FARAKH Ajaib has been crowned the winner of the inaugural East Lancashire Snooker Championship after he rounded off Finals Weekend with a touch of class and a touch of luck.

The Oswaldtwistle potter has been the outstanding player in the tournament and sealed a 5-3 win over Jack Dady at a packed Hoddlesden Con Club - with two handy flukes in the decisive frame proving to be crucial.

In the best of nine frame final, Ajaib got off to a great start, comfortably winning the first frame and was cruising in the second frame until Dady, producing some fantastic tactical play, got the snooker he needed and cleared up to steal the frame.

It was roles reversed in frame three, Dady in charge but Ajaib stole it on the pink to regain the lead.

But going in to the break, it was all square as Accrington ace Dady won the fourth frame.

With pressure mounting, mistakes began to creep in to both players’ game but Ajaib opened up a 4-2 lead and move one frame from victory.

The three time overall Fosters Golden Cue champion appeared to be on course to wrap up victory in the next frame but missed a brown and Dady produced another great clearance to make it 4-3.

In the eighth frame, Dady was looking the strongest but his break broke down on 32 after missing a red.

Ajaib, who has knocked the most number of centuries in the tournament, then needed two flukes - first on a red then a black that went up and down the table and in to the corner pocket as he went on to make 51 to wrap up a 5-3 win and claim the £300 prize money.

Organisers Jonny Hannan and Jonny Clark both agreed the right man won - although he had to work hard for his victory.

“For me, there could not be a better champion,” said Hannan. “Farakh is the best player around here at the minute and is just a pleasure to watch. But, believe me, we have talent around this area and I’m sure Farakh will agree he had to earn the win.”

The Finals Weekend began with the Plate final on Friday night that paired the experienced Russell Large against young gun Sean Ince which proved to be the perfect appertiser for the action ahead.

Large raced to a two frame lead but Ince settled in to his first ever final to draw level and force a decider.

The fifth frame was nip and tuck all the way and went down to the final black and both players had chances before Large showed composure to win.

Saturday saw both main event semi finals take place.

Dady took on former professional Justin Astley from Darwen. Astley took the first and was on course for the second but with a lead of 29 and 35 on the table, he went in-off and Dady took his chance to clear up to draw level.

From that moment on, he didn’t look back as clearances of 63, 86 and 118 - the highest break of the tournament - sealed a 4-1 win.

The second semi final paired three-time Golden Cue winner Ajaib and 2017 winner Pete Mercer.

The pair shared the opening two frames before the third, which proved to be crucial, went the way of Ajaib who got a snooker and cleared the table to force a re-spotted black then produced the shot of the championship - a long straight black down the cushion - to win.

He then went on to win the next two frames, including a break of 92, to book his place in the final.

Hannan and Clark are now hoping to expand the competition next year to include a youth and senior event.

Hannan added: “This competition is very much here to stay and we are looking for a main sponsor to go with the brilliant people that are already sponsoring the event as next year we have the juniors and seniors events starting.”

The organisers thanked sponsors Accrington Bacon Company, Jim’s Removals, Ed Holgate, Bob Clark , Tony Carr and Jack Slater for their support.

n Roll of honour

Winner: Farakh Ajaib (£300); runner-up: Jack Dady (£150); beaten semi finalists: Pet Mercer, Justin Astley (£75); beaten quarter finalists: John Barnes, Simon Blackwell, Jonny Hannan, Shabaz Ditta (£25).

Highest break (pre-quarter finals): Farakh Ajaib 106; (post quarter finals) Jack Dady 118 - both £50.

Plate: winner: Russell Large (£60); runner-up: Sean Ince (£30).