And Now For Drury Lane

Patsy Fagan, the UK Professional Champion, will be out to prove his victory in Blackpool was no fluke when he makes his debut in the Benson & Hedges Masters title at the new London Theatre, Drury Lane from February 6th - 10th.

But he faces a tough task with his first round meeting with John Pulman. Victory for Fagan would put him into the quarter final against world champion John Spencer, the 1975 Masters champion.

However welshman Doug Mountjoy, the holder, proved last year that it can be done on the first attempt.

Mountjoy meets world finalist Cliff Thorburn in the quarter final and another no-holds-barred confrontation will be the Alex Higgins Dennis Taylor match, with Taylor anxious to get a tilt at Hurricane's Irish title.

The Draw is: John Pulman v Patsy Fagan (winner to play John Spencer); Doug Mountjoy v Cliff Thorburn; Alex Higgins v Dennis Taylor; Fred Davis v Graham Miles (winner to meet Ray Reardon).

A special Pro/Celebrity challenge match has been arranged to precede the final. Comedian Eric Sykes teams up with world champion John Spencer to play BBC's golf commentator Peter Allis and Ray Reardon.


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Q World Article - Fagans Houdini Act - Jan 78

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Promotor Mike Wattersons congratulates Patsy Fagan on his well-
deserved success

Patsy Fagan the London based irishman, is the new Super Crystalate UK snooker champion, and deservedly so.

In beating Welshman Doug Mountjoy 12-9 in the final he capped one of the greatest fightbacks ever when he came back from the dead in his semi-final against Manchester's John Virgo.

His houdini act came when he trailed the manchester player 8-6 and faced an 86 to love deficit in the next frame. Displaying all the fighting qualities of a champion he proved that guts and a will to win can overcome any odds.

With Higgins the only other seed to reach the semi-finals, it amply demonstrated the uncertainty of best of nine-frame sudden death matches. Both world champion John Spencer and five time champion Ray Reardon were bundled out of the championship at their first appearence.

One notable absentee was former champion John Pulman, who, suffered a badly cut eye on the eve of the tournament and had to pull out.

The championships were not without incident as first Willie Thorne was threatened with disqualification for alledgedly bending the rules in his first match with Rex Williams.

And in a repeat of last year's World Championships in Sheffield, Alex Higgins was once again at the recieving end of a veciferous attack from a spectator (who incidently turned out to be a bookmaker), when in mid-stroke.

Ironically his opponent was again Doug Mountjoy, who the irate spectator was obscuring his view.

This particular nasty incident coming when Higgins appeared well set for a frame winning break, snapped his concentration and he missed to let Mountjoy in for a table clearing 61 and a 7 - 2 advantage.

Even the volotile John Virgo showed his disgust at a spectator who seemed to take an age to unravel a toffee by conceeding a frame to Fagan when 42 behind and still 67 left on the table.

However the championship provided an exciting spectacle and as far as snooker goes was a great success. Super Crystalate, making their first sponsorship to a major even, got a lot of mileage out of the publicity, and once again world championship Mike Watterson produced flawless organisation.

The disapointment of crowd support should not deter this event from becoming a hardy perennial for it has the makings of a tournament second only to the world championships.

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