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Article written by Alex Render
Photo supplied by George Spiteri - www.spiteriphoto.com


The Fred Osbourne Memorial Snooker tournament is one of the most prestigious events on the Australian National Ranking circuit. It is played each year at the same venue; The Commercial Club in Albury. Albury is a great country town about half way between Melbourne and Sydney and is a big reason why the event always attracts close to 100 competitors.

This year’s event was held on the weekend of the 5-7th of August. A strong field as normal with Australia’s best ranked players contesting including Steve Mifsud and James Mifsud from Victoria who had just the week before played in the WPBSA Australian Goldfields Open in Bendigo. Number 2 ranked player in Australia Glen Wilkinson and number 5 ranked Shawn Budd were some of the few that did not make the event.

The Tournament Director Eddie Simmons from Albury did a fantastic job as usual! His work however would not be complete with the team of helpers throughout the weekend. The work that these individuals put in out of the love for the game, is what makes The Fred Osbourne one of the best tournaments in Australia for both players and spectators.

In addition to the Snooker, the event always runs a Calcutta which is held on the Saturday evening. Raffle tickets are sold leading up to the Calcutta and if you are lucky enough to draw a player that makes the Semi Finals or better, you stand to win several thousand dollars. The Calcutta is always a fun event and is always followed by a nice 3 course sit down dinner.

As for the Snooker, the event was won by the in-form James Mifsud from Victoria. James has had an incredible season with a victory in the City of Melbourne Snooker which also was the qualifying event for the Australian Goldfields Open. James also made an incredible 147 maximum break in practice just before that event against World Snooker Champion Neil Robertson.

James played New South Welshman Paul Balzer in the final. The final score line was 4-0 but this was certainly not a reflection on Paul’s performance in the tournament. Paul has previously won the Fred Osbourne Snooker event on 3 occasions.

Other notable performances were from Ian Barber and Frank Karaberas. Both players have only recently popped back onto the scene and have shown that they can compete with anyone. Ian was fresh of a runner up position in the NSW State Snooker last month. He has now shot up into the top 16 of the Australian rankings. Frank played a great tournament and one of his highlights would have been defeating Vinnie Calabrese in the Last 16 3-0 in very short time.

There were several century breaks in the tournament. The highest though was a nice 111 by James Mifsud.

So if you are a player or just like to watch Snooker, why not come along in 2012 and support this great event.

Last 16
Steve Mifsud (VIC) def Paul Thomerson (VIC) 3-0
Paul Balzer (NSW) def Robbie Foldvari (VIC) 3-1
Ian Barber (NSW) def Rudy Sulaeman (VIC) 3-0
Daniel Thorp (VIC) def Aaron Mahoney (VIC) 3-2
James Mifsud (VIC) def Stuart Lawler (NSW) 3-1
Ben Judge (VIC) def Joe Minici (NSW) 3-1
Adrian Ridley (VIC) def Roger Farebrother (NSW) 3-0
Frank Karaberas (NSW) def Vinnie Calabrese (NSW) 3-0

Quarter Finals
Paul Balzer def Steve Mifsud 3-2
Ian Barber def Daniel Thorp 3-2
James Mifsud def Ben Judge 3-1
Frank Karaberas def Adrian Ridley 3-1

Semi Finals
Paul Balzer def Ian Barber 3-0
James Mifsud def Frank Karaberas 3-0

Final
James Mifsud def Paul Balzer (4-0)

High Breaks
James Mifsud 111
Aaron Mahoney 102
Daniel Thorp 101

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