Amid all the commotion surrounding the conclusion of the China Open and the draw for the World Championship qualifiers, a winner was crowned in the Snookerbacker Classic on Sunday as well.
The growing amateur tournament was won by Sam Craigie, who edged Jamie Bodle 4-2 in the final in Gloucester.
As well as the trophy, Craigie pocketed the handy £3,000 champion’s cheque and joined the likes of Martin O’Donnell and David Gray who have triumphed in the event’s short history.
The Snookerbacker Classic may only be five years old, but it has developed at such a pace that it is now regarded as one of the most prestigious amateurs events to win in the UK.
This season the event was even sponsored by Steve Davis and world champion Stuart Bingham, and the series, which began months ago and took in many qualifying events throughout the UK, featured all the best-known amateurs from England, Scotland and Wales.
It’s unfortunate that when the Snookerbacker Classic was first taken to Ireland in its debut campaign, more Irish amateurs didn’t think to enter.
The series hasn’t returned to Emerald Isle since and it’s a big shame because Irish players could really benefit from competition against rivals across the Irish Sea.
The man behind the Snookerbacker Classic, who also runs the Snookerbacker website of course, has offered cueists, particularly young ones, an opportunity to continue their development.
The standard has subsequently increased, highlighted by Craigie’s 142 total clearance on Finals Day which saw him land the £500 high break prize too.
While the prize money has seen a dramatic rise, there is also a concerted push to make a professional tour card available for future winners.
That will be difficult to achieve but it would certainly be deserving.