The 26-year-old, who had been kept off the green baize for three months after being struck down with pleurisy said after her victory “I’m just happy I’ve won,” declared Evans. “For three months, I didn’t even look at my cue – let alone pick it up. I was in too much pain.
“Touch wood, I’m over it now and, hopefully, there’s better things to come.”
It was first blood to 30-year-old Catalano as she took a tense opening frame on the blue. But the Dudley pair went into the mid-session interval all square at 2-2.
After the break, Evans put together a run of 50 and then won an epic safety battle to lead 4-2.
Still determined to fulfill her dream of a first world title, Catalano pulled one back with a 48 clearance to win on the black.
WLBSA World Champion - Reanne Evans
However, one scrappy frame later, Evans was crowned world champion.
“I struggled in the final,” admitted Evans, after claiming her 31st ranking title on the World Ladies Billiards & Snooker Association circuit. “But I gritted my teeth and stuck in there.
“(Maria) probably played the best overall. She played well all week. She’s had a great season but it just wasn’t meant to be.
“I tried to hang on as long as I could and thought, hopefully, things would turn my way – and they did.
“People know that I can play and I’ve been number one and I’ve won it for the last seven years, so you’ve always got the expectation. I know I can win, even with my B game, which I proved this year. But it’s still hard to live up to the task.”
Catalano, who had ended Evans’ record 90-match winning streak back in September and beaten her again in the Connie Gough Memorial, said: “I’m a bit gutted because I don’t feel there was much in it.
“Deep down, I feel I was probably the better player. It was just down to a few crucial balls. I didn’t play fantastic in the final but I felt good.
“I know I’m more than capable of winning the tournament. I’ll be back next year. I’ll keep trying. I’ll be here until the day I die. I’ll never give up.”
Despite the agony of a third world championship final defeat, Catalano ended the season as world number one.
And she pocketed the £100 high-break prize for a 116 clearance in the opening frame of her 4-2 semi-final victory over Tatjana Vasiljeva ( Latvia ).
Frame scores (Evans first): 39-73, 75-42, 70-54, 25-70, 66(50)-8, 63-33, 54(47)-57(48), 60-38.
LAST-16 (£40): Maria Catalano (Dudley, West Mids) (64) beat Vicky Carter (Sandy, Beds) 3-0, Eva Palmius (Isleham, Cambs) beat Suzie Opacic (Brambridge, Hants) 3-2, Tatjana Vasiljeva (Latvia) (47) beat Jaique Ip Wan In (Hong Kong) (36) 3-1, Yu Ching Ching (Hong Kong) (33) beat Ng On Yee (Hong Kong) (37) 3-1, Reanne Evans (Dudley, West Mids) (39, 51, 47) beat Chitra Magimairaj (India) 3-0, So Man Yan (Hong Kong) beat Natascha Niermann (Cambridge) 3-1, Katie Henrick (Bickley, Kent) (32, 35) beat Jenny Poulter (Maidstone) 3-0, Emma Bonney (Portsmouth) (38, 62, 84) beat Chris Sharpe (Chelmsford) 3-1.
QUARTER-FINALS (£80): Catalano beat Palmius 3-1, Vasiljeva (59) beat Yu 3-2, Evans (47) beat So 3-0, Henrick beat Bonney 3-1.
SEMI-FINALS (£120): Catalano (116, 74) beat Vasiljeva 4-2, Evans (57, 57, 34, 30) beat Henrick 4-0.
FINAL (£450/£225): Evans (50, 47) beat Catalano (48) 5-3.
REVANNA Umadevi has claimed her first World Ladies Billiards & Snooker Association title.
The star from India dispatched world number 13 Eva Palmius 2-0 in the Seniors final.
QUARTER-FINALS: Eva Palmius (Isleham, Cambs) beat Maureen Rowland (Wallsend, Tyne & Wear) 2-0, Revanna Umadevi ( India ) beat Jan Hughes (St Neots, Cambs) 2-1, Jenny Poulter (Maidstone) beat Chris Sharpe ( Chelmsford ) 2-1.
SEMI-FINALS: Palmius beat Martina Lumsden ( Eastbourne ) 2-1, Umadevi beat Poulter 2-1.
FINAL (£80/£40): Umadevi beat Palmius 2-0.
TATJANA Vasiljeva hailed world number 26 Joe Perry as the “best partner ever” after the duo completed a hat-trick of Mixed Pairs titles in the opening event of the women’s world championships.
The Latvia/Chatteris double act defeated Emma Bonney and Nigel Ward 3-0 in the final.
Vasiljeva said: “(Joe) played a great game.”
QUARTER-FINALS: Natascha Niermann & Will Scott beat Mandy Fisher & Phil Mumford 3-2, Tatjana Vasiljeva & Joe Perry beat Fran Calvert & Aidan Owens 3-1, Vicky Carter & Rob Shirley beat Jasmine Bolsover & Gavin Bolsover 3-1, Emma Bonney & Nigel Ward beat Jan Hughes & David Pyke 3-0.
SEMI-FINALS: Vasiljeva & Perry beat Niermann & Scott 3-0, Bonney & Ward beat Carter & Shirley 3-1.
FINAL: Vasiljeva & Perry beat Bonney & Ward 3-0.
SOMERSET’S Tina Owen-Sevilton, the victim of a tough decision in the group stages, bounced back to defeat Seniors champion Revanna Umadevi (India) 3-0 in the Plate final.
Owen-Sevilton, Natascha Niermann and Chitra Magimairaj had ended their round-robin group matches with identical records. And they had all beaten each other.
However, organisers decided that Niermann, who lost 2-1 to Owen-Sevilton, should qualify having beaten Magimairaj 3-0. And Magimairaj went through having edged Owen-Sevilton 2-1.
QUARTER-FINALS: Tina Owen-Sevilton (Somerset) beat Martina Lumsden (Eastbourne) 2-0, Jan Hughes (St Neots, Cambs) beat Maureen Rowland (Wallsend, Tyne & Wear) 2-0, Revanna Umadevi (India) beat Marianne Williams (Smallfield, Surrey) 2-0.
SEMI-FINALS: Owen-Sevilton w/o Naomi Clare (Ripley, Derbys ), Umadevi beat Hughes 2-0.
FINAL (£80/£40): Owen-Sevilton beat Umadevi 3-0.