CUE KING: Cape Town star Mutalieb Allie was crowned the Spar South African Snooker Champion for the first time in Port Elizabeth.
Cape Town - Former professional star Mutalieb Allie overcame all opposition in the Spar South African Snooker Championship in Port Elizabeth at the weekend, winning the tournament which has eluded him throughout his career.

The 44-year-old, from Lansdowne, defeated his Goodwood club-mate Tariq Samsodien 7-3 in Saturday’s final at the Hellenic Hall to claim the national title for the first time.

The Cape Town star expressed relief after his victory, previously reaching four finals at this event without success.

“Yes, it is very nice to be the champion at last, but I must say, after I had won I didn’t feel any different,” said Allie, who played professionally in the UK for two years in the mid-90s.

“There is always tension in a situation like this, especially as each year I had been knocking on the door. People were always telling me, ‘you will get a chance next year’.

“When you are in that situation (playing against a friend), you don’t mind so much what the outcome is. I’m sure he was happy for me because he has won the title twice before.”

Remaining calm and attempting to produce his best form was crucial, said Allie, who has represented South Africa on a number of occasions.

“Your main focus is just to make sure you pot the balls and have one or two decent breaks to make it easy to win the frame.

“When I went 3-0 up in the final I started to feel more comfortable, but I still had that hurdle to get over so the nerves were always there.”

Allie was confident at the beginning of the tournament, but with previous failures at the event looming over him, breaking his national championship duck was definitely not at the forefront of his mind.

“You are always aiming to win, because that is why we compete.

“But with those expectations can come disappointment, so it is a matter of taking it game by game and day by day.”

He said adapting to the conditions was testing as the tables had been reclothed. “This is always a challenge in South Africa because tables differ from club to club, venue to venue and city to city.

Cape Argus