Last week the final competition for 2019 was held by the Lithgow Amateur Association being the Roley Casey Trophy. There were 16 players vying to be the 2019 champion and there were some good games to be had with the final being between two players that do not normally make it this far. The format was based on the competition rounds of both competitions with an accumulation of point's with the top 16 players contending. It is a seeded draw with 1 v 16, 2 v 15, 3 v 14, 4 v 13, 5 v 12, 6 v 11, 7 v 10, 8 v 9 there was one no show so the first reserve was called upon to play. The final was a very good game where the winner had to pot the last 3 balls to win and he did just that. Robert Bender left it until the end to beat a gallant Troy Clarke to become the 2019 Roley Casey champion.
Jeff Stait (-24) v Greg Sutton (+20): Stait had a job to do as he was chasing a 44 point start which Sutton had with Sutton recently winning the Regal Trophy. Stait played some very good shots when he could but Sutton played very safe a lot of times minimising the shots Stait could go for. Stait was unlucky a few times as Sutton was lucky other times but in the end Sutton played too well to win 71 - 30.
Steve Hewitt (+18) v Sharnie Roberts (+43): Hewitt had already won a Regal Trophy this year and being named joint Player of the Year his form was solid. Roberts has done very well as this is her first year in snooker though it was a big ask of her. Hewitt had to chase 25 points from the start and he almost eliminated that by scoring a 21 break which gave him the lead. Roberts tried her hardest but Hewitt had too much experience as he won 83 - 49.
Richard Cranium (-27) v Michael McCosker (0): Cranium is one of the hardest players to beat in any competition and McCosker you just don't know which one will turn up as he is hot and cold. Cranium played his usual solid game though McCosker pulled further ahead when he put together a very good 22 break. Cranium tried hard but McCosker had the game in hand as he surged ahead to win 83 - 49.
Troy Clarke (+43) v Michael Tonkin (-32): Clarke had the advantage of the maximum start allowable which is 70 though Tonkin has the ability to regularly score breaks of 20 or more. Tonkin was doing all the hard work chasing the deficit playing very well but Clarke was only just doing enough keeping the scoreboard ticking over. In the end though Clarke only scored 12 points it was the safety shots that made it hard for Tonkin as Clarke cruised to win 82 - 55.
Brett Bradley (+7) v Dillan McBey (+10): Two opposing style of players here as Bradley takes him time with his shots and McBey has a quick look then before he shoots. This turned out to be a very close run game as neither did enough to get too far in front. Bradley went very close but it was McBey who scraped through 51 - 47 in a good game by both.
John Lyons (-17) v Bill Cook (+20): Lyons is the 'old master' as he has been playing consistent snooker since the late 1970's and definitely still knows his way around the snooker table. There is only two ways to Cook he is either very good or very bad depending on which one turns up. Lyons was chasing a 37 point start and as usual was playing solidly but Cook had his measure. Lyons tried hard but conceded the game as Cook bought his 'A-game' to win 73 - 50.
Brad Preston (+9) v Robert Bender (+24): Preston has been in consistent form this year hence him being named joint winner as Player of the Year. Bender had a better first comp and his form in the second comp has been ordinary so on form Preston should win. The majority of the game was close but at the back end Bender was slapping the balls that hard they went into the pockets on purpose as they were too scared to be left on the table. Bender won 48 - 34.
Frank Wawn (-10) v Matt Tattersall (-4): This was another close game as both players played an open style of snooker. It was close for the majority of the game as both Wawn and Tattersall could not get that break to pull ahead. Finally it was Tattersall that put together an 18 break which was enough for him to take the game 58 - 35.
Steve Hewitt (+18) v Robert Bender (+24): Hewitt had a fairly easy game last one but now he was up against Bender who was a different prospect who relies on a lot of occasional luck. Hewitt kept up his good form playing well whilst Bender was doing his usual slapping the balls around. Bender also interspersed with some very good soft touches diversifying his shot arsenal. As good as Hewitt was Bender was doing it a little bit better and he outlasted Hewitt to win 56 - 47.
