The inaugural CUPC Snooker Open was held at CSC on Sunday March 11th 2012. Coming only seven days after a highly intensive 2012 CUPC Masters, this new title was contested by a relatively sparse field of only eight players. Nonetheless, those who took part garnished proceedings with attractive break-building and gutsy tactical grinding in equal measure. Ultimately the tournament was won by Downing’s James Palmer, who triumphed over Homerton’s Drew Miley in the final to secure his first CUPC title.
The tournament began with a group stage involving matches played over two frames, with two semi-finalists to be promoted from each of the following groups.
Group A – James Palmer, Tom Sutton, Tarun Manjunath, Vin Shen Ban
Group B – Rob Hogan, Drew Miley, Steven Herbert, James RossIn Group A, it was Tom Sutton who impressed the most, combining two well-fought wins over Tarun Manjunath and Vin Shen Ban with a hard-earned 1-1 draw against James Palmer to top the table with 7 points. Elsewhere, Palmer did just enough to qualify as runner-up with a 2-0 win over Tarun and a 1-1 draw against Vin, the latter match witnessing the tournament’s highest break as Palmer made a quick-fire 37 in the second frame.
Group B meanwhile was dominated by CUPC President Rob Hogan, who, having been granted a wildcard entry just hours before the tournament began, secured three 2-0 victories in rapid succession. Elsewhere, having beaten Steven Herbert 2-0, Drew Miley needed only a draw in his final match against James Ross to join Hogan in the semi-finals. Despite putting up a strong fight that had Miley in dire mental straits, Ross was ultimately unable to prevent the Durham man from gaining the frame he required to progress however.
The first semi-final pitched the two pre-tournament favourites, Hogan and Palmer, against one another. Having secured the first frame before reaching the colours, Palmer was forced to work harder in the second, clawing back a deficit of over 30 points to take his opponent to the final four balls. At this point however he undid all of his hard work with an inexplicable foul on the brown, and thus paved the way for Hogan to force a decider. Here both players kept things tight to begin with, but after an extended bout of high-quality safety it was Palmer who eventually made more of his chances to come through 2-1.
In the second semi, Tom Sutton showed real steel to take an increasingly flustered Drew Miley to a deciding frame, where-upon things became exceedingly scrappy. After some 45 minutes of fragmented play, the deciding frame was ultimately clinched by Miley however, meaning that both group winners had failed to reach the final.
After the drama of the semi-finals, the final disappointingly proved to be a less exhilarating affair. Miley took the first frame with some solid potting before Palmer, by his own admission playing poorly, managed to draw level with the second. The deciding frame could have gone either way, and almost ended in catastrophe for Palmer who, after clearing from green to blue, went in-off the final pink to leave Miley needing only one snooker. Despite a valiant effort however, Miley was unable to extract any more penalty points from his opponent, who eventually crawled over the line by potting the final pink for a second time.
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