It was a battle of wits, skills and experience at the maiden edition of the Echo Springs Snooker Competition organized by the management of Echo Springs Hotel in Bucknor, Jakande Estate, Lagos. The snooker competition pulled the best from all the corners of Bucknor and as far as Okota.
The maiden edition saw eight participants battle for the star prize of the competition which was an undisclosed amount. To start the event, the eight participants were asked to choose from a bowl of tallies by the umpire of the event, Mr CJ a seasoned snooker player. The participants who had entered the competition were a mixture of old and young. These participants were Fela, Ola,Ken, Kelvin, Mayowa, Saha, Maxi and Ifeanyi.
The game kicked off at 5pm with super player Fela pitched against an upcoming snooker player Ola to slug it out. At the end of the game, It was Ola who won the game. Ola’s win gave Kelvin the motivation that there was hope for the younger generation in the competition. The highly motivated Kelvin came into the game with so much energy hence dislodging his opponent Ken to proceed to Semi-final.
In the third game of the evening, with two youngsters already in the semi-final, another youngster who had come in the company of Kelvin was set to face a popular player known as Saha. Just like the popular football star called Saha, Phillips Adeniyi was set to prove that he was the Saha of Snooker.
The moment he picked up his Cue stick, the spirit of snooker manifested in him. He had a game plan which worked for him when he battled Mayowa his younger opponent and gave him no chance. He was indeed a professional who knew what snooker was all about. The last game of the knockout stage was between the confident Maxi and Ifeanyi but it was Ifeanyi who won.
It was a surprising fixture when the two youngsters Ola and Kelvin were pitched against each other in the first semi-final game. Kelvin who had become the favorite player because of his unique technique however lost the game to Ola when he made a wrong move and set himself ablaze for Ola to take the last shot. The second semi-final game was between Ifeanyi and Saha but despite Ifeanyi’s effort it was Saha who emerged victorious.
The umpire had to change the rules of the competition from three games which were the initial plans of the competition to a one-off game because the finalists said they preferred just a game. The finals was going to be a battle of the young versus the old fighting for supremacy. Saha knew that skills alone would not throw the vibrant Ola off balance as the game commenced. He played with experience by coming up with a tactical game plan which Ola could not understand. It was this game plan that gave him the victory.
In a chat with Saha, he said he started playing the game in 1994 with table tennis balls on a table with a wooden stick that he carved himself before graduating to golf balls. He said he has been in smaller competitions but needs more exposure. It was at this point that the CEO of the hotel Mr. Ohi Ovbhude promised that this was not the last they would see of the competition as the next edition of the competition will be bigger and competitive. He said the next edition which would come up in the next quarter of the year will showcase professionals as well as scouts from different parts of the state. He however thanked everyone that had come to watch the competition and encouraged them to continue patronizing his hotel because there was something in the pipeline that would benefit everyone.
Saha and Ola were later handed their prizes as the celebration continued.