Norwich Retain Saffron Walden Challenge Title By One Point!

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The 2014 Saffron Walden Challenge Snooker Tournament, once again kindly sponsored by Bushwood Accountants took place at the Cambridge Snooker & Pool Centre, Cambridge on Sunday 23 February 2014.

Defending tournament holders Norwich Snooker League held their nerve going into the final round of the tournament to retain the Saffron Walden Challenge title by one point from hosts Saffron Walden & District Snooker League who finished as runners up, and the Vic Harris Snooker League who finished in third place.

Photo : Winners – Norwich Snooker League (Grant Miles, Chris Zanone and Nick Spelman)

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With Milton Keynes Snooker League pulling out on the day of the tournament, defending champions Norwich took on teams from the surrounding snooker leagues of Saffron Walden, Cambridge, Braintree, Chelmsford, Vic Harris (South Essex) and South Beds in this annual round robin tournament where teams of 3 players play 2 frames back-to-back against their opposite number from each team.

With 5 rounds played, Norwich on 20 points, Vic Harris on 19 points and Saffron Walden on 18 points were all in contention for the title but with Norwich and Vic Harris playing each other in the final round it was all to play for and a thrilling finish was on the cards.  With their match finishing with a 3-3 draw, Norwich finished on 23 points and Vic Harris on 22 points.  With Saffron Walden still playing against Cambridge and their match score being at 3-2, Russell Huxter secured victory on the pink to give Saffron Walden a deserved 4-2 win, 22 points overall and the runners up position (on count back to the Vic Harris Snooker League having beaten them earlier in the tournament 4-2).

Photo : Runners Up – Saffron Walden & District Snooker League (Darren Edmonston, Russell Huxter and Adam Ingram)

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EASB and IBSF Snooker Coach Russell, had a fantastic tournament winning 10 out of the 12 frames he played.  Ex-England International Adam Ingram had in the final match given Saffron Walden every opportunity by winning his own match 2-0 in double quick time, and in his final frame cleared the table with an immaculate break of 124, the highest break of the tournament.

Toby Pugh (Chelmsford) also knocked in a century break, a fine 104, ironically against Adam during the Chelmsford v Saffron Walden match in Round 4.  Other notable breaks made during the tournament efforts were Paul Stelmaszuk (Cambridge) 90, Finlay Laing (Cambridge) 82, Barry Garwood (South Beds) 79, Dean Galbally (Vic Harris) 74, Grant Miles (Norwich) 72, Nick Spelman (Norwich) 71.

Adam Ingram, Tournament Secretary would like to thank Cambridge Snooker & Pool Centre for providing the venue for the event, Darren Edmonston of Bushwood Accountants for once again sponsoring the tournament, and Committee Members Pat Manley and Steve Stalley who did a superb job of keeping account of all the frames won and lost and ensuring the scoreboard was kept up to date.

Final Standings : Norwich 23, Saffron Walden 22, Vic Harris, 22, Braintree 16, Cambridge 15, Chelmsford 15, South Beds 13

Player Of The Tournament : Nick Spelman (Norwich)

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Tournament High Break : Adam Ingram (Saffron Walden) 124

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