Defending national billiard champion K.H. Sirisoma of SLPA clinched his 20th national billiard title with a comfortable victory over MSC’s Abdul Sattar in the final of the 58th National Billiard Championship played at the Billiards and Association headquarters in Reid Avenue.
K.H. Sirisoma of SLPA who won his 20th national billiard title in action yesterday. Picture by Ranjith Perera
The final played over four hours in two sessions of two hours saw Sirisoma take a commanding lead with scores of 361 as against to 248 by his opponent Sattar.
In this session Sirisoma recorded two breaks of over 50 to the one by Sattar which incidentally was the highest of 73. But the experienced Sirisoma was too much for his opponent to handle.
The second session which began at 4.00 p.m. saw the champion increasing his lead further and never giving his opponent a chance even to breathe. In fact the champion did not put in much effort and did not play the way he performed in the semi final encounter against S.H.M. Aslam.
Sirisoma added another break of over 50 in between which proved too much for Sattar before finally taking the game with a lead of over 200 points and securing 848 points to Sattar’s 604.
Sirisoma surpassed the most number of national billiards title of 17 held by former world billiard champion and maestro the late M.J.M. Lafir two years ago in 2008.
Sirisoma speaking to The Sunday Times after his victory said that it’s sad that the game is not getting the necessary support. Continuing he said, “This is the sport which produced the first Sri Lanka world champion and it’s pathetic to see the game dying a natural death.
“I feel sorry to see that no billiard players are coming up and I have no challengers. I intend to retire in the near future and help and train youngsters who are willing to learn the game.”
The billiard national championship which began a month ago was contested by 32 cueists which comprised of rated players and the top eight cueists who qualified in the All Island Lanka Plate tournament which was held in May.