McCabe from Sweden wins Nordic Snooker Championship 2016

The second annual Nordic Snooker Championships was played on the twelve tables of Copenhagen Pool & Snooker House from the 16th to the 19th of March. 40 of the best Nordic players were gathered to compete in round robin. All nationalities were represented with one player in each of the eight groups. Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Finland all attended with eight players.

The first day of the tournament kicked off with a surprise when bottom seeded player Antti Tolvanen beat defending champion Rune Kampe in the first match in group A. Tolvanen played well throughout all of the group matches and ended as the highest seeded player going into the last 16. There were many tight and hard fought battles the first day, as every frame counted towards the seeding for the last 16. No players could feel secure as the playing field was very level. After day one, the Finnish team looked very sharp, with several players winning all their matches and topping their groups.

Defending champion Rune Kampe started day two with breaks of 98 and 113 in his two first frames. Kampe went on to secure the second place from group A to qualify for the last 16. The Danes came back strong on day two, and so did the young Swedish team. When day two concluded, 16 players were ready for the K.O. stage. Finland was represented best with five players, Denmark four, Sweden and Norway both had three. Iceland had a difficult day two, and only Sigurdur Kristjansson made it through. Iceland, who did well last year in Oslo, will be looking for retribution when the tournament moves to Reykjavik, Iceland in 2017.

On day three the four semifinalists were found. Most impressive were the young Swedes, Simon Lindblom and Benjamin McCabe. McCabe beat Antti Tolvanen to secure his semi final spot and Lindblom beat eight time Norwegian champion Christopher Watts. Jyri Virtanen was also having a good third day. The Finnish Master and 2006 European Masters champion was on fire beating Great Dane Allan Norvark 4-1. He went on to beat young Finnish sensation Olli-Pekka Virho in the quarter final. Finnish players Juha Lehto and Timo Salovaara grinded out a six hour best of seven. Lehto won 4-3 but went on to lose 4-2 in the quarter final against Rune Kampe.

On the final day the venue stirred with excitement as the young attacking Swedes squared off. Meanwhile Masters Kampe and Virtanen kept their cool in the tactical battle on table 1.

McCabe finished strong and secured the win 4-3 over Lindblom. The twelve time Danish Champion Rune Kampe showed great strength to beat early favourite Virtanen 4-2. Therefore the finalists were the same as in last year’s semi final in Oslo that Kampe won and went on to become champion. In spite of that McCabe started the final clearly better and quickly built a lead of 2-0. It looked as though Kampe would take the third frame after being 57 points ahead with four reds left, but McCabe made an incredible break of 45 with the help of an early fluke, and after a short battle on pink, McCabe stole the frame. Kampe never really recovered from that blow, and even though he won the next frame to take the match to 3 – 1, McCabe was too far ahead and won the fifth frame to beat Kampe 4 – 1 and take home the trophy to Sweden.