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Humble Hancorn Makes History claiming 100th English Amateur Championship

But it was only the best of nine! And the last time it was a best of nine was in 1936!

Ben Hancorn may not be the most recognized name on the planet, but to snooker fans across the globe, they’ll remember him as the 100th winner of snooker’s oldest event since 1916 – the English Amateur Championship. 

Ben Hancorn
Hancorn humbled by win: Screenshot from EPSB website…

This year, the event had a glitzy but albeit shortened revamp as they cut it from a best of 19 frame battle to a best of nine frame race to the line.

And, although it was played in front of a much bigger crowd than it normally is where it’s normally played in snooker clubs in places like Sheffield or Gloucester, this 100th edition felt all a little rushed and slapdash, especially played in between the professional event matches being played at The Centaur, the 2020 World Grand Prix.

Both Rory McLeod and Hancorn were welcomed onto the floor by the MC currently MCing the World Grand Prix, Phil Seymour, who SnookerZone has proudly already interviewed!

Hancorn, appearing in his second EAC final since 2008, where he lost to David Grace, however, joins a list of illustrious winners who’ve previously won the title as amateurs and achieved MUCH greater things at the professional level.

  • Stuart Bingham won the title and went onto win the World title in 2015.
  • Jimmy White won the title and went on to appear in six World finals.
  • Martin Gould won the title and went on to win a German Masters title as his first ranking title.

Ronnie O’Sullivan was a runner-up but went onto win five World titles!

Hancorn wrote on Facebook after: “Well: That’s a great feeling. I’m completely overawed with the win. The 100th English Amateur Champion has a good ring to it. And to beat one of the best in Rory to get it was even better. I knew I had to play well. The good thing was I really enjoyed it out there as I didn’t really know what to expect.”

[bctt tweet=” If you look back on the list of previous scorelines though, 5 – 3 does look a bit out of place for 2020 as the 100th!” username=”@chrisgaynor2″]

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English Amateur Snooker Championship: Still a Great Competition to Win…

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Inspiration: A handful of players have gone on to do big things after picking up this beauty…

The English Amateur Championship is snooker’s oldest event since 1916 and in this short post, we’re just going to reference players who’s won it and who has gone on to win professional ranking events or World Championships either as a winner or a runner-up! 

But first, the last winner from 2018 was Joe O’Connor, who went onto become a pro in the 2018/19 season and proudly reached his first ranking event semi-final in his first season as a pro at the Welsh Open. Although it doesn’t reward those who win it with a tour card, a handful of players have gone on to win multiple and double-figure ranking events and even World titles! But the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan reached a final as a runner-up,  but still went on to win five World titles!…

Embed from Getty Images

The others are:

  • The Whirlwind Jimmy White, still competing on the tour at 56, and also winning World Seniors events, went on to win 10 ranking titles and appeared in six World finals!!
  • Terry Griffiths, a winner in 77/78, now a coach to some of today’s top pros, went onto becoming World Snooker Champion in 1979.
  • Nigel Bond went on to win the 1996 British Open beating four-times World champion John Higgins 9 – 8.
  • Martin Gould won the EAC in 2002/07 and then lifted his first ranking title in the 2015/16 season at the German Masters beating Belgium’s Luca Brecel 9 – 5.
  • Banned from the tour, former professional Stephen Lee went onto win 5 professional ranking titles!
  • Jimmy Robertson won it in 2009 and on the pro tour, his breakthrough has come only this season winning the European Masters in Lommel when beating Joe Perry in the final.
  • Stuart Bingham won the EAC in 1996 and 19 years later was lifting a World title!
  • Welshman Ray Reardon, the Dracula, won six World titles
  • John Parrott was an Erunnerder-up but went on to beat the Whirlwind in a World final in 1991.
  • Joe Johnson, now a commentator for Eurosport and regular on the new World seniors tour lost to Terry G in 78, but went on to win a World title in 1986 beating the great Steve Davis
  • David Lilley, a winner of the EAC three times, and who beat Andrew Norman, manager of the South West Snooker Academy, in 1999, came within a whisker of turning pro but a few days ago in Israel, as he lost out in the final of the European Amateur Championship to Poland’s Kacper Filipiak, 23. Norman was a runner-up in the EAC last year to O’Connor.

Here’s a tweet from a semi-finalist last year and former pro that says it all about the EAC…

The EASB finals weekend 2019  will be played in the summer in June and is normally played either in the South West Snooker Academy Gloucester or the Star Academy in Sheffield…

 

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