Martin O’Donnell last night claimed the inaugural Snookerbacker Classic with victory over Irishman John Sutton in the final in Gloucester.
Both finalists receive a prize of £1,000 entry fee into Q-School next May, which is a series of tournaments that offer amateurs the opportunity to qualify as a professional for next season’s Main Tour, while O’Donnell also took away another £400 worth of PTC entry fees and the coveted SB trophy.
O’Donnell got progressively better as the Grand Finals ran its course, losing only three frames in his quarter-final and semi-final clashes before whitewashing Sutton 4-0 to win the title.
In the last four, he saw off the second qualifier from the Dublin heat, Johnny Williams, denying what was becoming an exciting prospect of an all-Irish showdown.
However, the fact that two of the Irish lads made it as far as the last four is testament to the quality of amateur snooker this side of the Irish Sea and will hopefully encourage more players to enter the Irish leg of the 2013 edition.
With most of the final day’s action one-sided affairs, there was one exception in the quarter-finals when Sutton overcame former Top 16 player David Gray 4-3 in a dramatic tussle that included a 108 century break from each.
While he was unable to win the title himself, Sutton will undoubtedly be pleased to have come away with the Q-School entry fee and he and Martin O’Donnell should both fancy their chances of a pro ticket.
It will be interesting following their progress in May and progress for one or both of them would do no harm to the Snookerbacker Classic’s own progression as a tournament in the years to come.
The full story on yesterday’s action can be read on the Snookerbacker Classic website.