Daniel Lee emerged victorious from a record-breaking field of 55 players to win this year’s Welsh Open in Cwmbran last weekend following a 2-1 victory against Aslam Abubaker.
Organised by World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS), the event returned to Redz Snooker Club following a successful first staging a year ago and once again welcomed players with a range of disabilities including physical, hearing, visual and learning disabilities who competed against each other across the weekend.
Incredibly, the quarter-final line-up included players from seven of the eight WDBS classification groups (2-7), in a demonstration of the strength in depth across the field and the inclusivity of what was the biggest WDBS field to date in its three-year history.
Aylebury’s Daniel Lee, previously successful at Groups 1-2 WDBS tournaments in Wolverhampton and Preston during the past 12 months, made it through to his first mixed-classification final following victories against Ron Allen, David Moore and another former WDBS champion David Church in the knockout rounds.
There he would face fellow wheelchair player Aslam Abubaker, who stunned the defending champion Daniel Blunn 3-1 at the last 16 stage before adding the scalps of Lewis Knowles and three-time Group 6 champion Dan Harwood to qualify for the showpiece match.
In keeping with the rest of the weekend, the final proved to be a dramatic affair which swung one way and then the other, eventually coming down to the final colours in a deciding frame. Ultimately it was Lee who would prevail after Abubaker had looked set to win before snookering himself on what would have been the match-ball pink when attempting to clear.
The highest break of the six-red competition was 43, made by Nick Neale during the group stage.
Elsewhere the Mixed Classification Doubles event saw Richard Gott and Danielle Findlay claim victory following a 2-0 success against Graham Bonnell and newcomer Peter Yelland.
The competition, which included players who had not qualified for Sunday’s knockout rounds following the previous day’s group matches, saw 13 pairs battle it out for the title and Gott make it third time lucky having twice finished as runner-up at the Hull Open, while Findlay claimed her second victory following success at the Challenge Cup in Belgium earlier this year.
The weekend was generously supported by tournament sponsors FizzThinks360 and RBF Comms, with Jonny ‘Fizz’ Welch on hand throughout the final Sunday to present the medals and participation certificates to the competitors.
The event was also attended by leading World Snooker referee and tournament director Paul Collier, who kindly donned his white gloves to officiate several matches during the round robin stages.
WDBS would also like to thank all of the players who travelled to compete in the event and our hosts Redz Snooker Club for their support during the weekend.
View full tournament results from the main competition via MySnookerStats here.
View event photos at our Facebook page here.
View the updated WDBS Roll of Honour here.