SNOOKER is on the up in East Lancashire according to the organiser of the area's premier competition.

With entries now being taken for the Foster's Golden Cue, Neil McGovern, who is also heavily involved in the Burnley Snooker League, believes the sport is enjoying something of a resurgence.

The Golden Cue has traditionally been for players in the Burnley area but in recent year's it has been opened up to players from across East Lancashire.

On the back of the success of the long-running event, the inaugural East Lancashire Snooker Championship - run by Jonny Hannan and Jonny Clark - as recently been held which was also widely acclaimed by all involved.

"Snooker is definitely on the up in East Lancashire," said McGovern. "We have been getting maximum entries for the Golden Cue and the East Lancashire Snooker Championships the two Jons ran was very successful."

McGovern is based out of Ighten Leigh Social Club in Burnley where the game is thriving.

"We have seven snooker teams at Ighten Leigh now with some of the best players in the area are basing themselves there," he said. "We won the Burnley League and Nelson League this year and are currently top in both again with our teams."

A number of players are already putting East Lancashire on the map with Farakh Ajaib and Simon Blackwell both competing on the Challenger Tour while 18-year-old Matthew Ullah has represented England in the Home Championships.

Entries are now being taken for the Golden Cue with a maximum of 64 players available for both the small and large table competitions. McGovern says it is difficult to predict who will be the overall champion next year when the winner of both small and large table events go head-to-head.

"It's anybodies guess, really," said McGovern who says their will be a £1,500 worth of prize money up for grabs next year. "Pete Mercer is the current overall champion but Farakh, who has won it a few times and won the East Lancashire title, can never be ruled out. But Simon, the two Jons (Hannan and Clark) and the likes of Steve Croft are all up there with a good chance."

The Burnley Snooker League is up and running and McGovern says a new competition has been set up in memory of former players and officials.

"We have two strong divsions with around 250 players involved," he said. "We have a fantastic website where players can track there stats, right down to frame scores and breaks which always causes an interest.

"And new for this season is a plate competition which will have a different name each year to honour past league players and officials. This year it is the Brian Ward Memorial Plate to honour someone who did so much for the league."

For more information on the Burnley and District League or the Golden Cue, contact Neil McGovern on 07920 147147.