Mumbai: Anuj Uppal, when he made it to the billiards room at the MIG on day-one of the championship, little did the people around knew that he would leave the room with the title.
Even the tournament committee sidelined him and was distant far when players were being ranked for the championship. But, in the end, it was this Delhi cueist who proved all wrong as he signed off the championship on a high winning the title in telling fashion.
His credentials were proven when he potted the champion Geet Sethi out of contention and in the final of the MIG Cricket Club organised third Master’s National Snooker Championship, he overcame Rafat Habib of Railways 5-3 to stamp his authority in this game.
Uppal showed better nerves and took his chances against the Tamil Nadu’s Habib who was not at his usual best and was not really up to the challenge for a fight.
The Delhi cueist Uppal, was steady and showed better consistency with his potting as he constructed two substantial breaks to run out a worthy winner.
He started with a run of 63 in the first and then signed off in grand fashion compiling a break of 70 in the eighth to clinching a 86-23, 52-77, 76-48, 01-76, 56-47, 64-42, 11-71 and 75-05 for his maiden title.
Geet Sethi of Gujarat showed his mastery as he came from behind to overcome Maharashtra’s Cherag Ramakrishnan by a 3-2 frame score in the best-of-5 frames Third Place deciding a match.
In a tense final frame, both cueists were cautious and resorted to safety tactics. Ramakrishnan enjoyed a marginal 41-31 lead with the last three reds sitting on the top cushion.
Both played a couple of safe shots keeping the cue ball away from the reds before the Mumbai challenger hit the reds a bit too hard and sold a red in the top pocket.
Sethi seized the opening and potted the reds and up to the green to compile a break of 25 and take a 56-41 lead. After a couple of visits, Sethi also managed to sink the brown and blue to win the frame and complete a 7-65, 71-61, 53-64, 91-12 and 65-41 victory.
Results: Third place: Geet Sethi (Guj) bt Cherag Ramakrishnan (Mah) 3-2 (7-65, 71-61, 53-64, 91 (84)-12, 65-41). Final: Anuj Uppal (Del) bt Rafat Habib (Rlys) 5-3 (86 (63)-23, 52-77, 76-48, 01-76(42)