The 2021 SA Billiards Championships and the SA Masters Snooker Championships were held at the Wanderers Club from 08 – 12 September 2021. A total of 51 entries were received by the National Association for the SA Masters Championships. Central Gauteng was the host province and Wanderers Snooker Club was the host venue.
Graeme Britten (Central Gauteng) played Mike Hines (Central Gauteng) in the semi-finals to make his first SA Billiards final. In the other semi-final it was the current SA Billiards Champion, Munier Cassim (Gauteng North), who outplayed former SA Snooker Champion Ricky Tregonning to book his spot in the final. The final was a superb skill of ball control and finesse as Graeme Britten beat the current SA Billiards Champion Munier Cassim 2-0 to lift the 2021 SA Billiards Trophy and win his first maiden Billiards title.
The round-robin stages of the SA Masters Snooker Championships saw some excellent snooker being played over the course of two days qualifying for the knockout stages. Former SA Champion and South African Snooker Legend Perrie Mans visited The Wanderers Club as well and watched a few of the round-robin fixtures being played.
Also in attendance was SASCOC President Barry Hendricks who had just a few days earlier arrived back from the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics. He addressed the players and wished them well and was presented with a Players Welcome Pack by Snooker and Billiards South Africa.
24 players qualified for the knockout stages and the top seeds retained their seeding for the all-important knockout stages. The upset of the second round was when No 2 Seed, Pierre Jordan (Cape Winelands), was beaten convincingly by Rafique Limbada (Central Gauteng) 4-0.
In the 1st Semi-final, it was the current SA Masters Champion, Mutalieb Allie (Cape Winelands), who played Rafique Limbada (Central Gauteng) and (Wanderers Snooker Section Club Captain). Both played exceptional snooker however it was Central Gauteng’s Rafique Limbada who potted some excellent balls to beat the current SA Masters Champion Mutalieb Allie 4-3 and book a spot in the final. The 2nd Semi-final saw Munier Cassim (Gauteng North) play Elvin Harris (Central Gauteng) in a tightly fought tactical battle with Elvin Harris emerging the victor 4-3 and setting up an all Central Gauteng SA Masters Snooker Championship final.
With both players having home ground advantage it was Rafique Limbada who capitalised on small errors made by Elvin Harris in the first three frames to take a commanding lead to the mid-session interval. Harris then took the lead in the 4th frame to make it 3-1. However, Rafique then took the next 2 frames to win the 2021 SA Masters Snooker Championship.
In the SA Masters Plate Section, it was Johnny Sideratos (Cape Winelands), who beat Deon Floris (Eden District), to book a place in the plate final and Kevin Shelver (Nelson Mandela Bay) beating Igshaan Aladdin (Gauteng North). Johnny Sideratos, proving to be a tough competitor, beat Kevin Shelver 3-0 to win the 2021 SA Masters Plate Championship.
With both players from Central Gauteng Snooker Association, it was a clean sweep for Central Gauteng and the Wanderers Club in the SA Billiards Championships and SA Masters Championships as both Rafique Limbada and Graeme Britten are members of the Wanderers Snooker Club. In attendance at the prize giving was SASCOC Vice President Lwandile Simelane. There was also a draw for a R7 000 cue sponsored by Union Billiards which was won by Derrick Harley of Sedibeng.
Central Gauteng and Wanderers Snooker Club now prepare for the SA Singles Snooker Championships, SA Classic Snooker Championships and SA Snooker Pairs Championships which are been held from the 09 – 17 October 2021 at the Wanderers Club.