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Bradford lift Yorkshire snooker team title in style
Bradford’s No 1 snooker side secured the Yorkshire Inter-District League Division One title with a game to spare after a comprehensive 5-1 victory over Barnsley at Undercliffe Cricket Club.
Wayne Cooper got the side off to the perfect start, maintaining an incredible 100 per cent record, with two hard-fought frame wins against the highly-talented Brett Miller.
A scrappy opener ended with a 25 clearance from Cooper to win 71-28 and then a 35 clearance in the second gave him a 75-13 success.
Captain Kevin Firth edged the team closer to the win with a 93-15 victory which included a break of 57 and he then extended the advantage by taking the fourth frame 61-10 against Paul Dunn.
Mark Slater looked to be heading for victory in his first frame but opponent Mike Henson came back strongly and took it 72-41 before normal service resumed after Slater opened up a 30-point lead which he never lost to win 69-28.
The victory puts Bradford 12 points clear with a game to go, and although second placed Castleford No 1 have two to play and could mathematically catch the leaders if Bradford lose their final match 6-0, Bradford have beaten and drawn with their rivals so those results would ensure the trophy returns to the district once again.
In billiards, Bradford hosted defending champions and league leaders Leeds at Great Horton Conservative Club and gave a good account of themselves, despite a 5-2 defeat.
Leeds’ Jonathon Bagley was in superb form and barely gave Paul Devitt a look in, making breaks of 119 and 46 on the way to a 200-45 victory.
John McEachran levelled the match for Bradford with a 200-94 win over Dave Barker, which was aided by a break of 42.
Bob Patterson got off to a flier in the final match, making breaks of 50 and 52, but Bradford’s Steve Wilman hit back with runs of 32 and 29 before eventually going down 200-136.
The Yorkshire Snooker Championships get underway on Sunday at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, with the first qualifying event taking place.
Three-times Yorkshire champion Cooper faces a tough first-round match against former professional Rangzib Mohammed, while Bradford champion and 2010 Yorkshire winner Gareth Green starts against Greg Taylor.
Other ties see Howard Mawson in action against Paul Lawson, Lewis Walsh taking on Grant Chapman and Anthony Green facing Steve Carter. Matches start at 10.30am and players are reminded to arrive no later than 10.15am. The second qualifying stage takes place on Sunday, March 24.
The Hey's Trophy and Hopkinson Plate resumes tomorrow night, with second legs taking place a week tomorrow.
All teams involved have been sent details of the draw, and any queries should be directed to Tournament director Eddie Ratcliffe on 07790-379832.