Michael Judge became a winner on the ROKiT Phones World Seniors Snooker Tour for a second consecutive weekend after he defeated Mark Gray in the final to qualify for the Seniors 6-Reds World Championship.
The Irishman’s latest triumph on the over-40s circuit sees him book a spot in the main draw of the £20,000 winner-takes-all event scheduled to take place at the Riverside Theatre in Coleraine, Northern Ireland on the 5th and 6th June.
Judge made it through to finals day at the Star Snooker Academy in Sheffield after early round victories over Ray Grail 4-0 – where he made breaks of 71 and 62 – and Neil Carroll 4-1. In the quarter-finals the former world number 24 dispatched Stuart Watson 4-2 and made sure of yet another final appearance when he eliminated Jonathan Bagley by the same scoreline.
His opponent in the final was another ex-professional in the form of Mark Gray, who has recently joined the seniors tour following a successful spell on the American Pool circuit. Gray had a more eventful route to the title match, playing one match more and surviving two deciding frame finishes, one of those against Seniors Masters qualifying event champion Wayne Cooper in the last 32. He also ended the run of World Disability Billiards and Snooker star Nick Neale 4-0 in the semi-finals.
The opening frame of the final went the way of Judge with a break of 49, although Gray levelled up with the help of a 51. Judge ousted frame three on the black, claimed the next and then finished in style with a ‘maximum’ break of 75 – the first of the competition – to record a 4-1 win.
This title consolidates Judge’s position at the top of the seniors rankings list. The 44-year-old has enjoyed a dominant season, racking up five tournament victories including the main event Seniors UK Championship in Hull last October.
For results from this weekend’s competition please visit snookerscores.net here.