Bond shows he has a licence to thrill at Mountbatten

Nigel Bond picks up his trophy. Picture: Benjamin Mole
Nigel Bond picks up his trophy. Picture: Benjamin Mole
Lewis Wilson

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Nigel Bond was crowned the World Seniors champion last night as Portsmouth’s first snooker tournament was branded a huge success.

Bond, the current number 45 in the world, never lost a frame over the weekend at the Mountbatten Centre.

He rounded off the event by beating Welshman Tony Chappel 2-0.

Bond told The News: ‘It’s a great feeling. It’s been a great weekend. All the players have enjoyed it, me obviously more.

‘In my career I got to the final of the World Championship but to be World Seniors champion is a great feeling – to win any tournament these days is great because the game is so tough. And I’m not getting any younger.

‘I’m really pleased to win here. It’s been a bit more of a fun weekend and not so much pressure as the ranking events.

‘It’s been nice to see all the old players again. The venue has been brilliant and the crowds have been fantastic all weekend and so I don’t see any reason why we can’t come back here again this year.’

Last year’s winner Darren Morgan was left kicking himself after going out to Bond in the semis. He over-cut a black with the rest, letting Bond in to finish off the match 2-0.

Morgan, who had earlier beaten the six-time world champion Steve Davis, said: ‘I played so well against Joe Johnson (in the first round) and when the bookies made me favourite, I think my expectations rose.

‘When I beat Steve (Davis) I thought I had a good chance of winning it again.’

Morgan believes the Wyldecrest Parks-sponsored event will get tougher to win with more quality players being eligible to play.

‘I think every year it will get harder because different players will come along,’ he said.

‘Next year we might have the likes of Ken Doherty, Stephen Hendry and Peter Ebdon and that’s a different animal.’

Morgan added: ‘It’s a great tournament to be involved in.

‘It’s nice seeing old champions, old colleagues, old friends and to catch up with everybody for the weekend.’

People’s favourite Jimmy White lost 2-1 in the quarter-final to Dene O’Kane.

The Whirlwind said: ‘I played okay. With best of three you can’t really make too many errors.’

Tie of the round on Saturday was Davis against ‘The Grinder’ Cliff Thorburn.

After Davis lost the first frame on the black, an upset looked to be on the cards.

But ‘The Nugget’ showed his class by getting the better of the Canadian in an entertaining match for the Mountbatten crowd.

Davis said: ‘It was great to play Cliff again – he’s a very funny man.

‘There was some quite funny things happening out there. It’s very hard to take it as seriously as you would the main tour but that’s the fun of it.

‘I want to win and so does Cliff but we still can’t help ourselves having fun as well. It was a good crowd – the crowd wanted to have some fun.

‘There was a much more relaxed atmosphere among everybody and the crowd enjoyed the banter.’

First round: Nigel Bond 2 Dennis Taylor 0; Darren Morgan 2 Joe Johnson 0; Les Dodd 0 Alain Robidoux 2; Barry West 0 Dene O’Kane 2; Mike Hallett 0 Jimmy White 2; Karl Townsend 1 Tony Knowles 2; Steve Davis 2 Cliff Thorburn 1; Tony Chappel 2 Tony Drago 1.

Quarter finals: Steve Davis 0 Darren Morgan 2; Dene O’Kane 2 Jimmy White 1; Alain Robidoux 0 Tony Chappel 2; Tony Knowles 0 Nigel Bond 2.

Semi-finals: Nigel Bond 2 Darren Morgan 0; Dene O’Kane 1 Tony Chappel 2.

Final: Nigel Bond 2 Tony Chappel 0.