Held at the Tradewell Snooker Club in Hull, the event was the first full-weekend tournament staged exclusively for people with learning disabilities. Based upon the nature of their learning disability players were classified as either 6A or 6B, with 6A players receiving a points start when playing 6B players.
Competing in his first WDBS event, London-based Geronimo progressed from Saturday’s group stages to a last eight meeting with fellow debutant Oliver Hanson. Following a 3-0 victory he then added the scalp of Preston’s Jordan Crossey with a 3-1 success to secure his place in the final.
He came up against reigning Northern Classic champion Leroy Williams in the decisive match after the Liverpudlian had made smooth progress through the draw without the loss of a frame.
It was Williams who made the faster start to the final, making a tournament high break of 46 on his way to taking the opening frame. Geronimo however had shown impressive tactical nous throughout the event and took a lengthy second frame to draw level, before adding the third to move one away from the title.
For much of the fourth frame it appeared as though the final was destined for a decider as Williams held the advantage, but it was Geronimo who was the stronger player on the colours and eventually potted the black to clinch a comeback victory. He subsequently described the victory as the ‘best of his life’ and accepted his gold medal from fellow competitor and British television actor Liam Bairstow.
As both the tournament winner and high break prizes were won by players from classification Group 6B, there was also an additional prize for the best performing player from Group 6A which was won by semi-finalist Michael Farrell. The Group 6A high break prize was claimed by local player Michael Greenheld following a run of 19 against Farrell during their quarter-final encounter.
The Challenge Cup for competitors who did not progress to the knockout rounds of the main tournament was won by regular player Alexandra Mendham.
It was a weekend to remember for Mendham who was impressive throughout and signed off with a 2-0 victory against first-timer Paul Wilshaw to earn her first gold medal.
The weekend began with a busy open day on Friday which welcomed groups from Sheffield, Goole, Blackburn and Hull, as well as other people with disabilities. With opportunities available to participate in fun games, receive snooker coaching from WPBSA World Snooker coaches and to practice ahead of the weekend, it was a fantastic day for everybody involved and we look forward to seeing everybody again at future events.
As with the recent Welsh Open, the event was kindly supported by FizzThinks360, with company founder Jonny ‘Fizz’ Welch in attendance during the weekend.
WDBS would like to thank everyone at the Tradewell Snooker Club for their continued support of disability snooker. Already we are looking forward to returning this November for our third Hull Open competition for our Group 6-8 players.
We would also like to thank not only all of the players, but their families and supporters who travelled to the event and without whom the event would not have been possible.