The Seniors World Championship 2018, played in the Baths Hall in Scunthorpe from 21 March 2018 to 24 March 2018, was won by Aaron Canavan from Jersey.
Quite remarkably, Aaron has never been a professional and came into the tournament as a qualifier. His story is really one of a dream coming true.
On, 20 March 2018, the eve of the tournament there was a golf day and a gala dinner.
First in action on 21 March was Cao Kaisheng who qualified in Beijing, coming out the best player in a field of 80 entrants. Cao had never before left China and knew that his matches would be streamed in his country. At times half a million Chinese fans were watching ! Despite the pressure, and noticeable nerves, Cao won his match – in a black ball decider – and went on to reach the semi finals where he only lost to the eventual champion, Aaron Canavan, again in a black ball decider.
Seven times World Champion, Stephen Hendry was in action on 22 March 2018. In an eagerly anticipated match, he faced Jonathan Bagley, a player who had dominated the Seniors Amateur rankings for most of the season and reached the final at the Seniors Irish Masters in January 2018. To get there, Jonathan had beaten Ken Doherty and Jimmy White … and he also beat Stephen Hendry quite soundly. Except for the only frame he won, the King of the Crucible never looked comfortable at the table.
23 March 2018 was quarter finals day, and, a bit surprisingly, none of the “Legends” made it to that stage. It was an all amateurs field. Among those amateurs was Gary Filtness, “The Blade”, a well-known and respected coach and creator of the “Blade Cue” recently approved by Worldsnooker to be used in professional matches. Gary came to Scunthorpe as a “lucky loser”. He was the n°1 in the amateurs rankings at the time but had not qualified, having lost in black ball deciders an incredible number of times in the very last stages of qualifying events. And it was again a black ball game, one he won finally, that had got him in the quarter finals … he was in tears. Gary’s opponent in that excellent last 16 match had been Barry Pinches, a former professional, and one of the nicest person you could ever meet, and who deserves a lot of credit as he came to the tournament under very difficult family circumstances.
But, for The Blade the fairy tale was ended by Jonathan Bagley.
It was Finals Day on 24 March 2018, with semi finals played in the afternoon and the Final in the evening. Of course the hero of the day was Aaron Canavan , your champion. You can read about Aaron’s dream coming true here and hear how much it means to him and Jersey here . One man who deserves more than a mention is the runner-up, Patrick Wallace. Patrick had qualified for the first Seniors World Championship in 2017 but was very nervous and lost in the first round. This time he made it to the Final, in a black ball decider, and got the two highest breaks of the tournament: 73 and 80.
The Final was played in front of a very healthy crowd.