Flimby’s Kevin Kirkham and Carlisle’s Mally Lancaster will face each other in this years Cumbria County Snooker Championship final after a gruelling day of qualifying at Carlisle’s Portland Snooker Club this week.
Thirty six competitors turned up from all corners of the county to take part in this years event which is open to Cumbria residents holding amateur status.
It will be a first final for both competitors guaranteeing yet another new name on the trophy after Carlisle’s Garry Carruthers achieved the very same feat last year.
In a tough day of qualifying Kirkham defeated Maryport’s Ben Scott 4-2, Barrow’s Matthew Lamb 4-1, Carlisle’s Rob Woods 4-2, Workington’s Peter O’Hagan 4-2 and Barrow’s Martin McDonald 4-3 in the semis on his way to the final.
Lancaster had an equally difficult passage to the final as he took out Carlisle’s Garry Southern 4-1, Workington’s Stephen O’Hagan 4-0, Carlisle’s Garry Carruthers 4-3 and Workington’s Kevin Basnett 4-2 in the semi-final.
In the first of the semi-final’s Flimby’s Kirkham found himself up against an inspired Martin McDonald, who had produced some excellent snooker all day, but with some fine potting it was the Flimby man who went 1-0 up. Nevertheless, and with some fantastic support from the days’ Barrow contingent, back came McDonald to go into a 2-1 lead.
A 68 break by Kirkham pulled it back to 2-2 and in adding the fifth frame as well the Flimby cueist was 3-2 in the lead. Having none of this McDonald dug deep and as every pot was cheered the Barrow player took the match into a decider. The final frame started in the usual cagey fashion however it was Kirkham who broke the deadlock and with a contribution of 44 he took the match to move into his first county final.
The second semi-final produced an equally high quality match as Carlisle’s Mally Lancaster took on Workington’s Kevin Basnett. The first frame started slowly but as Basnett managed to keep his nose in front he took the first for a 1-0 lead.
Breaks of 55 and 68 from Lancaster in the next two frames left Basnett powerless as the Carlisle player moved 2-1 ahead. The fourth frame looked to be going Lancaster way but as Basnett hung on he took the final black for a 2-2 score line. At this point Lancaster then picked up where he left off in frame three and with a break of 83 he claimed a crucial 3-2 advantage.
In the sixth frame Lancaster pulled ahead again but as Basnett countered the three time champion needed only green and brown to force a decider. Slightly out of position Basnett took the green to middle only to see it catch the jaw and finish over the corner pocket. Up stepped Lancaster and needing all the remaining balls to win he coolly cleared to guarantee another new name on the 62 year old trophy.
The day featured drama in nearly every round. Kevin Kirkham came from 2-0 down to beat Maryport’s Ben Scott in the prelims and Carlisle’s six time champion Mike Nixon also came from 2-0 down to beat Barrow’s Matty Hill in high quality first round contest.
The first round also saw a gruelling five hour contest end in a dramatic 4-3 win for Workington’s Stephen O’Hagan over Whitehaven’s Richard Kirkham and in the last 16 Workington cueist Peter O’Hagan’s 4-3 victory over Barrow’s Tony Mason after needing two snookers in the deciding frame has to go down as one of the matches of the championship. The quarter-final’s will be remembered for Mally Lancaster’s 4-3 black ball win over defending champion Garry Carruthers after Carruthers had missed a relatively routine pink for victory, and finally, the highest break of the day went to Carlisle’s Nixon with a contribution of 94 in the third frame of his quarter final match against Basnett.
The day also saw all first round losers take part in a plate competition with Barrow’s Matty Hill coming out on top in an all Furness final against Matthew Lamb, 3-0.
The best of 9 final will take place on Sunday 14th April at 6pm in Carlisle’s Portland Snooker Club. All are welcome and entry is free.
Full Results Round Up
PrelimK Kirkham (Flimby) 4-2 B Scott (M’port)
R Barbour (Carlisle) 4-0 R Poss (Barrow)
R Kirkham (W’haven) 4-2 J Arnold (Barrow)
M Tunstall (W’ton) 4-0 A Atkinson(Barrow)
K Kirkham 4-1 M Lamb (Barrow)
P O’Hagan (W’ton) 4-0 S Jackson (W’ton)
M Cowen (W’ton) 4-0 A Cook (Barrow)
R Woods (Carlisle) 4-3 A Mitchelhill (C’mouth)
M Griffiths (Carlisle) 4-2 R Barbour (Carlisle)
K Basnett (W’ton) 4-3 P Wright (Carlisle)
M McDonald (Barrow) 4-1 P Sorfleet (W’ton)
T Millington (Barrow) 4-2 M Dawson (W’ton)
S O’Hagan (W’ton) 4-3 R Kirkham (Flimby)
M Lancaster (Carlisle) 4-1 G Southern (Carlisle)
R Ismay (M’port) 4-1 A Eaton (Barrow)
T Mason (Barrow) 4-1 M Brasted (W’ton)
G Carruthers (Carlisle) 4-2 M Tunstall (W’ton)
D Macdonald (Barrow) 4-1 M Tatton (W’ton)
M Nixon (Carlisle) 4-2 M Hill (Barrow)
G Edwards (Barrow) 4-0 I Fulton (W’ton)
G Carruthers 4-0 M Cowen
M Nixon 4-2 M Griffiths
P O’Hagan 4-3 T Mason
M Lancaster 4-0 S O’Hagan
K Basnett 4-0 T Millington
M McDonald 4-1 R Ismay
K Kirkham 4-2 R Woods
G Edwards 4-2 D Macdonald
M McDonald 4-3 G Edwards
K Basnett 4-2 M Nixon
K Kirkham 4-2 P O’Hagan
M Lancaster 4-3 G Carruthers
M Lancaster 4-2 K Basnett
K Kirkham 4-3 M McDonald
M Hill 3-0 M Lamb