posted on April 25, 2012 22:34
Joe Minici has successfully defended his Australian Masters Snooker Championship title with a hard fought 4-3 Final victory over a gallant Fred Borg at Mingara, which hosted the event for the 5th consecutive year. Full results can be accessed on the Australian Billiards & Snooker Council website at www.absc.com.au
The 2012 Australian Masters Snooker was held from 20-22 April at the popular Central Coast venue and attracted a field of 28 runners – which was down slightly on recent years, most noticeably with only two interstate players involved. However, the good crowd of spectators in attendance were treated to some very entertaining snooker throughout the three days of competition which was once again an overall success.
Highlights included Glen Wilkinson not dropping a frame through the group round robin and emerging as the No.1 seed into the knock-out stage. Joe Minici, Craig Mills and Terry Emmett were also undefeated in their groups and lost just one frame each. However, Wilkinson failed to progress beyond his round of 16 game against Gosford’s Terry Jennar who was very focused in his 3-1 elimination of the 3-times Masters Champion.
Mills and Emmett both progressed to the quarter-finals before falling to Timothy Ng and Ray Thompson respectively. The evergreen Thompson had a particularly good Championship in reaching the semis and the “Old Warrior” is playing with renewed confidence following a similar finish at the inaugural NSW State Masters Snooker earlier this year.
Minici’s path into the Final was achieved with relatively straight forward victories over Forster’s Gary Collins, inter-state visitor Paul Thomerson and Timothy Ng. In contrast, his Final opponent Fred Borg had to work considerably harder to overcome David Waller, Terry Jennar and Ray Thompson in lengthy encounters which were expected to prove a decisive factor.
But someone forgot to tell that to Borg – and the man affectionately known as “Freddy” issued a determined challenge to Minici by playing positive, attacking snooker from the outset. He took the first frame with the assistance of a 40 break, with frames then going alternatively as both players made frame winning contributions on a regular basis. With the score level at 3-3 Borg quickly established a 34 point advantage in the 7th and deciding frame but Minici remained composed and slowly whittled it away. After potting the green Borg had a chance at victory with a long brown and the blue very close to the centre pocket. But position on the blue was extremely difficult due to the close proximity of the black ball and, in two minds as to how to play the shot, the pot was missed. When Minici subsequently potted the brown and gained the required position on the blue the end was in sight.
Congratulations to both players on a very entertaining Final. Joe Minici was a very worthy winner and we wish him the best of luck should he decide to compete at the 2012 IBSF World Championships in Egypt later this year.
Fred Borg (Left) and Joe Minici (Right)