Partnerships from Belgium, England and the Republic of Ireland won titles at the EBSA European Team Snooker Championships at the Vidamar Hotel Resort in Albufeira, Portugal.
Belgian duo Julien Leclercq and Kevin Hanssens claimed the main continental team championship following a 5-2 victory over the experienced Welsh pairing of Elfed Evans and Darren Morgan.
Leclercq and Hanssens qualified from their round robin group before defeating teams from Israel, Malta and France in the knockout rounds.
They enjoyed a dream start to the final, going into a 4-0 lead with Leclercq registering a 102 in the first frame and Hanssens making a 58 in the second. The Welsh avoided the whitewash and briefly threatened an unlikely comeback before Leclercq sealed the win with frame seven.
The victory will have been sweet for teenager Leclercq who lost in the finals of both the Under-18 and 21 Championships on this trip.
There was an all-English final in the Women’s Team Championship as Jamie Hunter and Mary Talbot-Deegan conjured up a fine recovery to oust compatriots Rebecca Kenna and Emma Parker in the final.
The duo of Hunter – runner-up in the European Women’s Championship a few days previously – and Talbot-Deegan qualified from their group and then eliminated Sweden and Germany both 3-0 in the quarter and semi-finals respectively.
In the title match, Kenna and Parker won both their singles matches to stand on the brink of glory, but the eventual champions took a tense doubles frame (Hunter – 35 break) before Talbot-Deegan (47 break) and Hunter won the reverse singles to complete a 3-2 triumph.
The Irish combination of Frank Sarsfield and Mark Tuite gelled well to triumph in the Seniors Team Championship following a 5-3 success over Malta’s Duncan Bezzina and Philip Ciantar.
Both outfits met in the round robin phase with the Maltese coming out on top, although both made it through to the knockout rounds comfortably.
There, Sarsfield – finalist in the individual seniors event a few days before – and former European Masters champion Tuite dispatched Finland, Republic of Ireland 1 and Northern Ireland to reach the final. The opening six frames in the title match were shared with both sides having the lead, but Sarsfield chalked up frame seven and Tuite frame eight to collect the gold medals.
Article by Michael Day.