Kinnear pots Brown in all-Burns Club final

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GARY Kinnear is Hawick’s newly-crowned snooker champion, writes John Slorance.

The Burns Club cueman was one of eight local players to set the green baize alight at the local Conservative Club when the coveted title of the town’s top player was up for grabs.

Following a series of knockout rounds, the eightsome lined up to fight it out for the title.

In the opening stages, Gary Kinnear (Burns Club) toppled Mark Riddell (Conservative Club), Rob Duff (Burns Club) defeated Michael Cunningham (Conservative Club), Ian ‘Bomber’ McCombe (Burns Club) beat Darren Williams (Conservative Club), and Stewart Brown (Burns Club) gained a victory over Ian Ford (Burns Club).

These results brought about two all-Burns Club clashes in the semi-finals, and, locking horns with Duff, Kinnear emerged the victor, while Brown edged out McCombe.

In a best-of-five final, Kinnear hit top form to win the opening three frames and take the title in convincing fashion.

Kinnear was delighted with his win: “There were a couple of upsets in the tournament before the final round, with two of the favourites surprisingly knocked out and this really opened up the draw. I wasn’t sure how I would get on and had a very hard match in my opening tie against Mark who ran me very close.

“I’m really thrilled to have won, though, as there are some very good snooker players in Hawick. It’s also great that four Burns Club players got into the semi-finals. So it’s been a good day all round.”

Now in its fourth year, the Hawick Snooker Championships continues to go from strength to strength and is a popular annual event.

The Conservative Club’s Dougie Rae said: “Four years ago we had the idea about starting a championship for local players playing for club teams.

“And although the event has turned into a big success, we couldn’t do it without the help of our sponsors – Roxburghe Hand Knits, Rillmount Limited and Belhaven Breweries. We are very grateful for their support.”