GERARD Greene will play Barry Hawkins in the final of the Wyldecrest Parks Players Championship on Saturday night after they each upset the formbook in the semis at Preston Guild Hall.
A Marco Fu-Judd Trump final had been widely predicted but Greene beat Fu 4-2 and Hawkins defeated Trump 4-1.
Fu failed to reproduce anything close to the form he had shown in beating John Higgins 4-1 in the quarter-finals on Friday night as Greene, with a highest break of just 46, advanced to the first full ranking tournament final of his career.
“It feels fantastic,” said Greene, the world no.66. “It wasn’t a great game and I dragged him down to my level but it’s good enough for me. As long as I keep winning I don’t care. I missed a couple of balls as usual but in the end I got the win.”
Fu snookered Greene in the second frame and made 64 from is chance but this failed to herald an improvement in play from the Hong Kong cueman, who made a series of mistakes as the match became scrappy.
Greene made 46 in winning the fourth to lead 3-1 before a moment of class from Fu as his 121 clearance reduced the deficit to just 3-2. But Greene won the long safety battle in the sixth and ran 46 for victory, although Fu did get one of the two snookers he needed.
Trump looked confident at the start against Hawkins, making 62 and later doing enough to kill off the opening frame.
However, Trump started to make mistakes and Hawkins grew in confidence. The former Australian Open champion made breaks of 50, 75 and then a magnificent 131 to lead 3-1 and, with Trump again missing in the fifth, took advantage to get over the line.
Tonight’s final is worth £100,000 to the winner and £38,000 to the runner-up.
Photographs by Monique Limbos.