Mary Talbot-Deegan secured a dramatic 4-3 victory over Jamie Hunter in the Eden Women’s Masters on Sunday.
The 43 year-old secured her maiden title on the World Women’s Snooker Tour with a fine display across the weekend at Frames Sports Bar in London.
Talbot-Deegan won all three of her round-robin fixtures during the early phase of the competition.
As the knockout rounds commenced, the Englishwoman lost her first frame of the tournament but still emerged with a 3-1 victory over Sophie Nix.
Whitewash defeats of Tessa Davidson and Sarah Dunn followed to send her through to the final.
The title decider was a tight affair with the first four frames shared and not much to separate the pair.
Hunter, last season’s champion in the US Women’s Open and the Australian Women’s Open, then moved 3-2 in front.
But a missed pink in the sixth frame offered Talbot-Deegan a reprieve, which she duly took to force the deciding frame.
Both players had opportunities to clinch glory in the last exchanges, but Talbot-Deegan eventually held her nerve by potting the final pink.
“It feels amazing, I am buzzing,” Mary Talbot-Deegan said after the final, as reported by the World Women’s Snooker Tour.
“I always believed that I could win a title, I didn’t think this soon, but I’m on top of the world at the minute. I’ve put in a lot of hard work and am really enjoying it.”
“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me including Frames Sports Bar and its owner Tony Thompson, my family, friends and Mandy [Fisher] and Matt [Huart] from WWS who have been really supportive.
“And all the girls on Tour who have been so supportive, that’s what I love. It means everything, to do it here and to hold myself together.
“I’ve never done it before, won a major tournament so I proved that I can do it, I didn’t bottle it and I’m really proud of myself.”
While the plaudits will rightly go to Talbot-Deegan, there have been questions raised regarding the scheduling of the event.
Mink Nutcharut was the defending Eden Women’s Masters champion but was forced to withdraw after reaching the second qualifying round for the UK Championship.
Reanne Evans also withdrew after losing her UK qualifying match in Leicester late on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, fellow top stars of the women’s game Ng On Yee and Bai Yulu opted to play in the IBSF World Championship instead, which is ongoing in Doha.
For what is supposed to be one of the most prestigious events on the World Women’s Snooker Tour, it wasn’t the best look to have so many marquee names absent.
2023 Eden Women’s Masters
Mhairi Mackay w/o Reanne Evans
Sarah Dunn 3-1 Zoe Killington
Tessa Davidson 3-2 Hannah Ward
Mary Talbot-Deegan 3-1 Sophie Nix
Jamie Hunter 3-0 Laura Killington
Jasmine Bolsover 3-0 Kate Le Gallez
Emma Parker 3-2 Stephanie Daughtery
Rebecca Kenna 3-0 Lesley Roberts
Sarah Dunn 3-0 Mhairi Mackay
Mary Talbot-Deegan 3-0 Tessa Davidson
Jamie Hunter 3-0 Jasmine Bolsover
Rebecca Kenna 3-0 Emma Parker
Mary Talbot-Deegan 4-0 Sarah Dunn
Jamie Hunter 4-2 Rebecca Kenna
Mary Talbot-Deegan 4-3 Jamie Hunter
Featured photo credit: WWS