It’s been another busy month on the international scene with several national snooker and billiards championships taking place across Europe and beyond. Here is a review of how some of those events unfolded…
- In case you missed it, you can read our May edition edition HERE.
Alexis Callewaert capped off a fantastic few months on the green baize by claiming the 2019 French National Snooker Championship.
Held at the Hérault Snooker Club in Montpellier, the French Billiard Federation’s season concluding event featured 24 players who had qualified via various means throughout the domestic 2018/19 campaign.
Callewaert came through the initial round robin phase, winning both his matches to top his group and qualify for the knockouts. He then defeated Gauvain Bazin (2-0), Jeremy Dorchies (3-1) and Yann Lanvin (3-0) before constructing a break of 103 – the biggest of the tournament – when dispatching Nicolas Mortreux 4-0 in the final. It meant that Callewaert had dropped just one frame throughout the weekend; to Dorchies in the quarter-finals. This latest triumph represents a hat-trick having previously won the accolade in 2014 and 2016.
The 24-year-old has enjoyed the most fruitful period of his career so far; victor at the French Snooker Open and finishing the year as the number one in the national rankings, he also reached the last 16 of the European Amateur Championship in February. However, his highest profile success was at the recent European 6-Red Championship in Serbia where he became the first player from France to win a continental snooker title. Due to this win he will be the European Billiards and Snooker Association’s wildcard for the SangSom 6-Red World Championship in Thailand at the start of September.
Teenager Tiago Teixeira secured his maiden Portuguese National Snooker Championship at the Hotel Palace Termas do Bicanho in Samuel.
The most prestigious event on the Portuguese Billiards Federation calendar brought together the ten players who had qualified from their respective regions across the country throughout the season.
Representing the FreeBall Academy in Porto, 17-year-old Teixeira didn’t drop a frame in the final stages. He defeated Pedro Miguel and Jorge Paixao, both 2-0, in the double elimination section before ending the hopes of Miguel Ruivo 3-0 in the semi-finals. Teixeira then registered a break of 52 in the last frame of his 3-0 final victory over Rui Fonte.
Having recently recovered from illness, 18-year-old Jan Jelenić lost just five frames on his way to becoming the 2019 Croatian National Snooker champion.
Played at the Nugget Snooker Club in the capital city of Zagreb, Jelenić was the last player remaining from an original field of 42 entries. The youngster qualified for the last 16 after winning both his matches in the double elimination phase, 3-0. Victories over Nino Reskusic (3-1), Imran Ayaz Khan (4-1) and Sasa Novak (4-2) set up a final showdown with Alexander Vucetic, whom he got the better of 5-1.
The Yarraville Club in Melbourne was the setting for a high-quality 2019 Australian National Billiards Championship that was won by defending champion Matthew Bolton. Incredibly, it was the seventeenth time that the relentless Perth cueman has lifted the trophy.
Bolton comfortably won all his group games before eliminating Mike Wollin (1575-228) and David Collins (1458-350) in the last sixteen and eight respectively. In the semi-finals he registered a tournament high run of 584 when dispatching Ben Judge 1712-557.
His opponent in the final was current Oceania Snooker Champion Steve Mifsud, who is planning to take his place on the professional circuit in the coming months. Likewise, Mifsud was also undefeated on route and had set the previous high break with an effort of 575 (unfinished) during the round robin phase. Behind Bob Marshall and Bolton, Mifsud became only the third person in the history of the 113-year-old tournament to reach the 500 mark.
However, despite efforts of 107, 117 and a 369 (unfinished), Mifsud came up short in the five-hour title decider as Bolton contributed breaks of 203, 148, 145, 330, 116 and 191 in a 1802-1152 result.
The last time Bolton lost in this event was 2003. He is now four wins away from Marshall’s astonishing all-time title haul of 21.
Held at the Reading Rooms in Bangor, Kenny Campbell defended the Northern Ireland National Billiards Championship title.
On his way to lifting the trophy for a second time Campbell defeated Chris Johnston, Darren Dornan, Norman Whaley and then Tommy Hunter 500-370 in the final.