Crook Individual Knock Out Cup: David Craggs of Tow Law beat John Mason of Chilton in one of the finest pool matches seen in the area when they met in the final of the competition, which was completing a magnificent first year in Crook Coach and Horses, where the large festive audience were quick to show their appreciation.
The 16 players, who had already played a league before this knock out cup, saw Craggs successful there with Mason finishing in third place. However in the final Craggs had to perform a last ditch effort to edge through to an odd frame victory in the best of eleven match.
In frame one Mason won the break but allowed Craggs a good chance, which he failed to take advantage of and Mason went ahead with a very solid performance. In the second Craggs called a foul on himself with Mason opening up a tight pack, before going two up with some fine tactical play.
Frame three saw Mason break dry with Craggs clearing five balls before missing an easy red. Mason was unlucky with a long yellow, allowing Craggs to put his first point on the board. This inspired him for he brake in the fourth and cleared up. However this fired up Mason who broke in the fifth and cleared up.
In frame six Craggs broke and cleared to the black but overhit his last yellow, leaving him without a shot on the black. He tried a speculative double but potted a red with Mason taking advantage by opening up his balls and clearing to go 4-2 up.
Craggs pulled one back when Mason broke dry in the seventh and Craggs cleared the table. Craggs broke dry in the next but Mason fouled. Craggs ended his chance when he tried to put a ball down the cushion with Mason lying a good snooker and clearing from the resultant two shots, leaving him one short of victory with three to play.
Frame nine went to Craggs after Mason tried to block a pocket but saw his ball drop in, leaving his opponent in to clear. Craggs broke dry in the tenth and Mason tried to tie the game up with some tactical play, but slipped up when he gave Craggs two shots, which he used brilliantly to clear up from a very difficult situation.
The deciding frame saw Mason break dry with Craggs potting four balls. Mason’s safety shot did not come off and Craggs pulled off another good clearance to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. The Coach and Horses landlord, Les Scott, who also handed out the £1,000 prize money among the sixteen players who had competed throughout the year, presented the trophy to David Craggs.
Thankyou to Johnny Mason for providing a great report in what sounded like a fantastic game.