It was the end of the road for former footballer Abdul Pele of Mombasa Sports Club who suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of individual entrant Rahim Haji in the final of the PVC Industries Invitation Snooker Championship on Sunday.
The 71-year-old Pele, who was tipped to upset Haji, found the going tough as Haji took one and a half hours to win the best-of-five final.
The first frame was the longest taking 42 minutes and despite Pele putting a great show, it was Haji who registered a narrow 56-55 win.
Haji, ranked 84th in the world, had an easy task winning the two other frames.
The winner took 29 minutes to win the second frame 63-22 and another 23 minutes to conjure up a 54-18 victory in the third frame.
Haji - who participated in the World Pool Championship in England in 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2017 - acknowledged the competitive nature of the tournament.
“I’m happy to have won this tournament which was the first this year and I will continue training for future tournaments,” said Haji.
Pele said he was happy to have reached the final but pointed out that he lost the last two frames due to lack of concentration.
“At my age, eyesight played a part against Haji’s high standard of play,” offered Pele.
He said losing to Haji was not a surprise because the 36-year-old Mombasa snooker star is the best at the Coast. “I tried my best and reaching this far is an achievement in itself,” said Pele in mitigation.
MSC snooker captain Alpesh Khimji thanked Africa PCV Industries for sponsoring the tournament and is optimistic that other firms will come on board.
“We are aiming to make sure snooker regain its lost past glory where many good players were from Coast,” he said.