Mohammed Shehab and Mohammed Al Joakar produced a sterling show on Wednesday afternoon (18 January 2012) to demolish Iraq 3-0 in the team competition of the Second West Asian Championships snooker team event to assure themselves of a quarter-final slot.
A contributing factor could have been the demoralizing 3-1 loss the Iraqis had suffered at the hands of the high-flying Iranians in their first Group A clash in the morning session at the Concorde Fujairah hotel.
In UAE Team A's first match, Shehab, who took the silver medal in the snooker singles competition on Tuesday night after going down 5-3 to Hossein Vafaei of Iran, was in superb form when he produced a break of 53 in the first frame to defeat the 2011 Arab Games champion, Firas Kamil.
Al Joakar, playing his usual attacking game, then proved too good for Ali Abdul Mohsen in the second game to give UAE Team A a formidable 2-0 lead.
Shehab and Al Joakar, who have a long and successful tradition of teaming up well for doubles competitions, had little trouble in grabbing the third frame as well to march into the quarter-finals.
Shehab said after the victory:
"I am perfectly happy with my performance in the tournament. Mohammed [Al Joakar] has also been doing well. I won some good matches in the singles competition, it is just that luck didn't favor me in the final.”
"The team event is an interesting challenge for us. We have the experience but others are improving as well and pressure keeps mounting on us to deliver.”
"Naturally, the team event is of greater significance as we are representing the country and so the pressure is more as well. The way we played today, I can say that we stand a good chance of earning a crack at the title."
The UAE Team A were to play their last first round match against Iran late on Wednesday night when the upshot would decide the winners and runners-up of the Group A.
There was disappointment for the UAE Team B as the inexperienced duo of Ahmed Abdul Qader and Abdullah Al Attar suffered a shock 3-1 loss to Oman in their opening Group B match.
Abdul Qader and Al Attar were to play their second last Group B match against fancied Syrian pair of Omar Alkojah and Karam Fatima last night. Syria had beaten Oman 3-0 in their first outing on Wednesday morning.
In a big upset, the Habib Subah-led Bahrain team was edged 3-2 by Saudi Arabia.
Qatar topped the Group C standings after defeating both Palestine and Jordan by the identical margin of 3-1 on Wednesday.
Thursday is the rest day at the tournament and the remaining first round snooker team match will be played at 3 pm on Friday with the quarterfinals following at 7 pm at the same venue.
This press release has been written by Hanif Hassan, UAEBSA International.
Star Shehab Goes Down Fighting in Snooker Championship at Fujairah, FIF, 17 January 2012.
UAE Assured of Place in Snooker Finals at Fujairah, FIF, 16 January 2012.
Snooker Progress at Fujairah and the Knockout Stage Draw, FIF, 15 January 2012.
Al Joakar Leads at Second West Asian Snooker Champs at Fujairah Concorde Hotel, FIF, 14 January 2012.
Schedule and Times for West Asian Billiards and Snooker Champs, Fujairah, FIF, 14 January 2012.
Concorde Fujairah Hotel on Cue for International Billiards & Snooker Champs, FIF, 12 January 2012.
13 Countries to Compete in Billiards and Snooker at Fujairah Concorde Hotel, FIF, 10 January 2012.
More Fujairah news, resources, info and photos is posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Images: Mohammed Al Joakar lines up a pot in his second frame tussle with Ali Abdul Mohsen of Iraq on Wednesday afternoon.