.
As many will already know, Snookerbacker is a fellow blogger and has set up this excellent initiative for amateurs across the UK and Ireland.
Four qualifying events held in three locations in England and one in Dublin offer two qualifying slots each for a eight-strong field at the Grand Finals next February.
The prize on offer for the overall winner is the entry fees for the next Qualifying School onto the professional Main Tour as well as entry into four Players Tour Championship events during the 2012/13 campaign – a total of £1,400 – not to forget the much coveted Snookerbacker Classic Trophy.
It’s a superb venture that both helps to promote the game itself and offers any player, but particularly young amateurs, the opportunity to hone their skills at an international level.
Taylor, who was one of the favourites before the event got underway, began the day with a walkover against Sydney Wilson.
However, this perhaps put ‘The Assassin’ at a distinct disadvantage as, cold in what was his own opening match, he quickly went 3-0 behind to Michael Rhodes in the best of seven encounter.
Rhodes had earlier knocked out another pre-tournament hot tip in Craig Steadman but couldn’t withstand an impressive comeback from his opponent and Allan progressed in a deciding frame thriller.
In his final clash with Elliot Slessor, Taylor had a significantly easier time of proceedings and advanced to the Finals with a 4-2 triumph.
Joining him in at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester will be Jamie Barrett who enjoyed a comprehensive 4-0 whitewash over Matthew Samples in his opener before seeing of Jack Bradford 4-2 – where he knocked in a high break of 127.
Locked at 2-2 in his final tie with Ryan Causton it looked as if there might be a nervy ending in store but Barrett claimed the last two frames to emerge victorious.
Next stop for the SB Classic is Dublin on the 28th of January at CrossGuns Snooker Club in Dublin.