Troy Clarke (+43) v Dillan McBey (+10): Clarke had a 33 point start and usually that would have rattled McBey as he is not used to chasing big scores. McBey started out the chase in style playing well indeed and was making inroads to the deficit. Clarke was knocking in some very good reds trying to extend his lead. Both Clarke and McBey were at their best and just when McBey got close enough to take the game Clarke did what he had to do to just win 69 - 64.
Matt Tattersall (-4) v Greg Sutton (+24): Tattersall and Sutton have played each other a few times over the years with the results usually very close. Tattersall likes to play an open game and Sutton is like a guerrilla fighter where he comes, attacks then goes and hides playing it safe. Tattersall early in the game was making a good game of the 24 points he was chasing and Sutton did not start well. As the game went longer Sutton potted a few and played safe Tattersall was trying to play snookers to catch up. Sutton held his nerve and won 66 - 37.
Bill Cook (+20) v Michael McCosker (0): Usually team mates now opponents with both being hot and cold players so it was a good mix. Cook had a 20 start and was on the board early which might have rattled his opponent. McCosker played some good shots but invariably his luck ran out in this game as things started to go wrong. Cook scored a 13 break which put him in control of the game then suddenly his opponents alter ego 'Mitchsuvius' made an appearance as he was seen flagellating himself afterwards. Cook kept very calm as he went on to easily win 65 - 29.
Troy Clarke (+43) v Greg Sutton (+20): Clarke and Sutton are not only teammates but friends which makes this a hard game for both. Sutton had to give Clarke 23 start which he is not used to giving so he had to change the way he played. Clarke started out well as was scoring small breaks and he had roll of the table as when he had a shot the white was rolling to a safe position. Sutton was falling behind as some of his shots were a little bit off. Sutton settled down about mid game then started to pot and he scored a 13 break and he was 3 points behind. Clarke was 10 in front when Sutton needed the last 3 to win so he potted the blue and unfortunately set the pink up. Clarke potted the pink to take the game 53 - 42.
Robert Bender (+24) v Bill Cook (+20): Bender had a small start of 4 points over Cook and both do play a similar style as they attack more than they play safe. Both started out well with a few mistakes popping up every now and again. Cook was doing his Meerkat impersonation as he put his head up and looked left and right a few times before he took his shot. Bender had his usual quick look before he had a shot then he proceeded to belt living daylights out of the white. As the game went longer Bender got better as Cook seemed to run out of puff. Bender did play some very good soft shots just to mix it up as he went on to win 48 - 22.
Troy Clarke (+43) v Robert Bender (+24): These two players normally do not make a final so it was good to see someone different playing. Both have been playing well to get to this point and nothing was to change in this game. Bender started out chasing the 19 points start with some good potting as he was made to think about his shot selection. Clarke every now and again potted some good balls keeping Bender under pressure. Bender scored a 14 break which put him right on Clarke's tail but he made a couple of errors to see Clarke pull ahead again. With 3 balls left on the table Bender needed all of them to win with Clarke only needing one. Bender potted both the blue and pink for an 11 break then the pressure was on both players. They both had a go at the black but Bender took a deep breath had a shot potted the black to win 64 - 61 to become the 2019 Roley Casey Trophy champion.
This now ends all the Lithgow Amateur Snooker Association competitions for 2019. We start back with our Annual General Meeting (AGM) Tuesday 7th January 2020 7pm at Club Lithgow Meeting Room. The LASA would like to thank all sponsors, teams, players and supporters. We would like to acknowledge both Club Lithgow and The Workies for allowing us to play our sport in your venues. We would also like to thank Peter Watson and staff of 2lt and also all the staff at the Lithgow Mercury for allowing us to promote the sport of snooker it is appreciated. We wish everybody a safe time over the break.