David Causier bagged himself a brace of major World Billiards titles at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds over the last week.
The multiple world champion began his trip to Yorkshire with victory in the level 4 ranked UK Open. Causier was ruthless in qualifying, finishing top of his group with four wins out of four, before eliminating Craig Fitzpatrick (787-184), Jason Colebrook (882-121) and then Martin Goodwill (671-402) in the knockouts to book a final berth. Against Australia’s Colebrook in the quarter-finals, Causier constructed a break of 450 – the highest of the event.
In the final he would face fellow Englishman Mark Hirst, who in the last eight upset defending champion and world number one Peter Gilchrist. However, the title would be one step too far for Hirst as he watched his opponent seal the deal with a 632-315 win.
Steve Brookshaw (England) won the UK Open Challenge Cup after a 273-123 final victory over Jamie Jenkins (Scotland).
World Matchplay Championship
Teesside’s Causier make it a memorable double as he claimed the newly rebranded World Matchplay Championship; a level 5 tournament that was the main event of the week.
In a throwback to a competition that was last held in 2002, the adopted set-up was the same as the previous short format World Championship – an accolade Causier had won the last three times that it was staged.
Qualifying was once again no issue for the champion in waiting as he dropped just one game out of twenty – each game consisting of 100up. He continued to advance in comfort during the knockouts when ending the hopes of Chris Mitchell (4-0), Eddie Duggan (5-1), Robert Marshall (6-0) and then Hirst (7-1). However, he came up against a stern examination in the final as he crossed cues with long term adversary Gilchrist, whom he defeated at the Scottish Open final in January.
As expected for a clash between the world’s top two ranked players, the encounter was close. Gilchrist, also originally from Middlesbrough, took an early 3-1 lead, but Causier chalked up the next three to move 4-3 ahead going into the mid-session interval.
Momentum kept shifting on resumption – Gilchrist levelled at 5-5, Causier then won the next two to move one away from glory, but the match was forced into a fifteenth and deciding game when Gilchrist made it 7-7. Fine lines can so often decide the fate of major titles, and on this occasion, it was Causier who navigated himself to the correct side of that divide as he triumphed to secure an 8-7 success.
Despite having missed stops on the circuit this campaign, it was Causier’s fourth trophy of the 2018/19 season.
Women’s World Matchplay Championship
Rebecca Kenna showed off her cuesports versatility as she claimed a maiden World Billiards title at the Women’s World Matchplay Championship on Thursday at the same venue.
Number three in the World Women’s Snooker rankings, Kenna topped her group without losing a game to progress into the semi-finals. A narrow 3-2 win over the experienced Gaye Jones set up an all-Yorkshire final where she denied youngster Shannon Metcalf, 4-2.
In the last four, Leeds-based Metcalf ousted Group A winner Eva Palmius via a deciding game.
To view the results from each tournament, please visit the World Billiards events online page here.