Gratton takes the top prize

THE Christmas Shootout Night held recently at Jaxx Q Club, Belper, saw a host of Darley Dale and District League players converge on the venue for an enjoyable evening of quickfire snooker competitions.

The Christmas Shootout Singles for the Alan Hopkinson Trophy saw Ripley’s Ben Monk serve early notice of his form with a 38 break in the first round against Ricki Slack before defeating Glenn Hull and Keith Robertson to reach the final.

Waiting for him was PJ’z No 1 teammate Andrew Gratton, who came through clashes with Kevin Holmes, Steve Robinson and Steve Hawkins, courtesy of a 35 break in the semi.

An early 22 break from Andrew set the tone for the decider and he soon drew into an unassailable lead over the short format.

There was compensation awaiting for Ben however in the George Mills Christmas Scotch Doubles Shootout final, as he and partner Steve Robinson, of the host venue’s No 1 team, just edged out Bolehill’s Steve Hawkins and Sean O’Sullivan on the final pink.

The Eddie Lomas Speed Snooker Christmas Shootout saw Steve Robinson perform miracles as he switched cues halfway through his semi-final with Keith Robertson due to his tip coming off, yet still somehow scrambled over the line.

Meanwhile, Andrew Gratton was pitched against Ben Monk again in the other semi, and it was Andrew who just got his shot away first on the final black by a matter of milliseconds in a thriller.

And Andrew went on to complete a noteworthy double in the final with an impressive performance.

He commented afterwards: “They say snooker is not a physical sport but they will have to think again now after this.

“I’ll need to have a good rest over the next few days to recover from all that running around the table”.