HUDDERSFIELD’S top snooker player Robert Read stunned one of Yorkshire’s leading players – and current world-ranked No 96 – Wayne Cooper, in the last 16 of the National CIU Trophy.
The reigning Huddersfield Open champion visited Cooper’s home ground at Laisterdyke Cricket Club, and rewarded his band of travelling supporters by claiming a tremendous 3-2 win over the man who is the current CIU champion and who is now playing on the main professional circuit.
The Lindley WMC player was ‘straight off the bus’ and hit Cooper with a 65 break in the opening frame to win 70-24, and followed up with a 46 to also take the second 67-21 for an impressive early lead.
Cooper, however, hit back in style in the third with breaks of 50 and 64 to win it 114-4, and then drew level at 2-2 when he edged the fourth frame 66-52.
That sent the match into a deciding frame, which like the previous one was a scrappy affair with so much at stake for both players.
After getting down to the colours, Cooper needed the colours, but missed the green when trying to play a forcing shot, and that let in Read who cleared from green to pink to win the frame and match 66-41.
“These are the sort of matches you practice for and really want to play in,” admitted Read.
“I was really chuffed to win against a man who is now a full-time player on the pro tour with a world ranking.
“I was nervous going into the match, and the pressure was on from the first ball, but I think that helps me focus more on matches, and I got some great support from Lindley.”
Normally Read would be guaranteed a home draw in the next round, but two other players from the north of England also won away from home, so the chances are that one of them may find themselves on the road again.
Newcastle’s Dave Lilley was one of those, and he notched the tournament’s highest-break so far with 141.
Although Read confesses he is not too worried about who he plays after knocking out the reigning champion – that might be one to miss!
Read is one of six Huddersfield players in this year’s prize-improved Yorkshire Snooker Championship, although he is not in action on the opening day tomorrow.
Huddersfield have three men in tomorrow’s preliminary rounds at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds at 10am. Andy Battye takes on Richard Napper, Ray Longley plays Lee Atkinson and James Shaw meets Ian Glover.
In the first round, Simon Stockwell faces Saijit Sandu, with Colin Hawkins taking on Lee Crooks.
Read, meanwhile, has to wait to start his campaign on Sunday week, when he meets Mark Ramsbottom.
Huddersfield slumped to a 5-1 defeat to Wakefield No2, with Jason McMahon’s second frame win over Chris Dixon the only joy of the night.
Andy Battye came close to winning his opening frame against Lionel Payne, but missed out on a black.
McMahon lost his opener, but a 38 break brought him a welcome win in the second, before Trevor Roper went down 2-0 to Chris Hall in the final match-up.
Wakefield No2 5 Huddersfield 1: Lionel Payne bt Andy Battye 44-38, 69-35; Chris Dixon halved with Jason McMahon 62-22, 31-64; Chris Hall bt Trevor Roper 69-33, 61-22.