Seventeen-year-old Ash Carty retained the Worksop Scratch title in a memorable final last Thursday.
A packed Stanley Street witnessed two class players on show.
Carty, an up and coming star who 24 hours earlier was just one frame away from achieving his professional snooker card, took on Craig Frost – one of the best league players over the past two decades.
Frost, a five time winner of the Scratch Competition, has had an excellent season; leading his team to the Division One title, before reaching three finals and winning the Bassetlaw Pairs with ex pro Guy Dennis.
Even the best players get nervous and in the opening frame a foul from the break off by Frost would have only added to the pressure, however he produced an early 37 break to settle any nerves.
Carty battled back well with a few small breaks to keep within range however the green, brown and blue from Frost meant Carty needed one snooker with pink and black left.
Frost had two good chances to finish the frame off on the pink, including a routine pot into the middle which not only missed but saw the white travel into the bottom bag to give Carty a lifeline.
It was a chance Carty failed to take however, and it was third time lucky for Frost who potted to take the opening frame.
The second frame saw Frost get amongst the balls early with a break of 12, which should have been more, however a black missed off the spot by Frost saw Carty step in with a 22 break to level the scores with the colours remaining.
With the colours set well and the majority on their respective spots first chance fell to Frost, however the break ended after only the yellow, as a very easy green by Frost’s standards was missed.
A tactical battle of several shots by each player took place on the brown but it was Carty who came through to level the match, taking the aforementioned brown, blue and a fantastic long range pink to nick the frame.
The third frame was dominated by Carty; a 25 break put him in control with a 43 point lead with three reds remaining.
Frost had only six points on the scoreboard and the frame was quickly wrapped up when Carty produced a well constructed 41 clearance to rack up 90 points on the scoreboard, winning the frame by 76 points .
The fourth frame was nip and tuck. A 16 from Frost was soon cancelled out by a 21 from Carty.
With Carty narrowly in front with four reds left Frost racked up a 20 break to take the advantage into the colours, and forced the final into a somewhat unexpected deciding frame when potting a fantastic brown, accompanied by blue and pink.
And so to the final frame, a one frame shoot-out which could go either way, and as every top snooker player will tell you they just wish for one chance in any deciding frame.
First chance fell to Carty whose potting was exceptional to build up a break of 32 and take control.
Frost wasn’t without his chances but a black missed after only a break of six spelled trouble.
With six reds remaining it was Carty who punished Frost, making a small but timely break of 16 to move 35 in front with four reds left.
A fluked red from Frost gave him a glimmer of hope, but when only on a break of nine, once again a costly missed black was one Frost would rue as Carty ran away on the colours taking blue, pink and black to win the decider by 42 points.
A lot closer a final than most predicted including Frost himself, Carty made to work all the way by a gracious in defeat veteran, who must be pleased to take Carty all the way to five frames.
Carty then turned his attention to qualifiers for world tournaments – see the back page for more.