Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Taylor triumphs at Hexagon

Allan Taylor's charge towards the professional circuit is showing no signs of subsiding and it's easy to see why when you watch him up close.

The 27-year-old Liverpudlian - nicknamed The Assassin - showed a comfort and fluidity beyond his amateur status en route to capturing a now prestigious Hexagon Invitational title.

Losing just three frames in 18 at Saffron Snooker Club, Essex, he began the day many people's favourite to lift the trophy and didn't disappoint.

Wins against Phil O'Kane, Mike Eaton, Toby Pugh, Brian Salmon and Ricky Norris in the final helped him become the fourth winner of the event and collect the £640 top prize.

"I was really looking forward to the event and it's great to be a first-time player and a first-time winner," said Allan.

"I played in the Snookerbacker Classics in Gloucester over the weekend so it put me in good stead and I felt good all day here"

Now Taylor's task is to follow in the footsteps of the last year's winner, Martin O'Donnell, who went on to clinch a tour card by the close of the campaign.

And he's well placed to make the step up to play against big boys. He is currently the third ranked amateur on the PTC Order of Merit and must stay within the top eight after the final five events and the Grand Finals to earn automatic qualification.

"I'm just trying to win as many matches and stay as high on the list as possible; nothing is ever guaranteed," he added.

"I'm not taking anything for granted until they shake my hand at the end of the season and tell me I've qualified for the tour."

A pragmatic approach isn't all Taylor has got going for him. He's also got the advantage of sharing his home club with top 16 player Stuart Bingham.

"You learn a lot from a player like Stuart," said Taylor.

"He's a good player to aspire to and I'm learning every day. He's a proper professional. He just loves snooker and it's the perfect vibe to feed off.

"I've been playing full-time for the past two years and have really seen my game develop."

Taylor has plenty of admirers among the game's amateur enthusiasts. On this showing, his inability to be flustered is an attribute that could see him go far.

Taylor wasn't the only player who shined at the Hexagon. Runner-up Norris, who also progressed to the semi-final a year ago, showed plenty of fighting qualities all day, especially in his 3-2 quarter-final win against Ryan Causton.

Causton proved himself a capable scorer throughout the event and ended up taking home the top break prize with an effort of 136 in his second round win against Barry Garwood.

Liam Monk spent a lot of the day on the tables at the back of the club and looked to be going strong with back-to-back whitewash wins in rounds one and two. This was before losing 3-1 to Zachary Richardson in the quarter-finals, who scored three breaks over 60 in an impressive performance. He couldn't show the same form in his semi-final clash with Norris.

Former professional Salmon was also another success story of the day. He navigated his way to the semi-finals with the loss of just a single frame, before being stopped in his tracks by the eventual champion.

Mentions also for former winner Toby Pugh who reached the last eight, event organiser and former winner Adam Ingram who lost in the first round despite a break of 101 and Dean Mulcahy who wowed the crowd with some wonderful single-ball pots to reach the quarter-finals.

The special thanks of the day is definitely reserved to the event's sponsor Kevin Starr. He is responsible for hosting what is becoming as sought-after amateur title. Kevin is a genuine lover of the game and has worked hard to create a little gem of a tournament.

The Hexagon Invitational comes highly recommended next year for snooker fans within striking distance of the club. The tournament boasted both a high quality snooker and a calm, relaxed atmosphere.

A big congratulations to everyone involved.

Click here to see the tournament's full drawsheet.

And here are a selection of photographs from the day....

Allan Taylor and Ricky Norris

Allan Taylor and Martin O'Donnell

Allan Taylor and Kevin Starr

Ryan Causton

Allan Taylor

Brian Salmon

Zachary Richardson

Dean Mulcahy

Liam Monk

Ricky Norris

Hammad Miah

Shane Williams

Jason Watkiss


  1. Very good report with, thankfully, generously large TAGGED pics. Much appreciated. I (and, I’m sure, other non-Brit snooker fans) would also like to know a bit more on the history and name of the event (including a list of previous winners) and some info on the century breaks. Well done, Gary!

  2. Hit 'Publish' a bit early ! lol Congratulations to Allan Taylor and to all those who did their best and made the most of what must have been a very good tournament!

  3. Was a great day out, Gary - will have it in the diary for next year for sure. Stats to follow, but having some laptop trouble at the mo'...

  4. thanks for your feedback Mignon.
    The preview article should answer your questions about the history of the tournament: http://welcometooncue.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/the-hexagon-invitational.html

    The name of the event 'Hexagon' comes from Kevin's company, who sponsors the event.

    There were 2 centuries both mentioned in this round-up.

    Cheers, Gary