Kevin Kirkham is the new Cumbria County Snooker Singles Champion after a thrilling 5-4 win over Carlisle’s Mally Lancaster in the Portland Snooker Club (Carlisle) and Iggesund Paperboard sponsored event.
The Flimby cueist might be better known throughout the county for his Pool achievements but in taking the County Snooker crown he is now the only person in Cumbria cue sports history to hold both titles at the same time.
Going into the final regarded as the underdog didn’t phase Kirkham at all and easing into his stride quickly the first time finalist took frame one with a 60-46 victory.
It was Lancaster’s turn to make all the running in frame two and with breaks of 37 and 35 the Carlisle player romped to a 82-40 win.
Frame three saw two scoring visits in the twenties from each player but with Kirkham’s visit coming at a more crucial point in the frame the man from Flimby took the game 57-46.
Back came Lancaster again in the next and in limiting Kirkham to just 8 points he delivered parity at 2-2 with a 58-6 victory.
The fifth frame was Kirkham’s most convincing of the match as quick fire contributions of 43 and 40 made sure he took a 3-2 lead with a 84-13 win.
Kirkham was now in full flow and with a break of 36 this time he prevented Lancaster from scoring a single point as he went 4-2 ahead of the back of a 58-0 victory.
A contribution of 27 from Kirkham in frame seven really had Lancaster right up against. However, as the Carlisle cueist hung in pots on the brown, blue and pink were enough for him to win 52-40 and pull one back for 4-3.
As the match was nearing the end the frames were getting longer and with the greater snooker experience this suited Lancaster. Not allowing Kirkham to get back into his stride Lancaster eventually fashioned a frame winning opportunity and in potting blue and pink the Carlisle man forced the decider with a 52-40 victory.
In the last and on a break of 27 Lancaster looked to be taking the title but in true act of sportsmanship he called a foul on himself that no one else saw. Given the enormity of the situation Lancaster has to commended with the highest of praise as not only had an excellent chance gone begging but just a few minutes later Kirkham was in amongst the balls. A 22 break up to the brown later and Lancaster needed snookers. Trying his utmost to cling on to his hopes of taking the title Lancaster battled on but in eventually potting the blue Kirkham took the match and championship with a 71-42 frame win to the delight of the Portland Club support.