Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Super Sam Pockets National Title Glory; Snooker Latest

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Super Sam Pockets National Title Glory; Snooker Latest

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE'S Sam Craigie has enjoyed another big break on the baize - by clinching the English Under-19 Amateur Championship.

The 17-year-old from Walkerville defeated Michael Williams 8-2 in the competition's final at the Northern Snooker Centre in Sheffield.

In doing so, he added the under-19 crown to the World Under-21 Championship he won last year after defeating China's Li Hang 9-8 in Letterkenny, Ireland.

The younger of the Craigie snooker siblings, Sam had beaten Darryl Hill 4-1 in the last 16 in Sheffield before overcoming Sean O'Sullivan 4-3 in the last eight.

He then battled past Tom Maxfield 5-4 in a thrilling semi which went to the final ball, helped by breaks of 111 and 68.

That set up his decider with Hartlepool-based Williams, who had beaten Gateshead's Elliott Slessor in the last eight.

Sam's dad Stephen said: "We did not know anything about Williams, Sam had never played him before.

"However, Sam put in a tremendous performance to beat him.

"This was Sam's last tournament as an amateur as he has gained his professional status and he was desperate to win it."

A BLISTERING start to his Lumley Moor Premier League match saw Skelton's Ritchie Beckham clock up runs of 55cl-59-20(2)-23 to claim the first three frames 70-25, 68-24, 70-25 off Hetton's Martin Ball.

Ball got the fourth under way with runs of 22 and 23.

Beckham responded with a break of 45 which only ended when he missed a simple pink.

That let in the Hetton cueman to clear the table with a 27 to take the frame and go into the halfway stage 3-1 down.

With both players looking to register their first match win, Beckham must have been delighted with his early 42 in the fifth.

However, it was Ball's later run of 48 - plus 18 points from the last three balls after fluking the blue - which stole the frame 66-42 to make the score 2-3. Keeping up the pressure, Ball went on to level the scores by winning the scrappy sixth set 61-30.

With both players needing to win the two remaining frames to be assured of their first match victory, it was Beckham who made the first move.

He came from behind to clinch the seventh 72-36 with a series of small runs plus 21 points from fouls and misses. …

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