Snooker ace is English Amateur champ

Leo Fernandez with the fruits from a productive week
Leo Fernandez with the fruits from a productive week

O’Sullivan’s Snooker Club can proudly lay claim to a second English Amateur Champion.

Leo Fernandez clinched the prestigious title in Sheffield on Sunday, following in the footsteps of 2009 winner Jimmy Robertson.

The 34-year-old, who works and coaches at the Wickham Avenue club, went one better than his runner-up finish of last year by beating Liverpool-based John Whitty 10-6 in the final.

Fernandez produced a sound tactical display to defeat highly rated young attacking player Ben Harrison 8-4 in the south final at the same venue the previous day having won five qualifying matches earlier in the season.

It topped off a fantastic week for the Irish-born former professional having also won the open and flyer (mini pro-am) events at the Pontins Spring Festival in Prestatyn, Wales.

What’s more, he did it without having touched his cue for three weeks and with a split tip which forced him to withdraw from the 20-40 years event at the Pontins festival.

Fernandez outplayed Stuart Bingham 4-2 en route to the open title. In fact, it was the second successive time he has beaten the world no.17 (the last time was 4-0), who reached round two of the World Championship.

He previously served up his finest display in a long time to beat Syd Wilson, a player he coached for 18 months, 5-1 in the semi-finals of a competition which attracted upwards of 170 entries.

Fernandez won eight matches in total despite being handed a particularly tough draw. He came through a tricky first round tie against Alex Davies 3-2 and later saw off Craig Steadman, a leading amateur, 4-1.

The full article will appear in Friday’s Bexhill Observer.