Whitburn show nerves of steel to clinch Summer title
Whitburn held their nerve to clinch the Danby Autos Sunderland Snooker Summer League title with a superb victory over South Hylton.
In the first frame, Hylton’s Adam Smith started strongly against Whitburn’s Tony Hazard and with the aid of a 31-break, built up a good lead.
This brought a response from Hazard, who was trying hard to get back into the frame, but a few good pots towards the end of the frame saw Adam win the frame 84-37 and move Hylton into the lead.
The second frame saw Graeme Ablett face Phil Burford and with the handicaps, Graeme received a 15 head start.
The frame started slowly with both players playing some excellent safety shots hoping the other would make a mistake.
With the frame progressing, Ablett’s long potting and a little run of the table proved the key factor to claim the frame 76-46 and levelling the match.
Joseph Cromby and Kevin Harrop battled it out in the third frame knowing a win would be put their team in the driving seat.
Cromby started the stronger and managed to build up a slight lead with only a four reds left on the table.
This brought a response from Harrop and with the aid of a 22-break, clawed his way back into the match.
Going down to the colours, both players played some excellent safety until a mistake on the green by Harrop proved costly as a green to pink finish saw Cromby win the frame 65-51 and move Whitburn into the lead.
In the pairs, John Smith and Mark Fox faced Graham Rutland and Ian Stewart and all players showed signs of nerves.
All players kept the frame tight with excellent safety ,but were never able to pull away from each other and going down to the green, Hylton had a slight lead.
After a mistake on a tough safety shot, Fox potted the green followed by a long brown and an excellent long blue to edge Whitburn into the lead.
After more safety play, an unlucky in-off gave Hylton an excellent chance, but with the black tight on the side cushion it was never going to be easy.
Stewart potted the pink, but was left with a hard black which rattled in the jaws.
This was punished by Fox, who remained calm to pot the winning black to win the frame 56-51 and the Summer League title.