Greg Schalk is the reigning Bill Ellis Snooker Championship winner.
Greg Schalk is the reigning Bill Ellis Snooker Championship winner. BRUCE THOMAS

Top seeds provide a cue

IF last year’s tournament is any guide, it will be standing room only when the finals of the Bill Ellis Snooker Championship are played at Sawtell RSL tomorrow afternoon.

Tournament organisers admitted during the week they are thrilled with the exceptionally high-calibre field that has been assembled for this year’s event which starts today.

Top quality players have made their way to Sawtell from interstate and New Zealand to vie for the top prize of $1500.

The six highest seeds for this weekend are ranked in Australia’s top 100 and are led by three-time Australian Open and current Oceania champion Shawn Budd.

Since playing at the junior level 20 years ago, Budd has been battling with four-time New Zealand champion Daniell Haenga who will also be competing this weekend.

Both Budd and Haenga have maximum breaks of 147 to their names.

Sawtell’s number one player Himona Remana has vowed to pull out all the stops to give these top guns a run for their money but knows it will be a challenge

The president of the Sawtell RSL Snooker Club, Mei Wei Lim, said she was grateful to the Sawtell RSL for their ongoing support, especially during the busy period of upgrading the club’s facilities.

“This event showcases top quality snooker, which will hopefully increase the popularity of the sport,” she said.

“The current snooker world champion Neil Robertson is an Australian and has had an obvious effect on the game.

“It’s also important for us to encourage young people to take up the sport on a local level.

“The state association encourages and applauds our club’s efforts.”

Games will be played through the whole weekend – tomorrow the semi-finals start at noon and the final, which will be refereed by Bill Ellis, starts at 3pm.

Entry is free all weekend.

Organisers are encouraging spectators to make their way to the Sawtell RSL to watch some spectacular snooker.



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