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Today’s Inspirational Snooker Characters: Introducing David “Delboy” Church

He’s a right character that Delboy! (Photo courtesy of David Delboy Church)

For some, playing snooker is a passion. For others, it’s a profession.

And who says there are no inspirational characters in the game today? Here’s one who plays on the World Disability Snooker tour…

For David Delboy Church, 22, from Norwich, playing snooker he said was an escape. An escape from the pain and suffering caused by a Road Traffic Accident he had in 2013 where he broke his right leg.

He told SnookerZone: “I used snooker as an escape from life and depression and basically to get away from the troubles I was in, this was when the passion for snooker really started.”

But despite all the troubles he’s had, even a condition called Moebius syndrome, a facial paralysis which affects the 6th and 7th cranial nerves which are eye movement and facial expressions, he still managed to claim the 2017 World Disability Open Snooker Championship in his group which he will be defending soon in September.

You might be wondering why he’s called Delboy. Well, here’s why, he explains:

“It’s just a joke around people at my club and friends cause I went through a stage of being like Del Boy I think people see me as a character to be honest.”

He loves Only Fools and Horses, one of the greatest comedies in the history of TV, with Delboy as the central character. He’s a right one that Delboy…

Watch a video on the WDBS, below. Click play…

A SOLID TEAM BACKING “DELBOY”

But joking aside, Church takes his snooker seriously, and has racked up so far his highest break of 89 – he’s nearing making that century.

He’s coached by the Blade Cue coaching team, led by the head coach Gary Filtness and Church said the Blade Cue and coaching has been so helpful and easy to understand and apply to his game. He’s got a solid team around him and is sponsored by the Blade Cue and Martin Daly of Tyrone Cues, he said. The chairman of the World Seniors tour and the founder of Snooker Legends is also involved – Jason Francis. He also has a Sports Behavioural Therapist Matt Andrews helping him.

He added: “It’s made me so confident in my game. The Blade Cue Training Mat, the Blade Cue Pocket Trainer and the Blade Cue are all very good training aids in my opinion.”

Church last year entered the Paul Hunter Classic amateur rounds and told SnookerZone he’d like to enter Gibraltar next year, but said, “we’ll see.”

Naturally, anyone who picks up a snooker cue wants to play the greatest of them all. Church is no exception and said he’d love to give Ronnie O’Sullivan a game on the pro tour. But, he also said he’d love to play four-times World Champion John Higgins.

He added: “I just think he is solid in every department of his game.

Church played in The Paul Hunter Classic last year amateur rounds and he said it was amazing for him, an amazing experience and great to play in the conditions and be away for a snooker week.

A LEARNING CURVE

On the WDBS, which has catered for all types of people with disabilities, he said he loves playing in it.

“Just being around everyone and playing in a professional way feeling like you’re a pro in some ways you are just a disabled pro I guess. I’d like to see more players and more tournaments, to be honest, but we are making the right steps towards it. He added: “I find it’s amazing, it’s so good to play other players with disabilities and to be around them and play in such great conditions. It makes you feel you have a career in some ways. It also is a learning curve watching how people adapt to play the sport they love is truly inspirational!”

What was even more remarkable when he won the 2017 WDBS Open title he told SnookerZone,  it was 4 days after burying his father – another setback that did not deter Church from finding success out of pain!

To anyone who is thinking of trying snooker – regardless of whether they have a disability or not, he urged:

“Play! Give it a go. It’s a hard sport but you get the satisfaction from playing and meeting people in a competitive atmosphere.” SnookerZone seconds that!

We’d like to thank David for his time and wish him well in his career on his snooker inside and outside the WDBS!

Discover all about the WDBS by clicking on the image link below…

 

 

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Snooker’s Golden Oldies Rule: For How Long?

Mark Williams 2018: From Germany to Sheffield to Yushan, China. He made his mark 22 times…And is still doing it at 43…

This season has already seen two winners over 30 and over 40 win on the World Snooker tour in Riga and in Yushan. Neil Robertson and Mark Williams started off the average age of winners this season at 39 after two ranking events.

Sportradar, a sports statistics website calculated that between the years 2011 – present, the age of winners on the tour had increased by eight years within seven years.

In 2011, the average age was 31 years and by the current, it’s now 39.

Stuart Bingham began a big resurgence in 2015 well into his thirties and won the World title for the first time after at least 20 years of toil on the amateur and pro circuits.

Last season, Ronnie, Mark, and John Higgins, all who turned pro in 1992, won 10 out of the 20 ranking events and earnt hundreds of thousands in prize money between them.

The data suggests you now have to be a winner much older now in snooker – with only a handful of “young” players entering the winners’ enclosure such as Kyren Wilson (2015), Anthony McGill and Judd Trump all under 30.

