David Gray and Martin O’Donnell have become the third and fourth players to advance to the Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals.
The English duo overcame a strong field of 32 players in the second qualifying event, this time held at South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester, and will join Allan Taylor and Jamie Barrett for a shot at the big prize at the end of February.
That prize, of course, 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 mention the glory of lifting the inaugural Snookerbacker Trophy.
Gray and O’Donnell came through contrasting final matches in a tournament that boasted many of snooker’s top amateurs at the moment.
Gray could not shake off 21 year-old Michael Wasley in a competitive match that went the distance.
Despite a confident 118 century break to lead 3-2, Wasley forced a decider but the more experienced of the pair eventually prevailed to ensure he returns to SWSA on the 24th February.
In the second play-off clash, O’Donnell comprehensively overcame Ben Harrison 4-0 – the key point in that match arguably coming in the third frame when the former took it on a re-spotted black.
As already stated here before, the SB Classic is a great initiative set up by the well-known blogger, helping to promote the game and especially raise awareness for amateurs that perhaps would not be such a household name.
Both qualifying events so far have been well supported on social media websites – especially Twitter – and that can only be a good thing to help promote the venture even further in the future.
Two more qualifying events will decide the final four places up for grabs at the Grand Finals and next stop is this side of the Irish Sea at CrossGuns in Dublin on Saturday.