A LOCAL snooker player from Connah’s Quay has won a Welsh ranking event after a two-year break from the sport.

Gareth Edwards, 39, only started playing again in mid-December, but has returned to win the finals of the Men’s Event 4 in Merthyr Tydfil last week.

The Flintshire player beat Matthew Roberts (3-2) and Gavin Lewis (3-1) on his way to seeing off Anthony Krysa (3-0) in the final to claim the winner’s trophy.

Speaking to The Leader about his journey, Gareth says: “I decided to give it another go.

“I was quite a big guy, with a muscular build. So, I thought that it would be good for my health to quit the heavy lifting and concentrate on losing a bit of weight with snooker keeping my mind off wanting to go to the gym.

“Winning that tournament puts me into the top ten of the rankings, having played only one of the four events so far. If I’d have played the others, I would have been in second or third place.

“There’s one more Men’s event to go, and I’d like to make the Welsh team.”

Gareth Edwards qualified for the finals with strong showings against Ross Jones and Elgan Hughes at the regional qualifiers in Ewloe in mid-January, before claiming this ranking victory on Sunday February 3, 2019.

But it wasn’t a simple route to the trophy for the 39-year-old who had to overcome a rather important problem.

“In the first match, my tip fell off when I was two frames up. So, I had a set amount of time to get the tip back on before he (Matthew Roberts) pulled it back to 2-2.

“Then I came from behind to win the deciding frame and go through to the semi-finals.

“[Laughing] I don’t know how I got through having my tip come off, I’m terrible like that! But I stuck it back on, and just carried on using the same cue and tip for the rest of the tournament because I didn’t have another one.

“I played well at the end, getting some good breaks against a really good opponent.”