Snooker: Norwich retain Saffron Walden Challenge title by one point
07:03 26 February 2014
Saffron Walden & District Snooker League team finished runners-up in a well-fought annual challenge tournament, losing out to holders Norwich by just one point.
With Milton Keynes pulling out on the day, Norwich took on teams from the surrounding snooker leagues of Saffron Walden, Cambridge, Braintree, Chelmsford, Vic Harris (South Essex) and South Beds in the 2014 Saffron Walden Challenge Snooker Tournament, played at the Cambridge Snooker & Pool Centre on Sunday. In a round robin formant, teams of three players play two frames back-to-back against their opposite number from each team.
Norwich held their nerve going into the final round to retain the title by one point from hosts Saffron Walden . Vic Harris Snooker League (South Essex) finished in third place.
With five rounds played, Norwich on 20 points, Vic Harris on 19 points and Saffron Walden on 18 points were all in contention for the title, but with Norwich and Vic Harris playing each other in the final round it was all to play for and a thrilling finish was on the cards.
With their match finishing 3-3, Norwich finished on 23 points and Vic Harris on 22 points. With Saffron Walden still playing against Cambridge and their match score being at 3-2, Russell Huxter secured victory on the pink to give Walden a deserved 4-2 win, 22 points overall and the runners-up position on count back to Vic Harris having beaten them earlier in the tournament, 4-2.
EASB and IBSF snooker coach Huxter had a fantastic tournament winning 10 out of the 12 frames he played.
Ex-England international Adam Ingram had in the final match given Saffron Walden every opportunity by winning his own match 2-0 in double quick time, and in his final frame cleared the table with an immaculate break of 124, the highest break of the tournament.
Toby Pugh (Chelmsford) also knocked in a century break, a fine 104, against Ingram during the Chelmsford against Walden match in Round 4.
Other notable breaks made during the tournament were Paul Stelmaszuk (Cambridge) 90, Finlay Laing (Cambridge) 82, Barry Garwood (South Beds) 79, Dean Galbally (Vic Harris) 74, Grant Miles (Norwich) 72, and Nick Spelman (Norwich) 71.
Ingram, the tournament secretary, said: “I would like to thank Cambridge Snooker & Pool Centre for providing the venue for the event, Darren Edmonston of Bushwood Accountants for once again sponsoring the tournament, and committee members Pat Manley and Steve Stalley who did a superb job of keeping account of all the frames won and lost and ensuring the scoreboard was kept up to date.”