Leo Fernandez defeated Rodney Goggins 4-2 to become the second player to guarantee their place at next year’s ROKiTPhones.com World Seniors Snooker Championship by winning last weekend’s bumper qualifying event at the Crucible Sports and Social Club.
Held across three days, over 80 players competed at the Newbury based venue, all vying for a coveted ticket into the main draw at the Crucible in August. Former main tour player Fernandez – who qualified for the 1999 world professional championship – won three of his opening four matches without dropping a frame, although he did require a decider in order to eliminate Andrew Milliard in the last 64.
In the quarter-finals Fernandez trailed Welshman Rhydian Richards 2-0 before stringing together the next three frames to secure victory and set up a semi-final with Rory McLeod. There the 43-year-old started the match off with a tremendous 146 break and later recorded a 4-2 victory.
His opponent in the final was Rodney Goggins, fresh from his recent appearance at the UK Seniors Championship in Hull. The Irishman highlighted his passage through with wins against Stuart Watson and Gary Filtness in the last eight and four respectively.
Fernandez fashioned breaks of 63 and 72 to take the lead twice early in the final, but a run of 101 saw Goggins draw the tie level at 2-2. However, Fernandez chalked up frame five without reply and then frame six on the black to triumph 4-2. The success means an immediate return to the Crucible Theatre in the tournament for Fernandez having reached the semi-finals there only a few months ago. He joins former British Open champion Bob Chaperon who was the first to book a spot in Sheffield after emerging from the Toronto qualifying event last month.
In the third ROKiTPhones.com Super Seniors event of the campaign, Richard Emery defeated 1977 UK Championship winner Patsy Fagan 2-0 in the final to claim his first title in the inaugural series. Englishman Emery had earlier denied Andrew Darken, event two runner-up Mike Hallett and event two winner Tony Knowles. Emery and Knowles shared the highest break of the day with efforts of 90.
To view the full results from both events, please visit snookerscores.net here.