Maas Makes Sure of Dutch Snooker Glory

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Joris Maas wasn’t to be denied in the final for a third time as he defeated Arya Sohrabi 5-4 to win his maiden Dutch National Snooker Championship.

Across the last month, Dutch governing body the KNBB – a member of the World Snooker Federation – have held several events at the Westend Snooker Club in Zaandam to determine their national champions for 2019. A runner-up in both 2016 and 2018, 45-year-old Maas finally claimed his country’s most prestigious snooker title; a competition that was first played for in 1987.

As one of the top seeds Maas went straight into the last 32, but he needed the distance to get the better of ex-professional Raymon Fabrie, 4-3, first up. Again, he was taken all the way by Jack Bruins (4-3) in the last 16 before affording a little more breathing space in dispatching Freek Bettonviel (4-2) during the quarter-finals. A top break of 86 against former multiple-time winner Rene van Rijsbergen helped him to a 4-2 victory in the semi-finals.

There was a guarantee of a new name on the trophy as Arya Sohrabi had made his way through the field to join Maas in the final. In the last eight Sohrabi dethroned defending champion Roy Stolk (4-1) and then followed that up by coming through a decider versus Maurice le Duc (4-3).

Sohrabi – appearing in the final for the first time – stood on the brink of glory at 4-3 up, but Maas crafted an effort of 82 to force a ninth frame where he managed to see the match out.

The winner of last year’s Dutch Seniors Championship, Maas won the ROKiT World Seniors Championship Qualifier in Toronto, Canada last December. He will line up alongside legends and other qualifiers at the Crucible Theatre in August for the final stages of the four-day tournament.

Silverware lifted in other events…

Janice van Gastel can now add the Dutch Women’s Championship title to her CV after she ousted Hannah Graaf, 3-2, in the final. In the previous round van Gastel had ended the reign of last year’s winner Manon Melief, 3-1.

Having just qualified for the category, former professional Roy Stolk won the Seniors Championship at the first time of asking. On his way to the accolade, in the latter rounds he eliminated Maas, Flo Moederscheim and then Fabrie, 4-1, in the final. With partner le Duc, Stolk also went home with the Doubles Championship.

Host club player Sebastiaan Kan won the 6-Reds Championship for the third time in a row while Kevin Oei and Yannick Pongers were triumphant in the two Junior categories.

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