Experience wins the day at all-Selkirk singles final

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It was the story of teacher against pupil, as well as a tale of team mate facing team mate, writes John Slorance.

And writing the pages in the final of the Borders Snooker Singles Championship on Sunday were Selkirk Conservative Club pair Fraser Kelly and Patrick Crolla.

It was Kelly who wrote the final chapter, however, through a capital show to take the coveted crown.

In the setting of Hawick Conservative Club, the Souter snooker ace began his title-winning day by facing Rob Scott of Kelso Legion in the semi-final of the JJ Express-sponsored event.

Bidding to win the championship for the third time, Kelly won the opening two frames. Scott, however, came rallying back to draw level by emerging victorious in the next two.

With the best out of five to earn a spot in the final, it was now all or nothing to see who was going to reach the last stage. It was Kelly, who has notched 50 century breaks throughout his years in the sport, that came up with the winning goods.

Squaring up in the final against 50 -year-old Kelly was Crolla, who had sailed to an impressive 3-0 victory in his semi-final against Jed Legion’s Ian Nichol.

Crolla, 27, got involved in snooker as an 18-year-old and has been very much guided by Kelly. And come the last showdown it was the teacher, a Selkirk Conservative Club player for 17 years, who produced the trump card by winning the four opening frames out of the seven that perhaps could have been played.

Kelly told TheSouthern: “I had a hard run-in to even get into the semi-finals as I played the then champion, Lee McAllister (Hawick), in the quarterfinal. However, I played well and pulled off a good win.

“In my semi-final today I wasn’t that happy about my performance, but I still managed to win and that’s what it is all about. This, of course, put me into the final against Patrick, who has long been my understudy.

“In the final I went for shots that normally perhaps I would not have went for and this paid off.

“Today’s win was for Stan Wood who passed away last year and was a great man for Selkirk Conservative Club snooker. He would have been very pleased and proud to have seen Patrick and myself in the final.”

Crolla commented: “This was my first Border snooker final, so it was a good experience for me. I was pleased with the way I played in my semi-final, although I didn’t play near as well as I could in the final.

“That’s snooker for you though.”