Forres cuesters fight out thrilling Moray snooker final
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TWO newcomers to the Moray closed snooker singles competition fought out an exciting final to the last black ball.
Alex Cooper (Forres 1) and Stephen Hepburn (Forres 2) took part for the first time in an event delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Hepburn started well by white washing the reigning New Club singles league champion Richard Stuart.
Meanwhile Cooper opened his account by winning 4-1 against another new player Neil Stirling (Elgin Ex Service) 4-1 who had been a stalwart of the Aberdeen Snooker League.
The tournament continued to produce some great matches as it progressed.
Hepburn survived the first of three deciding frame matches in the quarter final as he defeated former Forres Legion snooker singles league champion Neil Owen (Forres 1).
Cooper won a tighter than the score line suggests 4-0 victory over Forres 1 team captain William Ross.
Into the semi-finals and it was Hepburn who survived another deciding frame match to knock former tournament winner Adam Macleod (New Club 1) 4-3.
Macleod unfortunately potted the white as well as the final black to give Hepburn victory.
In the other semi-final, Cooper made short work of yet another new player Graham Podlesny (Elgin Ex Service) by a 4-0 score line.
Podlesny is another player coming into Moray having plied his snooker trade largely in Peterhead.
The final proved to be a classic. Cooper and Hepburn shared the first two frames then Cooper racked up three 30+ breaks in two frames to lead 3-1.
Hepburn replied with a 30+ in the fifth to get back to 3-2. He backed this up by winning a scrappy sixth frame to ensure his third straight deciding frame match.
The final frame was edgy but Cooper was always slightly ahead, and he fluked the green then potted a great brown to leave Hepburn requiring snookers.
Hepburn kept his cool and played some good safety until Alex went for a safety and managed to pot the white.
Hepburn stepped in to clear the remaining colours to win the match and the title on the final black.
There are plans to hold more Moray snooker singles events (in line with restrictions) over winter.
Anyone interested in taking part can get in touch via the Moray Snooker Facebook page.