David Causier made a winning return to the World Billiards circuit when he claimed and defended the recent Northern Snooker Centre Open in Leeds; the final event of the 2018/19 season.
Having opted not to enter recent stops on the circuit both in the UK and abroad, the former world champion and current world number two showed no signs of competitive rustiness as he collected his first title since the European Open in May.
Causier breezed through his group, qualifying top after winning all three matches and registering breaks of 398 and 312 in the process. The Englishman continued his relentless pursuit of the trophy by comprehensively defeating Keith Mccready in the last 16 by 1090 to 97, a performance that included an effort of 307.
An unfinished break of 327 rounded off a 969-149 victory over Darren Clark in the quarter-finals, while Causier ended the run of Darren Kell in the last four with a 966-186 win, highlighted by a 271 break.
In a repeat of last year’s final his opponent was Rob Hall, who was fresh from winning the Home Internationals with England A at the same venue only a few days before. Undefeated Hall eliminated Christian Kirk and Mark Hirst in the last 16 and eight respectively, before stopping in-form world number one Peter Gilchrist in the semi-finals with a narrow 432-413 success. Earlier in the weekend Gilchrist made the highest break with a contribution of 473 unfinished. He also made a 470 unfinished, too.
During an entertaining 90-minute final, Causier took and held a healthy lead before Hall fought back to hold a small advantage with around 25 minutes to go. With 20 minutes left the scores were exactly level, and although both players exchanged visits to the table in the closing stages, it was Causier who emerged as a 407-344 victor and later lifted the Jim Williamson Trophy.
In the Challenge Cup competition, Barry Russell lifted the trophy following a 171-99 win over William Lowes in the final.