World Ladies Billiards and Snooker Association 2008 World Championships
by Tim Dunkley
Reanne Evans has written a new chapter in the annals of women’s snooker by claiming a record fourth straight WLBSA World Championship title. Shrugging off a bout of flu, the 22-year-old mother of one from Dudley defeated first-time finalist June Banks 5-2 at Cambridge SC Wednesday, May7.
“In some ways it’s as good as the first,” she said. “I felt no pressure, just play my game and hope for the best. Coming up to this tournament, I hardly picked my cue up because I haven’t been very well.”
Evans, partner of NI professional and world number 16 Mark Allen, eased through to the final winning 23 successive frames and chalked up the highest break of the tournament, 102 in the group stages. But former England international Banks ended the run by taking the first frame of the final with a long pink.
Evans responded with a 52 to win the second. Banks fell foul of the miss rule when trailing 2-1 and the 16 penalty points cost her the chance to level.
Although the 39-year-old from Orpington did pull a second frame back in the sixth, Evans dominated the next.
The two-time IBSF World Ladies Champion, who defends her European title in Poland next month, has again ruled out joining seven-time champion Allison Fisher and five-time champion Kelly Fisher on the lucrative U.S. pool circuit for the foreseeable future. But neither of the two great queens of the green baize lifted the title four years running.
“People might say it’s because Kelly or Allison or whoever are not here, but it’s their choice to go to America,” insisted Evans. “It’s up to them at the end of the day, and I’m happy with what I’ve done.”
Maria Catalano’s dream of a first world title ended less than 24 hours after her cousin Ronnie O’Sullivan claimed his third in a 4-2 semifinal defeat by Banks.
Evans bested Portsmouth’s Emma Bonney 4-0 in the second semi but had to survive a black-ball game in the second frame and a re-spot in the third.
Emma Bonney clinched a third World Ladies Billiards title with a 216-119 victory over shock finalist Eva Palmius. But the 31-year-old from Portsmouth was forced to dig deep in the last seconds of her semifinal clash with Tina Owen-Sevilton from Taunton.
Bonney, champion in 2000 and 2002 but runner-up in 2006 and 2007, trailed throughout the one-hour match but was gifted a chance with a minute left. “I thought, ‘Right, I’ve got to make about fifteen and I’ve got about a minute to do it,’” she said.
Making a first appearance in a final, former Swedish pool star Palmius ended Indian star Chitra Magimairaj’s hopes of a hat-trick of titles in the second semi.
Derby schoolgirl and England international Hannah Jones, 11, won the World Ladies Junior snooker title. Chris Sharpe clinched a first Seniors title, and Pam Wood repeated her 2007 doubles success, this time partnering Jaique Ip Wan In.