The women’s world snooker championship does not receive as much publicity as the main tour competition. It is nevertheless played to a good standard and this year featured some gripping matches. This includes the final, played out at the Lagoon Billiard Room, Safra Toa Payoh, Singapore.
Women’s snooker has been a stand-alone circuit since the mid-1980s. The idea was to give female snooker players an opportunity to play in well-organized tournaments, at time when access was more limited to many snooker clubs around the world and to help publicize the sport to women who were not, as a proportion of the population, playing snooker at high levels. Unlike other sports, such as golf and tennis, there are no male and female tournament circuits. The professional snooker tour is open to both men and women, depending on the standard of the competitors. Several women have played on the main your, albeit with limited success. As an example of the main tour, last week Judd Trump triumphed in the Player’s Championship (as reported by Digital Journal).
This year’s Eden Women’s World Championship attracted 32 players from ten different countries.
To reach the final of this year’s women’s tournament, On Lee defeated the defending champion Reanne Evans 5 frames to 4 in a fine match, where both players demonstrated their close range cue ball control. In the deciding frame, On Lee came from 60 points down in the final frame to pinch victory on the pink. Evans had previously won the championship a record eleven times. In the other semi-final, Pillai defeated England’s Rebecca Granger by the more comfortable margin of 5-1. Leading up to the final stages was a mix of a round-robin and a knock-out draw.
The final was a dourer affair than either semi-final. On Lee won the opening two frames, which were of a highly tactical nature. Pillai won the next four to take herself within two frames of victory. In the sixth frame she recorded the only break over 50 in the match (one of exactly 50) to win the frame by 66 points to 29. In the seventh frame the Indian player missed several chances to win the match and, after a battle on the last few colors, On Lee took the game to pull back to 3-4. On Lee won another close game to level at 4-4 and then a far more comfortable 53 points to 1 win to go 5-4 ahead.
Pillai pulled back and leveled at 5-5 to set up what proved to be a tense and nervous decider. On Lee took this on the pink and with it her second world championship. It had been a lengthy match; the best-of-11 frames final over nine hours to complete and spanned two days. The match began at 4 p.m. on Sunday (March 19) and ended at 1.29 a.m. in the early hours of Monday morning.
The frame scores were (On Lee first):
62-16, 74-31, 41-72, 2-61, 32-72, 29-66 (50), 66-43, 70-59, 53-1, 49-56, 66-56
On winning Ng pocketed the top prize of £5,000 ($7,000) and he second trophy.