On the 1st and 2nd of July, Wanderers Club played host to the Annual HRSCC Walker Cup, while Emperors Snooker Club in Sasolburg hosted the Ibinson Cup event. Historically both these events consist of 6-man teams from the Highveld region, representing their provinces’ A- and B-Teams respectively. For the first time ever, Kwa-Zulu Natal was invited to attend the Walker Cup as well this year. This meant that the competition was even fiercer than ever before.
As the round robin progressed, it soon became clear that the team from Gauteng North, consisting of numerous current and former SA champions, would be very difficult to beat. The other teams put up a brave fight, but Gauteng North ended up undefeated and comfortably won the Walker Cup. Central Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal ended up battling it out for second place and it was Natal who was victorious in the closely contested decider. Central Gauteng finished in third place.
Walker Cup Runners-up – Kwa-Zulu Natal
At the Ibinson Cup in Sasolburg, it was Central Gauteng who went through the tournament undefeated and won the title yet again. They played consistently good snooker throughout the day and were deserved winners in the end. I would like to congratulate all our players on successfully representing Central Gauteng and the Wanderers Club at these events.
On 15 July Wanderers hosted the Faraad James Classic Knockout event. The fields saw a number of very strong entries and The Wanderers and Central Gauteng were well represented yet again. We saw some Snooker of a very high standard and a number of upsets along the way, as some of the top players were eliminated along the way. In the end, it was our very own Fakhrie Gierdien and Kiashan Moodley from Gauteng North who remained to contest the final. Fakhrie was too strong on the day
though and ended up dropping just one frame in the final on his way to claiming the title.
In the Plate event, Ridwaan Limbada, also from Wanderers Club, claimed his first ever title, beating Elvin Harris in the final. Well done to both of you on your convincing victories.
Central Gauteng and the Wanderers Club then hosted the SA Masters Championships from 19 – 22 July. This prestigious event is open to all players across the country who are 40 years or older. Most of the top players from around South Africa were present and the Round Robin groups were extremely challenging. The cream rose to the top though and after three days of fierce battles in the groups section, the knockout matches got underway. The defending champion, Pierre Jordaan from Western Cape, got knocked out during the quarter finals by the current SA 6 Reds Champion, Mutalieb Allie, also from Western Cape. Former SA champion, Francois Ellis also progressed to the Semifinals and after some solid performances by both players; they met in the final match on Saturday.
Both players played some good safety in the opening frames and it was an extremely closely contested battle. Mutalieb Allie managed to draw ahead slightly held his nerve to clinch a well-deserved title. He has now held every SA title, with the exception of the SA singles title. He has been in the final of the Singles on four occasions but is yet to claim this last remaining challenge. In the Plate event, Praveen Nair from Central Gauteng squared off against Mark McGillewie, who had been runner-up in the main event last year. It was a ding-dong battle which went down to the final frame before Praveen emerged victorious to claim his first National title. Well done to all these players and may we see you in more of these events in the future.
I would like to thank Wanderers for all their support and for making their facilities available yet again and the Executive of Central Gauteng Snooker for all their hard work in making a success of these events. That is all for a very busy month of July.
Yours in Snooker