With Mark Williams winning the World title at the age of 43, the oldest since Ray Reardon, and both he and five-times World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan being born again by the product training method of SightRight, it may be a while yet before fans see a decline in the number of older players dropping out of the winner’s enclosure and replaced by the young ones.

SportRadar commented on the findings: “Of the younger generation who can reverse the current trend; Kyren Wilson (26), Michael White (27) and Anthony McGill (27) have already entered the winner’s circle with Jack Lisowski (27) looking ready to join them in the near future. While 17-year-old Welsh star, Jackson Page is developing a reputation as ‘one to watch’, but to put his achievements into context, O’Sullivan had already won the second biggest title on the professional circuit by the age of 17.”

For more details on their analysis, go here to SportRadar…

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Snooker: Making His Mark in the World x22

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Mark Williams 2018 Champion: From Germany to Sheffield to Yushan, China. He’s made his mark 22 times in his career…

He’s been making his mark on the World Snooker Tour since 1992. 

And now, 22 ranking titles on, Mark Williams is not only in 2018 a World Champion, but a World Open Champion.

From 2017 where he was even thinking of quitting, to 2018 and already that’s already a German Masters, a World title, and World Open. The season has barely begun and in the form and mindset Williams is in, you wouldn’t bet against him not winning more this season.

Just when fans thought Williams, the oldest World Champion at 43 since Ray Reardon was out of Yushan in the final at 9 – 5, the Welsh Wizard won five on the bounce to beat David Gilbert 10 – 9 in a thrilling decider.

Williams, still on a high after his World Championship went into Riga slightly rusty but then it was only a matter of time before the three-time World Champion kicked into gear and got back to winning ways.

Will It Be Third Time Lucky for Gilbert? 

David Gilbert talking to World Snooker after his semi-final win, on Youtube

It was Dave Gilbert’s second-ranking final and there was no sign that the International Championship runner-up was overawed by the occasion. In fact, he was relishing it – as in the first session a break of 142 secured him the joint high break prize with Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham as he trousered £2,500 along with his £75K runner-up cheque.

Incidentally, this is Dave Gilbert’s second final where he’s met a class of 92 player, and lost. Maybe it will be third time lucky for Dave? Here’s hoping…

Gilbert is now no 20 in the World rankings.

Williams, who is part of the trio of the famous professionals who turned pro in 92 – last season won three ranking titles. He’s already won one this season, how many can he get this time?

Remember, Williams is part of Team SightRight, along with Ronnie O’Sullivan, who hasn’t played yet this season in front of the TV cameras.

Williams, however, pocketed £150K to add to his £425K he trousered in Sheffield, and a thumbs up on twitter after! Life is good, especially if you’re now no 2 in the World rankings!…

 

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SnookerZone Has a New Zone! Plus: Become a Guest Blogger Here

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Breaking News: 

SnookerZone now has a book zone where we will review books – new and old. It doesn’t matter what the book is, whether it’s a training book, a biography, or a fictional novel – we’ll review it so you can get an idea of what the book is about and whether it’s worth the read.

There are plenty of books to dip into in snooker for the enthusiast so put your feet up, grab a hot coffee and dip into the world of the green baize!

Are you a budding snooker player bored with your current routine training? Then why not ramp up your practice and have some fun with top WPBSA coach David Horrix’s Complete Book of Snooker Shots – 224 of them!

Read the review here…

Also, coming soon, we’ll be reviewing the fictional novel from award-winning author Jane Holland, Kissing the Pink…Well worth a read! Stay tuned!

We’ll also be reviewing the training aid the Pocket Sniper so stay tuned for that as well, coming soon!

Calling All Guest Bloggers: 

Are you a blogger in the snooker world? We’d like to offer you the chance to contribute to the SnookerZone blog once in a while. If you want to write a piece about the Tour – either a comment piece or a news article, then just email info@snookerzone.co.uk to see if you fit the bill. Just keep it clean, please.

We’ll include a link and a biog at the end of the piece – all good publicity for you and your blog. We’ll even pass it around the net for you!

Just email info@snookerzone.co.uk…

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Fan Bags 100K on a £100 Snooker Loopy Bet in World Open

Fans like to have a flutter on the green baize players

 

Imagine popping into your local Ladbrokes and having a £100 flutter on the snooker.

That’s what one Somerset man did, and the bet turned out to bag him 100K in winnings. He wishes to remain anonymous and we don’t blame him!

But he was made to sweat though over the weekend as many of the first round matches he bet on went to deciders, but, he came out the other side 100K richer on the 15 fold Acca!

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “This is the biggest snooker accumulator win we’ve ever seen placed on a BetStation. Predicting the wins of 15 games has sent our traders’ snooker loopy, but we can only applaud this gentleman’s belief.”

