Michael Rhodes added his name to an illustrious list of former winners after defeating Billy Castle 10-6 to win the 2015 English Amateur Snooker Championship.
This championship is one of the sport’s most coveted and renowned competitions with a history stretching back to 1916. Several star names have lifted the trophy down the years including John Pulman, Ray Reardon, John Spencer, Terry Griffiths, Jimmy White and Stuart Bingham.
For Rhodes, it relieved a 21-year itch having lost out in the 1994 final.
The Ferrycar cueist had previously navigated his way through local and regional rounds earlier in the season to reach the northern area final which was also held during the English Association of Snooker and Billiards’ Finals Weekend at the Longton Snooker and Pool Club in Stoke on Trent.
In a marathon tussle, he ousted former professional Paul Davison 8-7 to set up a meeting with Castle, who had a very different path to the final having swept aside Grant Miles 8-0 to secure the southern area title.
In the grand final, Rhodes held a 7-3 lead before being pegged back to 7-5. The 13th frame may have been the pivotal moment, though, as the northerner won it on the final black to halt his opponent’s momentum and he later completed the victory.
Rhodes was presented his trophies by two-time ranking event finalist Jamie Cope who had been present throughout the weekend handing out prizes.
Not only does he join that elite band of winners, but he also obtains a ticket to the next EBSA European Amateur Championship which carries an opportunity to gain promotion onto the professional tour.
Elsewhere during finals weekend, former professional Sean O’Sullivan defeated Ashley Carty 8-3 to win the 2015 English Under-21 Snooker Championship.
Mark Lloyd claimed the final two frames to edge out Jack Harris 6-5 in the final of the under-16s, while Hamim Hussain triumphed in the under-14 section after overcoming Taylor Fish 5-2.