A solid field of 24 contested the 2017 North Island Snooker championships held at Petone Workingmen’s Club 3-5 June.
Day one saw all competitors play 3 section games each and at that point all for sections results were in order of seedings.
The tables were playing fast and there was a steady procession of Breaks with 10 players contributing breaks over 40.
After Rain set in on Sat evening Sun was a different matter, the tables slowed and made playing a little more difficult. There were
a few surprises with Matt Scarborough beating Chris Maltby 3-0, Mario Hildred beating Harry Haenga 3-1 and Mark Hannah (the only
player not to drop a frame on day one getting rolled by both Peter Lesslie (respotted black in decider) and Rob Redgrove (3-1) to finish 3rd in section 4. Only two players went
through to the last 16 unbeaten Bayden Jackson HB top Qualifying and Defending Champion Matt Scarborough qualifying in 2nd spot.
The Last 16 was played on Sun afternoon with some very good matches. New comer Ian McDonald from CC taking Bayden Jackson HB to a decider in
what was a cliff hanger with Jackson eventually falling over the line.
Another mention was 15 year old Cody Turner who after dropping only one match in section play looked in good form against Mark Hannah before the tip
came off his cue and he was given 15 mins to re tip but it wasn’t the same and he was force to finish the match with a rack cue. To his credit he maintained his
composure but it wasn’t enough going down 3-1 in a match that was closer than the score indicated. (one to watch in the future)
Peter Lesslie and Craven Teua were also going to be hard to pick with Peter stealing his third match of the tournament on a final frame black ball. Its was
certainly his weekend for black to wins.
Bayden Jackson bt I McDonald 3-2
Mark Hannah bt Cody Turner 3-1
Rob Redgrove bt John Lancaster 3-1
Chris Maltby bt John Starkey 3-0
Harry Haenga bt Darryl Jensen 3-1
Peter Lesslie bt Craven Teua 3-2
Mario Hildred bt Ron Wilkie 3-0
Matt Scarborough bt Sunil Durga 3-0
In the quarterfinals looked a strong line up on the final day.
Bayden Jackson dominated the table against Mark Hannah and was on a 147 in his first visit in frame one when he had a chance to take his 10th black but opted for an easier pink to
ensure the frame was safe only to realise that Mark had fouled off the break so snookers were already required and as a result broke down on 75.
Peter Lesslie after leading Harry 2-1 let Harry in for a very good 76 in frame four to set up yet another decider. You guessed it another Black ball game and yes Peter stole his 4th match in what was a thriller.
Mario Hildred was another who was impressive as he disposed of defending champion Matt Scarborough.
Bayden Jackson bt Mark Hannah 3-0
Chris Maltby bt Rob Redgrove 3-0
Peter Lesslie bt Harry Haenga 3-2
Mario Hildred bt Matt Scarborough 3-1
The semi finals were looking tantilising. Mario Hildred was impressive against Peter Lesslie who while playing well didn’t have an answer to great tactical play and when Mario compiled an lovely break
Of 78 in the 3rd frame it was all over.
The other semi which promised to be a cracker failed to deliver with both players struggling. Messy ball layout combined with a lot of unforce errors saw a match that was hard to predict. At 2-2 however we always
knew that one player would have to step up at take control and on this occasion it was Chris who suddenly found some form and got home 3-2
The final was all Taranaki, Chris Maltby and Mario Hildred. Good tactical play by Chris meant he was in control early on winning the first 2 frames. Mario playing good consistent snooker pulled back the 3rd and looked good at 2-1 however the fairy tale wasn’t to be and Chris piled on the pressure laying some good snookers in the next two frames to run out the winner 4-1. This was great effort for Mario who is soon to head to China to represent NZ at this years world U21s. He can move forward with confidence after his Finals Effort at this years Oceania U21s and now North Islands.
John Hapimana bt Wayne Naysmith 3-0
Harry Haenga: 89 76 61 60 56 55 50
Mario Hildred: 78 48 46 44
Bayden Jackson: 75 61 57 49 48 43
Craven Teua: 74 55 41
Mark Hannah: 73 55 50 46 40
Peter Lesslie: 69 44 44 43 41
Chris Maltby: 58 56 55 47 46 42 40 40
Matt Scarborough: 56 56 49 48
Cody Turner: 54 41 40
John Starkey: 49
Ron Wilkie: 47 43