Mifsud Magic At Marconi

Popular Victorian player James Mifsud has added the 2011 Club Marconi South Pacific Open Snooker title to his growing list of achievements, following a convincing 4-1 Final victory over Glen Wilkinson in last weekends National Ranking event.

The South Pacific is one of the major highlights on the annual snooker calendar and once again attracted a high quality field of entries which included 9 players currently ranked in the top 16 in Australia. This was also the 6th consecutive year that Club Marconi have proudly sponsored and hosted this established tournament – a tremendous achievement greatly
appreciated by all snooker enthusiasts. Many thanks to Jim Ruisi, the Snooker Committee and Club Marconi’s Board of Directors for their continued support and assistance.

Spectators were treated to some entertaining snooker throughout the weekend with several excellent breaks recorded - including 3 over 100 and one of 99, with the highest break overall being 139 by Joe Minici. Seven of the top 8 seeded players also made their way through to the quarter finals. Details of frame scores and breaks can be accessed separately.

James Mifsud started the Final in fine style with a magnificent break of 128 then soon led 2-0 after comfortably taking the 2nd frame. Glen Wilkinson was not capitalising on his opportunities but managed to get on the board via a grafting 3rd frame win, only to see Mifsud hit back immediately with a 75 break to take the 4th frame.

The best of 7 frames Final was now delicately poised at 3-1 with one player seemingly ‘on fire’ and the other appearing to be struggling. The 5th frame saw an extended safety exchange before Wilkinson got first opportunity, but his break inexplicably broke down on 18 after missing what appeared a straight-forward black. Mifsud responded with a 33 before possibly
feeling a little pressure himself and leaving a slow pink in the jaw. With two reds left Mifsud led 34-24 and little still separated them as they got down to the yellow.

At this point another lengthy safety battle unfolded before it was Wilkinson who once again got the first opportunity. He potted yellow, green and brown before jawing a long blue at pace into the corner. Trailing 43-48 Mifsud then potted blue and pink to make it a black-ball game and decided to play a safety shot. It was a defining moment, with Wilkinson’s reply not going as intended and subsequently leaving Mifsud a simple tap-in to clinch the match and claim the title.

James Mifsud is certainly a worthy 2011 South Pacific Champion, but snooker is the big winner after a tremendous weekend of competition. Many thanks once again to Club Marconi and also the players, referees and spectators who contributed.

Gary Knight
BSA NSW Secretary
& Tournament Director