Aaron Busuttil became the Malta snooker champion for the first time in his career after defeating reigning champion Brian Cini.
It was a nail-biting victory for Busuttil against Cini who had landed this honour four times, and was the defending champions for the past two years.
This Premier class final unfolded in an interesting and a very contested match. It took the maximum of 11 frames and only the last two balls on the table decided the encounter that could have gone in the favour of any of the two finalists.
Cini could not have a better start where he won the first four frames in a quite convincing way while during the second frame he made two breaks of 51 and 77 points respectively.
After the interval from the first part of this final, Aaron Busuttil came out more aggressive and reduced the gap after winning three consecutive frames where in the seventh frame he closed with a break of 67 points.
Cini opened up a two frame advantage again after the eighth and thus was only one frame away from the title with Busuttil inevitably needed to win the two successive frames to force the deciding frame.
In fact, this happened when Busuttil gave Cini a few chances and won these frames with a score of 77-1 and 71-0 respectively.
Thus everything had to be decided in the eleventh and last frame. Now the excitement and pressure was evident both in the two finalists and the numerous spectators.
Busuttil built a lead of 38 points (45-7) but missed a red that seemed to be easy and immediately Cini recovered the gap and took the upper hand but after failed to pot the pink and close the game.
That miss gave another chance to his opponent and after a number of defensive shots Busuttil managed to pot the pink and with the seven points on the last black ball he finished triumphant to emerge as the new champion with a final score of 6-5.
With this victory Aaron Busuttil became the 15th snooker player who has now engraved his name among the winners of this sport’s highest honour in Malta.
The first championship goes back to the 1947-48 season and was won by Lewis Pio Galea. Pawlu Mifsud remains the player who has won the most championships – 19 times. After him both, Alfred Borg and Alex Borg, won this final 13 times each.
After the final Marlon Brincat, director of C.E. Installations, sponsors of this championship, presented the trophy to Busuttil.
This Premier Class final closed a week full of finals held in every category.
In the Masters category Duncan Bezzina won against Alex Borg 5-1 while with the same scoreline Clinton Falzon defeated David Zammit in the First Division final.
Andre’ Pace beat Peter Pace 4-2 in the final of the Second Division and last but not least Clayton Attard won the Third Division Final against Rodney Farrugia 4-1.
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