IT WAS a main event on the Borders sporting calendar and apart from ripples of applause and whispers of encouragement, it was conducted mainly in silence, writes John Slorance.
Hawick Conservative Club was the venue, snooker was the name of the game and the Border Snooker single championship the occasion. And it turned out to be a real showcase, as some excellent snooker was conjured up in the bid for the coveted title.
Hawick postie Lee McAllister emerged the man of the moment by being crowned champion.
Representing Hawick Conservative Club, McAllister began his glory day by toppling clubmate Davie Amos 3-1 in a semi-final encounter.
This victory set him up for a final clash with Hawick Burns Club’s Gary Kinnear, who had beaten Fraser Kelly of Selkirk Conservative Club 3-0 in the other semi.
In the final, McAllister, winner of the Border Billiards Championship earlier this season, got off to a splendid start by winning the two opening frames, which included a 51 break in the second. Kinnear, however, bounced back to take the third frame. It was exciting stuff, as well as top-notch snooker.
McAllister then went on to take the next two frames which were both keenly contested affairs, to emerge a 4-1 victor.
Talking of his excellent achievement, McAllister told TheSouthern: “It’s great to be champion – I am really delighted.
“In the semi-final I knew I would have to be at my best to beat Davie Amos as he plays for the Con Club as well and I know he is a good player. “I knew it would be hard in the final as well, as Gary is really good, too.
“I was chuffed to go two frames up and decided not to take many risks after this. Gary then came back to win the third, but I managed to get back on track again after this and winning the fourth frame was the turning point.
Kinnear said: “This was my first Borders singles final and although I would have loved to have won I was just thrilled to be in it.
“Lee is a quality player and he played really well. He gave me few chances and full credit to him. On another day it might have been different, but that’s the way snooker goes and Lee is a good champion.”
Following the final, Border League chairman John Taylor conducted the annual presentation of trophies and complemented all on their conduct and sportsmanship throughout.
2011/12 trophy winners: A. L Storey Borders Singles: Lee McCallister; Hawick Burns Club Borders Pairs, Rob Scott and N. Lowrie; Jean Yule Knock Out Cup, Selkirk A; Plate, Hawick Conservative Club A; Selkirk Conservative Club Borders Under 25s: E. Williamson; Billiards Competition, Lee McCallister.
Final league positions: 1, Hawick Conservative Club A 98; 2, Kelso 95; 3, Selkirk A 92; 4, Hawick Burns Club A 77; 5, Border Club 72; 6, Hawick Burns Club B 69; 7, Hawick Conservative Club B 61; 8, Peebles 56; 9, Selkirk B 50; 10, Jedburgh Legion 42; 11, St. Boswells 32; 12, Innerleithen 30.