Williams wins Finnish Snooker Challenge

The revival of Mark J Williams continued this weekend as he defeated home favourite Robin Hull to win the Finnish Snooker Challenge yesterday…

Cheers to Teo for the information.

Finland might not be there first country that comes to mind when you hear the word snooker but do not let that fool you because as well as some of the top local players, the Finnish Challenge this weekend also attracted a number of professional players including Mark, Matthew Stevens, Ken Doherty and Ryan Day.

Unsurprisingly the most successful home player proved to be former professional Robin Hull who defeated Ken Doherty, Matthew Stevens and Welsh veteran Darren Morgan to progress to the final.

That was to prove one step too far however as Williams, fresh from victories over David Hogan and Alfie Burden, raced to a 6-1 victory with the aid of a break of 128 to take the trophy.

It is good to see events like this attracting such strong fields, unfortunately I was not aware of it beforehand so do not know whether it was streamed or how well attended it was. With the World Series struggling of late, perhaps such a format (more players, round robins), is something that should be looked at for their events…

Results:

FINAL

MARK WILLIAMS 6 – 1 ROBIN HULL

——————————

SEMIFINALS

MARK WILLIAMS 5 – 3 DAVID HOGAN
ROBIN HULL 5 – 4 MATHEW STEVENS

———————————————-
8 CUP Best of 9

ALFIE BURDEN 0 – 5 MARK WILLIAMS

DAVID HOGAN 5 – 4 BJORN HANEVEER

RYAN DAY 4 – 5 MATHEW STEVENS

ROBIN HULL 5 – 3 KEN DOHERTY

———————————————-
16 CUP

Burden 4 – Tolvanen 0
Steadman 2 – Williams 4
Hogan 4 – Virtanen 2
Haneveer 4 – O’Donoghue 3
Day 4 – Hämäläinen 1
Kauhanen 0 – Stevens 4
Morgan 3 – Hull 4
Perry 1 – Doherty 4

———————————————–
GROUP A
Pasanen 4 – H. Svedstedt 3
Kauhanen 4 – Pasanen 3
Kauhanen 4 – H. Svedstedt 0
M.Williams 4 – H. Svedstedt 0
M.Williams 4 – Pasanen 2
M.Williams 4 – Kauhanen 2

GROUP B
Virho 1 – Karhu 4
Haneveer 4 -Virho 0
Haneveer 4 – Karhu 0
Ken Doherty 4 – Karhu 0
Ken Doherty 4 – Virho 0
Ken Doherty 4 – Haneveer 1

GROUP C
Lång 4 – V.Virtanen 0
O’Donoghue 4 – Lång 1
O’Donoghue 4 – V.Virtanen 1
Joe Perry 4 – V.Virtanen 0
Joe Perry 4 – Lång 0
Joe Perry 0 – O’Donoghue 4

GROUP D
J.Virtanen 4 – Lyyra 0
Kukka 0 – J.Virtanen 4
Kukka 1 – Lyyra 4
Mathew Stevens 4 – Lyyra 1
Mathew Stevens 4 – J.Virtanen 1
Mathew Stevens 4 – Kukka 0

GROUP E
Salovaara 4 – Svedstedt 1
Steadman 4 – Salovaara 1
Steadman 4 – Svedstedt 0
Ryan Day 4 – Svedstedt 1
Ryan Day 4 – Salovaara 0
Ryan Day 4 – Steadman 1

GROUP F
Vuori 3 – Hämäläinen 4
Eriksson 3 – Vuori 4
Eriksson 3 – Hämäläinen 4
Alfie Burden 4 – Hämäläinen 0
Alfie Burden 4 – Vuori 0
Alfie Burden 4 – Eriksson 0

GROUP G
Tolvanen 4 – Glader 0
Blanckaert 2 – Tolvanen 4
Blanckaert 4 – Glader 2
Darren Morgan 4 – Glader 1
Darren Morgan 4 – Tolvanen 0
Darren Morgan 4 – Blanckaert 2

GROUP H
Mannila 2 – Erkinmikko 4
Hull 4 – Mannila 0
Hull 4 – Erkinmikko 1
David Hogan 4 – Erkinmikko 1
David Hogan 4 – Mannila 0
David Hogan 4 – Robin Hull 1

  • mglader

    Hi Matt!
    Yes, the Finnish Snooker Challenge was very well attended. It was played in Turku, Finland at a snooker club (Turku Sports Club) and it was packed all weekend. Have to say that the event was very well organized and the playing conditions were very good! (I was playing in one of the round-robin groups).
    One of the reasons it was so well attended by the professionals I believe is that the prize money was quite good for a pro-am (I think it was 6500 pounds for the winner..also good match practice for the pros!). Actually this event was probably the strongest, playerwise, that has ever been arranged in the whole of scandinavia!
    Apart from the century in the final, there were several other centuries, and I believe Matthew Stevens had the highest break with a 133.

    Finland and snooker isn´t that odd a combination by the way: apart from Robin Hull being quite successful, snooker has always been quite popular in this country, as a tv-sport and since the late 80´s also as a competitive sport with its own ranking competitions.

  • http://snookersceney.blogspot.com/ Sammy@SnookerSceney

    Didn’t Hull retire from Illness?
    Could he be back on the tour soon?

  • matt2745

    Yeah he did, I think his competitive return was about a year ago when he played in the European Championships.

    Nice to hear that mglader, I didn’t realise that the sport was so popular there, I know that Robin Hull is/was very good indeed. 111 competitive centuries is no mean feat…

  • mglader

    Yep, when I saw him play this weekend beating Morgan, Doherty and then Stevens in a gripping semi-final, it made me wonder if he could return to the main tour (it is of course a long way to get there, gualifying from the pios events etc.).
    The other day though when I watched him practice for this event (at the other snooker club in Turku!, yes there are two quite large snooker/pool clubs here in Turku! :): he made three centuries in three consecutive frames. So he definitely still has the ability! :)

  • matt2745

    I guess the problem was never his talent, it was always his health unfortunately. I am not sure what the situation is now, whether his body would be able to stand up to a return to the main tour or not. To be honest I don’t see why not, but maybe the stress of the match situation with so much riding on ranking events might cause problems.

    At the moment it seems like he is playing more for fun?

  • mglader

    You´re probably right, at least he hasn´t expressed any desire to return to the main tour..

  • matt2745

    Probably not worth it financially, having to travel to Prestatyn a lot too, it’s a tough ask.

    Though if Tony Drago can do it…

  • MattWilson

    I thought the issue with Robin Hull was always to do with his balance while down on the shot, rather than that of so-called “ill health”?

    MW

  • Folding Snooker Table

    I thinkl that it was the ill health.

  • John McBride

    Nice to see Robin Hull doing well, a very good player & nice bloke with it. He used to practice a lot with Neil Mosley back in the early 90’s, another very good player.

    Good Reading.

  • matt2745

    I’m not saying that Robin didn’t have other problems with his game Matt but without his heart problem I think that he would still be on the tour and competing, based on his form beforehand anyway.

    Even though the one time I saw him play he got absolutely battered, 9-1 by Dott.