Barry Hawkins edges to World Grand Prix success in Preston

Barry Hawkins edges to World Grand Prix success in Preston

The 37-year old defeated Ryan Day 10-7 after surviving a late scare on his way to victory.

Chris Lincoln

2017 is proving to be the year of the Hawk as Barry Hawkins showed his ability oncemore to earn his first ranking title of the year.

The World number 13 had been accused of not holding the nerve to be a true snooker great after experiencing a number of near misses this season and almost fell foul of the same problem in Preston. 

However Hawkins was able to nudge his way over the line on this occasion as he defeated Ryan Day 10-7 to win his fourth ranking tournament and the first for three years.

Hawkins storms ahead in the afternoon session

World number 23, Day, came into the World Grand Prix in excellent touch himself as he disposed of Marco Fu in the semi-finals and took a step closer to earning his first ranking crown. Yet Hawkins is the form player on the circuit at present and took an early lead after recovering from an first frame defeat.

Day manufactured a break of 55, before Hawkins struck back with exemplary compilations of 53, 114 and 102 with the Welshman scoring just 17 points in that trio of frames.

Day managed to grind out two of the next three frames, including another half century of 54. Yet that movement was sandwiched between a 129 and 141 by Hawkins, before the favourite compiled a 97 to end the afternoon session 6-3 ahead.

Day barely saw the table against an inspired Hawkins (photo: Getty Images)
Day barely saw the table against an inspired Hawkins (photo: Getty Images)

Day offers a mammoth comeback but just falls short

Hawkins picked up where he left off after the interval with another hat-trick of frames. Day failed to pot a ball in the first two of the session as he watched Hawkins make a fifth century of 128 and then 85 as he opened the advantage to five.

Hawkins could not quite deliver the same quality in frame twelve but edged over the line as Day only scored four and found himself without a frame win in the last five.

The Welshman did strike back with a break of 87 and even with Hawkins' comfortable 9-4 lead, the nerves may just have been tingling considering his latest record.

Day's resurgence certainly would not have helped Hawkins' fears as he controlled the table with breaks of 84, 93 and 75 to win another three frames. Hawkins managed to pot just one ball in that period and would have been left uncomfortable on the edge of his seat.

However Day's resurgence eventually crumbled when 56-33 ahead in frame 17. The outsider manouvered out of a snooker at the second attempt but left the table open and a pot on for Hawkins. The World number 13 finally took advantage and edged his way to a deserved World Gran Prix title.