The annual Saffron Walden and District Snooker League Memorial Cup tournament, took place at Saffron Walden Snooker Club on the Sunday 18th November 2018, kindly sponsored by Stalley & Manley Builders and Decorators. The tournament format; 20 league players split into two groups of 10. Nine round robin matches, played off league handicaps. The prize, two tickets to both the afternoon and evening sessions of the Masters Snooker Championship at the Ali Pali on Monday 14 January 2019.
Both groups were closely contested, both decided by the final round of matches. If tied, the player who won the corresponding head to head match would progress.
Sam Duce won group A outright with 7/9 frames. Second place tied between John Manley and Trevor Parsons 6/9 frames. John progressing by head to head result. Group B was won outright by Aaron Gibson 8/9 frames. Second place tied between Leon Mozjeko and Mark Starr 7/9 frames. Leon progressing by his head-to-head result.
Sam Duce (-22) vs Leon Mozejko (+16) – Single frame
Aaron Gibson (-4) vs John Manley (-10) – Single frame
2018 Memorial Cup Semi-Finalists [left to right] Leon Mozejko, Sam Duce, Dan Lewis [Tournament Director], John Manley and Aaron Gibson
The two group runners up progressed to the final. The head start too much for Sam, with continued good play from Leon, his second successive final. Aaron’s great form shown during the round robin stages eluded him. Johns solid play saw him gain a place in the final.
Leon Mozejko (+16) vs John Manley (-10) – Best-of -Three Frames
2018 Memorial Cup Finalists Leon Mozejko, Dan Lewis [Tournament Director] and John Manley
John started the match better, Leon a little nervy. The players were almost level approaching the end of frame one. John looking the favourite. A pivotal moment changed the direction of the match. Leon’s safety shot, with a flick off the yellow snookered John behind the brown ball. From this, Leon’s consistent form shown all day came to the fore. Clinching the frame and winning the final 2-0.
Alongside the main tournament, a high break award. This year, a player’s handicap would influence their high break. Adding points to a player with a high handicap and subtracting from the lower handicapped, on a sliding scale. This introduced to enable any player a chance of winning. Last year’s overall tournament winner Simon Giblin won the high break award by one point over Jamie Sanderson.
Big thanks for all 20 players whom made the competition a success, enjoyed by all, Saffron Snooker Club for the venue and preparing the tables to the highest quality and finally our Life President Dan Lewis for running the event.
Report by Phil Chapman