The 2nd AAC President’s Trophy Open Snooker Championship conducted by the Automobile Association of Ceylon (AAC) saw defending champion Susantha Boteju (YMCA), S.H.M. Aslam (MSC), Ryan Somaratna (Otters AC) and Naresh Samarawickrama (Galle CC) advance to the semi finals after the completion of the fourth day’s proceedings at AAC billiards tables.
In the quarter final encounters that were played in the evening session, yesterday where the four cueists won their matches with ease with the identical winning margins of three frames to nil.
Susantha was too good for young Angelo Coonghe of Otters AC as the latter had little to offer to the more experience cueist while the high riding Abdul Sattar of MSC too succumbed to another experienced player and club mate Aslam who has been the national snooker runner up on several occasions.
The best of the wins in the quarter finals came from Somaratna who qualified to the semi finals in style with a 71 break in the third frame when he outclassed the national snooker runner up M. Munzil of MSC. This break incidentally was the highest of the tournament so far. Samarawickrama who is based in Germany showed that he has not lost his touch as he is playing in a local tournament after a lapse of seven years. He too brushed aside the challenge of a gritty M.Z.A. Zulfy of RPP.
The pre-quarter finals were played in the morning session with the first match being won by Ryan Somaratna who recorded an easy three frames to nil win over Prasanna Pushpakumara of YMBA.
Later M. Munzil of MSC brushed aside the challenge of Nimal de Silva of Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya with a convincing three nil victory. But there was a close tussle in the final pre quarter final encounter between young Coonghe and Baratha Siriwardena of AAC which went to the wire before Coonghe prevailed by three frames to two.
In fact the youngster came back to take the final two frames after Baratha had taken a 2-1 lead. Earlier defending champion Boteju had little difficulty in overcoming M.M. Mubeen of MICH.
Of the two semi finals the encounter between Susantha Boteju and Naresh Samarawickrama should be a close one as two cueists are the most experience but the former has the edge while in the other game Ryan Somaratna is favoured to prevail against S.H.M. Aslam.
The curtains of the 2nd AAC Open Snooker championship will come down today. The semi finals are scheduled to be worked off at 10.00 a.m. which will be played over seven frames.
This will be followed by the play off for the third slot due to be played at 1.00 p.m. and then the main final slotted to be played from 3.00 p.m. which will be contested over nine frames.
Pre quarter finals:
Abdul Sattar (MSC) beat M.S.M. Shafraz (Rileys) 3/0 (71/32, 48/04, 62/07). Ryan Somaratna (Otters AC) beat Prasanna Pushpakumara (YMBA) 3/1 (55/11, 34/46, 64/19, 69/60). M. Munzil (MSC) beat Nimal de Silva) Grand Hotel N’eliya) 3/0 (56/21, 60/43, 75/28). Angelo Coonghe (Otters AC) beat Baratha Siriwardena (AAC) 3/2 (58/33, 31/63, 18/67, 80/34, 64/41).
Susantha Boteju (YMCA) beat Angelo Coonghe (Otters AC) 3/0 (58/34, 60/24, 62/25). S.H.M. Aslam (MSC) beat Abdul Sattar (MSC) 3/0 (60/18, 55/50, 57/20). Ryan Somaratna (Otters AC) beat M. Munzil (MSC) 3/0 (54/44, 63/27, 71/00). Naresh Samarawickrama (Galle CC) beat M.Z.A. Zulfy (RPP) 3/0 (59/48, 52/49, 79/17).
Ameer Mukthar, S.M. Ibrahim, S.M.M. Nilabdeen and Shashika Perera controlled the games.