Cooper defeats pro McLeod to secure place in World Seniors Masters final

Wayne Cooper has reached the World Seniors Masters final to be held at Alexandra Palace in May,
Wayne Cooper has reached the World Seniors Masters final to be held at Alexandra Palace in May,

Hanging Heaton Cricket Club snooker player Wayne Cooper booked a place at the World Seniors Masters snooker final at the Alexandra Palace, London, with a stunning display in his qualifying round last weekend.

Cooper has been on the World Seniors tour for two years but can now look forward to a weekend in London in May following his success at Frames Sports Bar in Coulsdon.

Cooper battled his way through 96 competitors, who started out, winning his opening three matches on Saturday to reach Sunday’s quarter-finals.

Cooper, who is from Bradford but plays for Hanging Heaton in the Spen Valley League on Thursdays, defeated Wayne Townend in 3-1 in the last eight and then cruised past fellow England player Stuart Watson in the semi-finals, winning the best of seven shoot out 4-0.

That set up a final against prolific Masters player and current professional Rory McLeod in the final.

McLeod had produced a number of big breaks on his way to the final, including a tournament high 125 during his last 32 match.

But Cooper, who himself had racked up a 147 break during practise at Hanging Heaton last Thursday and his 16th maximum overall, was undeterred and battled through to win.

Cooper lost the first frame but drew level at then took a 2-1 lead only to see McLeod tie the final at 2-2.

Cooper won the fifth frame but McLeod set up a decider when he made it 3-3.

Cooper then started the seventh frame with a decisive 60 break which helped him complete a 4-3 win and book a date at Alexandra Palace over the weekend on May 15 and 16.

Cooper could come up against some of the biggest names in snooker history during the Masters Finals with the likes of seven time World Champion Stephen Hendry, John Parrott, Jimmy White, Dennis Taylor, Steve Davis, Cliff Thorburn and Joe Johnston all set to compete.

Hanging Heaton trail Brighton Street WMC A team by a point in the Spen Valley League with the top two set to meet on February 27.