THE tough Yorkshire Snooker Championship gets under way tomorrow at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds with Huddersfield having their fair share of representatives.
Five players (four of them from Meltham) will feature in the opening round, which starts at 10.00, and at least one is guaranteed making the second round as Golcar RBL’s James Shaw plays Meltham Conservative member Ray Longley.
Another Meltham Con player Andy Battye meets Andy Blamire (Harrogate), while two more Liberal Club men, Colin Hawkins and Paul Shaw take on Chris Hall (Wakefield) and Peter Bardsley (Sheffield) respectively.
Former Huddersfield product Kuldesh Johal, who now plays on the semi-pro tour out of Leeds, faces Lee Ducker, also from Leeds.
Although the draw has still to be made, the last eight players through to the quarter-finals of this year’s Huddersfield Open Snooker Championship look to be one of the strongest line-ups ever gathered at this stage of the competition.
Holder Robert Read emerged unscathed from his clash with out-of-touch Glenn Wilkinson (who had entered the Yorkshire Championship before the dates were changed, meaning he was no longer available for the new schedule), while last year’s beaten finalist John Bastow also progressed at the expense of Neil Armstrong.
Three former winners, Rob Armitage, Mick Stocks and Trevor Liversedge also moved ominously into the last eight, all putting out good opponents, as did Open Billiards champion Tony Clegg who beat Berry Brow’s Matthew Steer.
Making up the quarter-final quota are Read’s Lindley WMC teammate Mohammed Naeem, who knocked out Ashley Almond, and Conrad Norcliffe, who beat Crosland Moor’s Martin Wood.
It’s just a shame that none of the above winners who have made it through to the quarter-finals (and are arguably eight of the best players in town) have entered the Yorkshire Championship.
The draw for the next round is expected next week.
Three of the semi-finalists have been decided for the Billiards Championship, with Rob Armitage, Brian Cousen and Julian Hodge all through.
The final place rests between reigning champion Clegg and David Peaker, who are in the middle of their match.
Read, meanwhile, continues to fly the flag in the CIU National Championships, where he is now through to the final 16, having beaten Thornhill Edge’s George Mack 3-0 in the last round.
A 39 break in the first frame was enough to see Read take the lead on his own table at Lindley WMC, and he followed up with a 60 to win the second, before a scrappy third frame also went the way of the Huddersfield man.