Winning bet in full

Matthew Selt to beat Lee Walker – 4/5

Robert Milkins to beat David Lilley – 4/11

Ricky Walden to beat Dominic Dale – 2/5

Fergal O’Brien to beat Zhao Xintong – 11/8

Marco Fu to beat Peter Ebdon – 4/11

Noppon Saengkham to beat Rod Lawler – 4/9

Stephen Maguire to beat Thepchaiya Un-Nooh – 4/11

Jamie Jones to beat Zhou Yuelong – 1/1

Barry Hawkins to beat Akani Songsermsawad – 3/10

Gary Wilson to beat Tom Ford – 5/6

Jack Lisowski to beat Chris Wakelin – 2/5

Jak Jones to beat Zhang Anda – 8/5

Ali Carter to beat Rory McLeod – 2/9

Ryan Day to beat Robbie Williams – 1/3

Luca Brecel to beat Scott Donaldson – 8/13

£100 stake returned £100,124.82

Read the full story here…

The World Open 2018

The World Open continues in China this week, the second ranking event of the season, and new professional Harvey Chandler won his first round match in Yushan, and plays the Warrior Kyren Wilson in the second round.

Chandler was runner-up at last week’s Charity Snooker event the Pink Ribbon to amateur Andrew Norman as the new professional seeks to make a positive winning start in the ranking series of events on the professional snooker calendar.

Ding Junhui is the World Open’s defending Champion from last season as the Chinese wonder kid Yan Bingtao, who made the final of the Northern Ireland Open last season, has cruised his way into the second round of the 64 man event beating Stuart Carrington from Grimsby 5 – 0.

The World Open runs until the Sunday 12th August.

Live scores available on this link…

 

 

 

 

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New Talent Sean Maddocks Wows at First Snooker Exhibition

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In the zone: Sean Maddocks. (Photo courtesy of coach Neil Johnson)

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Ronnie O’Sullivan will soon have to move over… because there’s a new kid in town, ready to whirl the exhibition circuit!

Guinness World Record breaker Sean Maddocks performed out of his comfort zone at the weekend in his first ever snooker exhibition to a packed audience of around 50 fans.

Maddocks, who has been nicknamed “Mad Dog” for some reason, 16, who is the youngest to make a 147 in a open-aged amateur tournament, beating Ronnie O’Sullivan’s record in the Guinness Book of World Records, wowed fans at the Eastham Home Guard Club in Eastham in the Wirral on Saturday the 4th August.

The teen, a fan of the Rocket, and the Wizard of Wishaw, John Higgins,  said:

“I felt like I played well enough to entertain the crowd and I enjoyed every minute of it. I learned a lot from it and how to have a laugh while playing serious snooker and feel confident enough to do them more often.”

The young snooker whizz hit a string of 50+ breaks under a different type of pressure but almost racked a ton on three separate occasions, which was the only thing missing from the evening, said his coach Neil Johnson, who has been coaching the talented Maddocks since he was 10.

Johnson told SnookerZone online about the evening:

“It went great. Sean played very well. He rattled the inside of the jaws with the last red on 81 in the first frame before going 69, 68, 53, 45, 65, 66 and 63 over the next nine frames. He then played another two frames but was looking tired and lost the last one. It was a fantastic night and we got out of it what we were looking for which was to take him out of his comfort zone with something he hadn’t done before.”

He added: “He’s a fantastic example of an exciting modern player, technically very good but also quick and great to watch with an ever-expanding shot range.””He was one shot away each time and three tons wouldn’t have been generous. Another night and…”

Johnson said watching a new talent with all that unknown promise is as “exciting as it gets”, in his opinion.

He also said it was a very worthwhile exercise and would definitely be doing more of these exhibitions in future.

Maddocks played in Q School in May and came so near yet so far to turning professional during the events. See video below

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The evening was organized by a couple of Johnson’s older students as a thank you for their help in helping him with training devices he is setting up.

One fan of the evening said on Facebook: “I loved it. Can’t wait for next time.”

A snooker exhibition is the cornerstone of a snooker player’s diet as they tour the country and the wider world showing off their skills they have honed for years of toil and sweat in solo and duel practice in their clubs.

Maddocks will be in Germany this month for the Paul Hunter Classic the amateur rounds and also the Challenge Tour.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

 

 

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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!

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Welcome to SnookerZone

Welcome to SnookerZone.

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The brand new place for news and reviews about snooker related products, training aids and coaching

Hi there,

And thanks for dropping by the SnookerZone blog section.

This part of the website is going to be for product news and to summarise what’s going on in the wonderful and exciting world of products in the beautiful game!

Also, the blog will occasionally bring you interviews with product creators and find out what drives them to create the products they make!

Here at SnookerZone, it’s all about keeping you in the loop at what’s going on in this busy area of snooker, behind the scenes!

Be sure to stay tuned to the blog for weekly updates and thanks for your attention!

Thanks.

Chris Gaynor

PS: We’ll also keep you updated on the latest product news and reviews in the Training, Coaching and Equipment Zones of the website as and when they are updated!

But for now, enjoy what’s already on the site!