Snooker: The Norman Conquest of the 2018 Pink Ribbon

Winner: 2018 Pink Ribbon Andrew Norman (Photo Courtesy of Andrew Norman)

2018 English Amateur Championship runner-up Andrew Norman has claimed the annual Pink Ribbon charity Pro-Am at the South West Snooker Academy down in Gloucester.

Norman, 38, defeated the new 2018/19 professional Harvey Chandler in the final 4 – 2 to claim the ninth Ribbon event previously won by the likes of Stuart Bingham and Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Norman wrote on Facebook after the win: “I’m so proud to win this event. I played my heart out and played some serious good snooker to fend off the quality opponents!”

He added: “I beat Harvey Chandler and he put me under so much pressure. I’ve never seen such quick-fire scoring!”

The Snooker Pros: 

It was a Pro-Am which included the likes of two-time ranking event winner  Dominic Dale, vying to be the second Welshman to win since Jamie Jones won in 2016, and the 2017 winner Robert Milkins, who very nearly was on course to make it a double in the event this year by reaching the semi-finals.

Norman lost out to the now new professional Joe O’Connor in the English Amateur Championship in May (see a report here), but the manager of the Gloucester club has now got his hands on a trophy this year.

Due to his managerial duties at the club, apparently, Norman doesn’t get his cue out much so SnookerZone heard when he was there in May at the EAC finals weekend in 2018.

Norman said to me in a short online chat: “I played very well during the event much the same as in the English Amateur Championship. The difference this time was in this final I held my game together under the pressure to win. All the matches were tough and the scorelines flattering. I potted a lot of pressure balls at crucial times.”

He added; “Very happy to win the Pink Ribbon as I’m the first amateur to win the event and join some very famous names on the trophy. Also, to win the SWSA’s biggest event is incredible as it is now a worldwide known event in snooker. Even though it is not a World Snooker event!”

Norman said when asked he is not intending on trying to regain a Tour spot due to his career at the Academy and family commitments, but said he would happily play in one-off events if invited!

The Pro-Am, now in its ninth year, raises valuable funds for the Charity Pink Ribbon and Breast Cancer – a worthy cause.

A flurry of tons were made (8 in total) during the 64 man event which saw 14 professionals enter in total.

Norman is a former professional who reached the final of the English Amateur Championship in 1999 and 2018 – and in his pro career, reached his highest ranking event in the last 16 of the 2005/2006 Grand Prix with a highest ranking of 42 in the world.

Well played to Andrew Norman from all at SnookerZone.







Snooker: Thunder Robertson Rumbles in Riga – Again

Neil Robertson lifted the Riga Masters Trophy in 2016 and now 2018

Last weekend was a packed weekend of snooker as the new 2018/19 season kicked off with Neil Robertson claiming his second Riga Masters title in three years.  The former 2010 World Champion saw off the talented Jack “Lightning” Lisowski in the final 5 – 2 – and on route to the win made a 117 in the third frame. Lisowski, 26, was appearing in his first ranking final after having a positive season last season. The 36-year-old Melbourne man raced into a 3 – 0 lead having had a slice of good fortune in the second frame when Lisowski missed a key black to potentially force a respotted black. Robertson tried a double and fluked it after having missed it. Lisowski played some great safety in the match, but wasn’t able to outscore the Thunder from Down Under – but he battled hard from 3 – 0 down. Robertson’s win saw him land his 14th ranking title and the 50K first prize.

It was Robertson’s lucky socks that did it, he said, after the final!

China’s Liang Wenbo racked the high break of 140 – losing out on a maximum prize of £10,000- but still claimed a modest £2,000.

World Champion Mark Williams was knocked out early on in Round two…

Watch the post match interview below…

Challenge Tour Event Three

Former professional Barry Pinches claimed the third Challenge Tour event, which was low on numbers (24) – and also held in Riga during the Riga Masters. The event, which is supposed to entice at least 64 amateurs into competing for a coveted two places on the World Snooker tour is obviously for some too much of an expense for travel costs – despite there being originally high demand for a Challenge Tour of sorts. However, 48-year-old Pinches, Brandon Sargeant, and former pro-David Grace have all put themselves in contention for one of the two tour cards on offer for this ten-event series of amateur events.

Only time will tell in seeing how many decide to turn up for Event four, which takes place in Furth, Germany at the end of August, coinciding with the Paul Hunter Classic.

If you missed any of the action of the final – watch some of it here in the video below…click play

The World Open in Yushan, China, begins in a week’s time…

PS: Keep an eye out for SnookerZone’s new content in the Zones which are coming this week!




What’s Coming Up on SnookerZone? And the 2018/19 Season Gets Going!


SnookerZone has been busy behind the scenes beavering away on content for all the Zones here. In this short post, we’d just like to inform what’s coming up in the next few days on the Zone, plus what’s going on as the snooker season starts for the exciting 2018/19 campaign in earnest.

