Snooker’s oldest amateur tournament held its 98th edition over the weekend of the 15th/16th June at the Star Snooker Academy in Sheffield.
The event, first held in 1916, saw yet another amateur leaving the scene for the professional ranks as Stoke on Trent’s Brandon Sargeant came back from 6 – 1 down against new pro, Jamie O’Neill, to win 10 – 7.
It’s a mirror of last year’s EAC in which Leicester’s Joe O’Connor, now 23, ended his amateur career picking up the coveted trophy and new-found confidence going into his two seasons as a full professional.
He then had a sterling first season as a pro, reaching a World Ranking semi-final in Wales and won the award of “Rookie of the Year”.
Jamie O’Neill, 32, now also a full professional for the fourth time in his career, after winning a card from Q School this year, managed to go one better than last year in the EAC and reached the final.
It’s been a busy few days for these new pros as they also compete in the Riga Masters and International Championship qualifiers at Ponds Forge, also in Sheffield.
Sargeant qualified for the tour by graduating through the new Challenge Tour event throughout the 2018/19 season.
SO NEAR YET SO FAR FOR NEW PRO O’NEILL
He was so near yet so far in the EAC final as Sargeant dug in and ended up the stronger out of the two in the end.
Sargeant, just 21, has already shown promise in a professional ranking event when he reached the last 32 of the 2018 Gibraltar Open.
He joins a list of coveted names on the trophy who’ve gone on to achieve big on the professional scene.
PREVIOUS WINNERS WHO’VE WON BIG AS A PRO AFTER SCOOPING ENGLISH AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP…
Terry Griffiths, now a top coach, won the EAC twice in a row in 1977/78 and then a year later was lifting the World Championship trophy in Sheffield.
Stuart Bingham’s EAC win in 1996 then led him to go on to be World Snooker Champion 19 years later in 2015.
Only Jimmy White has won the EAC but failed to go on and lift the World title despite reaching six World finals.
On the other hand, Ronnie O’Sullivan reached an EAC final losing, but then went onto win five World pro titles.
OTHER NOTABLE SNOOKER MATCHES FROM 2019 FINALS WEEKEND…
Other notable matches from the annual EASB Finals weekend included Kyren Wilson’s coach the famous Barry Stark competing in the over-55’s Championship final against John Rees, but it was Rees who landed a 5 – 2 win over Stark, who has his own successful coaching Youtube channel.
It’s the second time Rees has lifted the title in three years.
There was success for the little talented Stan “the action” Moody in the English U-14 Championship as he narrowly saw off Liam Pullen in a dramatic re-spotted black ball decider.
OTHER NOTABLE MATCH WINNERS…
English Amateur Championship 6 Reds Final winner – Jenson Kendrick
English Amateur U-21 Winner – Mark Lloyd
English Amateur U-18 Winner – Jenson Kendrick
Article by Chris Gaynor. Copywriter for SnookerZone.co.uk