DANNY Gallant landed two titles in two days at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club – thanks to his trademark potting skills and a glimpse of a rarely-seen safety game.
The 31-year-old wrapped up a 4-1 victory from 1-0 down against David Mumford with an 89 clearance to clinch the inaugural club championship, WRITES TIM DUNKLEY.
“It’s nice to win the first one and get my name on the board,” he said. “I played ok throughout the day. I knew it was going to be tricky as soon as I drew Mitch (Wade) or Dave.”
The final-frame break eclipsed the 82 that Mumford – the 2014 Town Championship runner-up – had recorded against Carlo Cavagnetto in the quarter-finals.
“I did have that on my mind when I was potting the last few,” smiled Gallant. “I did think it would be nice to get the highest break as well as winning. It would’ve been nice to have a hundred but I ran out of balls a couple of times.”
Indeed. He opened his 3-0 semi-final victory over brother-in-law Wade with an 80 clearance following a re-rack.
Neither Gallant nor Mumford dropped a frame in the run-up to the final.
Six of the club’s best under-18 players were among the 24-strong field for the scratch event, which trialed an FA Cup-style draw before each round. Austen Petty took the junior honours by falling one frame short of a semi-final spot. The 15-year-old from Boyatt Wood was knocked out 3-2 by Neil Carroll.
Two ten-year-olds were in action. Jamie Wilson (Portsmouth) defeated Graham Hollick (Southampton) 3-0 before going down 3-1 to Phil Morgan (Salisbury). And Mickey Joyce (Basingstoke) lost 3-2 to Carroll (Rownhams).
The following evening, Gallant overcame Wade, again, in a late-night thriller, to claim the £100 top prize in the Chandler’s Ford SC Tuesday Singles League Series 2 play-off. Series 1 champion Wade took the first frame, aided by a 41 break, and potted what spectators assumed was the match-winning brown in the next. However, with the clock approaching midnight, Gallant dusted off his safety game and laid a pearler of a snooker on the pink.
After extracting the penalty points, he doubled the pink up and down the table into the yellow pocket and won a long tussle on the black.
It was one-way traffic in the decider as Wade was left chasing two snookers with four reds left. Earlier, in the quarter-finals, Wade didn’t pot a single ball in the first frame of his 2-1 victory over Steve Wheatland and Steve Tonks compiled a handy 67 break in his 2-1 win against Kevin Impett.
Gallant, seldom tempted to play safe where there is a chance of a pot, said: “I just enjoy playing. I don’t take it too seriously but I think I’m a better player when I’m potting.”
Gallant, Mumford and Wade turn out for Super League champions Eastleigh Railway Institute C.
“I really wanted the league,” declared Gallant, who has now completed the set of social clubs league titles.
He won the Town Championship in 2008, the pairs title with Wade in 2009 and he was in the Railway side that won the Burroughes & Watts team knockout in 2009 and 2013.
Reflecting on his team’s first ever top-flight league title, he added: “Dave playing has made a difference this season. It has strengthened the whole team. “Everyone’s played well this season; everyone’s done their bit; everyone’s pulled frames out from where they probably shouldn’t have.”
A new ten-week scratch league kicked off last Tuesday. For more details ring 023 8025 4834.