The snooker season has begun in earnest today with the 2018 Riga Masters in Latvia as Ryan Day, last year’s winner seeks to defend the title, one of three Welshman who last season had an incredible 2017/18 campaign.

The event runs till Sunday where the winner will lift the 2018 trophy.

Welshman Mark Williams (pictured), of course, starts the season as World Champion!

Mark Williams had an incredible 2017/18 campaign winning three ranking titles, including the World Championship!

The Pink Ribbon Charity Snooker Pro-Am (Click to see the SnookerHub event page)

There is also the annual Pink Ribbon event down in the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester, which was last season won by the in-house professional Robert Milkins! Who will be this year’s winner of the ninth pro-am charity event which has raised thousands for the breast cancer charity?

For your information: Here’s the list of previous winners from Wikipedia:

Welshman Jamie Jones won the Pink Ribbon pro-am event in 2016


2010[1]England Michael HoltEngland Jimmy White6–52010/11
2011[1]England Mark JoyceEngland Michael Holt4–02011/12
2012[2][3]England Stuart BinghamEngland Peter Lines4–02012/13
2013[4]England Joe PerryEngland Barry Hawkins4–32013/14
2014[5][6]England Peter LinesWales Lee Walker4–12014/15
2015[7]England Ronnie O’SullivanEngland Darryn Walker4–22015/16
2016Wales Jamie JonesEngland David Grace4–32016/17
2017England Robert MilkinsEngland Rob James4–22017/18

For a report on the Pink Ribbon from last season, click here

SnookerZone Content: What’s Coming Up Soon?

In the CoachingZone, we’ve already interviewed four top coaches, and there will be another exclusive interview with a level 2 WPBSA coach – so stay tuned for that one and keep an eye out! If you haven’t read any of our exclusive Q&As then click here… In the equipment zone, we’ve already written about the three top tips you must try out and if you haven’t read our piece on the popular Elkmaster tips, then go and have a gander, here…

More importantly, coming up, we’ll be exclusively reviewing the revolutionary Century Pro Titanium Ferrule from Century tips! That will be published in the next couple of days…

There will also be a piece on how to look after your snooker cue properly – plus a lot more coming up in the next week.

So stay tuned, and enjoy the start of the snooker season!


Taom set the bar high with snooker chalk

In snooker these days…

Toni Ursin
Toni Ursin

New products are launching like hot cakes.

Toni Ursin of Taom Chalk fame, (and translated by Joonas Ohtonen) tells SnookerZone the company has some future aces up its sleeve as it continues with its revolution in creating magical snooker chalk and tips.

Every person who launches a product…

Was hit with that light bulb moment where their brain flicked into overdrive with ideas for that revolutionary solution to a complex problem.

And for Toni Ursin, the founder of Taom Billiards and that magic chalk, that light bulb moment came when he was watching the snooker on Eurosport and kicks were mentioned.

The problem desperately needed to be solved.

 From then on, he challenged himself to try to solve the problem by making a chalk that would provide the solution. The rest is history – as they say.

A piece of magic was created…

Professionals hailed Taom version 1.0 as a revolution. It was good, but not good enough – and needed tweaking.

So, they tweaked it – listening to their fan base such as 2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy.

Then, came 2.0 – the current offering.

Again, it was hailed outstanding and even better than 1.0. But for Ursin, toiling on Taom products is both a revolution and an evolution!

The Fin told Snookerzone: “I thought as an inventor I want to take this challenge. I’m a very competitive person so it was a nice chance to test myself.”

A different way of producing snooker chalk…

Pool player Ursin, who’s been playing since he was 7 years old, said although he can’t give out the secret to the chalk’s magic, it’s a totally different way of manufacturing snooker chalk.

But, this isn’t the last we’ll see or hear of Taom chalk. Version 2.0 is just the beginning. In fact, Ursin and his team are striving to make the best products they can in cue sports – and indeed snooker.

What does the Taom logo mean? 

The word Taom actually cleverly originates from the names of the owners of the company, T = Toni , A = Ali , O = Ohtonen and M = Mika (see picture – Ursin is second from the right).

And the word means attack in an ancient language, according to Ursin.

Taom Team
Taom Team

His team are certainly attacking the market! Ursin was initially surprised when the chalk began to fly off the shelves.

He added: “We have several new products coming and of course we are developing our chalk all the time and want to get better and better. 2.0 version will not be the last one. We don’t want to stop to improve and make the game better. Our goal is always to have the best product on the market and before that we have it we keep low profile and test our products.”

Taom’s Ursin doesn’t reveal a lot, but he said the company are continuing to innovate and rejuvenate the tips and chalk market in snooker/pool.

 He’s aware he said that Taom have set the bar high now for other companies that manufacture snooker and pool chalk and says it’s good there’s competition.

“Of course, we know there is competition and there is nothing wrong with that. That’s why we are developing our products all the time and have some aces in our sleeve for the future.”


Check out the SnookerZone review of V2, now – click here