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Ricky Walden wins with ease in Thai snooker final

Englishman Ricky Walden scrapes through semifinal after James Wattana fails to clear up in deciding frame.

  • By Yasin Merchant, Special to Gulf News
  • Published: 00:08 July 14, 2008
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Ricky Walden with the trophy after overcoming fellow Englishman Stuart Bingham by eight frames to three in the final of the Bangkok tournament.

Bangkok: See him off the table and the first thing that hits you is his scruffy disposition.

Looming tall over most players at 6ft 4ins, his unkempt look, with that slight slouch does not really present a pretty picture.

But put a cue in Ricky Walden's hand and the transformation leaves you speechless.

The stoop in his walk now looks like a tiger's hunting technique, the eyes on the ball remind you of an eagle stalking its prey and then when the cue starts talking, one can actually imagine an artist pouring his heart out on a canvas oblivious to the waiting world.

Runway train

Stuart Bingham, of England, had no idea what hit him in the finals of the 6-Red Sangsom Pro-Am in Bangkok.

It was as if he was right in the middle of a runaway train called Ricky Walden and did not know whether to go forward or backward.

He just stood there transfixed, admiring the speed and grace of this bolt of lightning, which contrary to nature, kept hitting the same target over and over.

Walden allowed a few frames to slip by, winning 8-3, and eventually lifting the trophy which had his name written on it right from the moment the final began.

The manner in which he staved off the challenge of James Wattana in the semi-final gave him the edge over Stuart Bingham.

As soon as the match began, he was off and before Stuart could even get comfortable in his chair, he was down a couple of frames. A rare mistake by Walden gave him his first frame. But then again Walden was in charge.

Another mistake, another frame slipped by. At 5-3, Ricky had enough and with a burst of unrestrained vigour, he just let loose, picking up three frames in quick succession, to crown himself champion of this inaugural 6-Red event.

With effort comes rewards and Ricky Walden gets to go home richer by close to $15,000. Not bad for potting just six reds.

For James Wattana two deciders in a day was more than what he could handle.

Semifinal

His match against Nigel Bond in the quarter-finals had probably drained him out and the strain showed in his semi final encounter with Walden.

At one stage of the match he led 4-2 in the best of 13 and the obituary was already being penned for Walden but this young man from England was in no mood to please the Thai supporters.

He levelled at 4-4 and even went ahead by the solitary frame.

Wattana levelled and he went ahead. The match was swinging like a yo-yo. Another frame to Walden. Six each. Going into the decider, Wattana opened with a stroke of luck and Walden's reply was weak.

Left amongst the balls, it was a mere formality for the Thai to book his place in the final.

But the effort proved too great for Wattana and he found himself in trouble pretty soon.

Walden, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, leapt from his chair and fired them all in.

Results

Result (Final) Ricky Walden (ENG) bt. Stuart Bingham (ENG) 8-3

Result (second semifinal) Ricky Walden (ENG) bt. James Wattana (Tha) 7-6.

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