Shropshire Star

Manning and Ward double up for a cup success

St John’s duo Simon Manning and Ash Ward have pocketed some end-of-season silverware in the Bridgnorth & District Snooker League.


They have claimed the Graham Cooper Cup after overcoming Chelmarsh’s Dave Siddons and Simon Thomas in the final.

Ward was up first up against Siddons in what proved to be a keenly-contested frame.

As the closing reds started to disappear, it looked as if Siddons was heading for victory after landing a series of snookers – some played for and some fortunate. Ward foul-stroked on a number of occasions, and with only the six colours remaining he trailed by 11 points.

However, he rallied and cleared yellow through to pink to turn that deficit into a 64-55 win and give St John’s a 1-0 lead.

The second frame involved two of the league’s heavyweights, Manning and Thomas – a Graham Cooper Cup winner on seven previous occasions including five times with Siddons.

As is often the case when two top players meet, the first one to show is the one to win. And this was the case as Manning took an early 29-point lead.

He then notched a commendable 48 break, and the frame was over. Thomas stepped to the table trailing 77-0, knocked in a 29 break and then offered Manning a congratulating hand.

The evening was concluded with photographs being taken of the finalists with Leon Cooper, the father of the late Graham.

Leon and his wife put up the trophy following the tragic death of their son in a motorcar accident 21 years ago. Graham played for Chelmarsh B.