By Graham Stevens
Martin Hicks 3 – Jan Pawlazyck 1
The Jack Dyche Final got off to a bit of a nervy start with both players having chances but neither taking full advantage. Martin forged a 20 point lead before Jan played a nice snooker behind the yellow. Martin attempted a two cushion escape but was unable to find the angle needed and conceded 20 points from this position. Following this it was nip and tuck down to the colours until Martin potted a great long brown and in doing so cannoned the blue over the pocket to secure the first frame.
Martin then relaxed a bit in the second frame and potted well with a 16 and 18 break which put him in a strong position and he took the frame comfortably.
In the third frame Jan settled down and made more of his chances and took a nice 20 point lead. Martin then made a lovely 25 break which could have been more. On the colours Jan had his nose in front until Martin took on a long green and potted it cleanly, he followed this with the brown and a good solid long blue. The pink was tight next to the black near the corner pocket and it was debatable whether it would pot or not. With little other option Martin tried to squeeze the pink in but missed it. The pink went near the opposite corner pocket leaving a chance for Jan. Jan played the pink nicely with the rest and got good position on the black which he potted well under pressure to keep himself in the match.
In the fourth frame the reds scattered and the black went safe on the side cushion. Following a safety exchange around the black spot Martin potted a couple of great long balls to gain a nice lead. With two reds left Jan fought back but required a couple of snookers on the colours. He got one and put Martin under pressure before Martin was able to pot the pink and retain the title.
Martin is the fifth player to have retained the title in the 24 year history of The Jack Dyche Trophy, he may now have his sights set on Terry Bosworth’s record of four consecutive wins.