It’s been a turbulent few weeks in snooker, sport, and society as a whole, but in the midst of it all there has actually been a champion to be celebrated in the last couple of days.
Andrew Pagett emerged from a depleted field in the EBSA 2020 European Snooker Championship in Portugal to claim the prestigious amateur crown on Thursday.
In doing so, the Welshman will be nominated for a two-year Main Tour card and is set to compete professionally for the first time in five years.
Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, dozens of players withdrew from the 2020 European Snooker Championship, leaving only 59 competitors in the starting line-up.
Pagett’s round-robin group featured just three players, and the 37 year-old won both of his ties to safely progress to the knockout stage.
Victories over Declan Lavery and Ross Muir followed as Pagett reached the final for the second time in his career – his last appearance occurring 17 years ago.
The former World Championship qualifier lost the opening frame to Finland’s Heikki Niva but took five out of the next six for a resounding 5-2 triumph.
Pagett has enjoyed a good spell of form on the amateur scene in general, also performing well on the Challenge Tour this term.
Indeed, it looked as though he was going to avail of the automatic Main Tour spot for topping the Challenge Tour order of merit, before an untimely dip in form towards the end of the series saw him surrender his long-held top ranking.
Pagett would have instead participated in the Challenge Tour play-offs in a bid to win the remaining spot available, but he doesn’t have to worry about that now.
Earlier in Albufeira, Aaron Hill doubled up with victories in both the European Under-18 and Under-21 Championships.
The Irish teenager will also compete on the Main Tour next season thanks to his glory in the latter.