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Former footballer scores on debut

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  • Former footballer scores on debut

    HE IS cueing up for success on the snooker table after being told by his grandad that he’d never make a professional footballer.

    Carshalton teenager Ronnie Blake made a winning debut on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour.

    The 19-year-old defeated James Budd (Stoke SC, Gosport), his rival from another circuit, 3-1 in the final of the sixth leg at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club.

    Budd, also 19, had beaten Blake 2-1 in the round-robin group stages and is lying second on the EASB Regional Junior Tour South, one point ahead of the Londoner.

    He said: “I would like to congratulate Ronnie on his win. He made a great clearance at the end and fully deserved the win.”

    Blake, who is coached by Terry Burke at Frames Sports Bar, Coulsdon, said: “Me and (Budd) have tough battles so it’s good to beat him. I didn’t play great. I just dug in and kept it tight.”

    Earlier, he edged Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth), who the previous day had reached the semi-finals of the English Under-14 Championship in Leeds, 3-2 in the last-four.

    Explaining why he took up the game three years ago, Blake said: “I played football but my grandad (Richard Slade) said I’d never turn professional.

    “I gave it up and saw snooker on telly, Ronnie (O’Sullivan) and Neil Robertson.”

    And he added with a laugh: “They were knocking in hundred breaks and I thought ‘that looks easy’.”

    Beaten semi-finalist Brad Chappell (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) takes over top spot in the rankings from Mark Lloyd (Stoke SC, Gosport), who was otherwise engaged in Leeds qualifying for the final of the English Under-16 Championship.

    The seventh leg of eight is at Fareham Snooker Club on Sunday, April 12.


    Brad Chappell: 61, 48.
    Bradley Cowdroy: 52.
    Austen Petty: 43.
    Ronnie Blake: 40.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Bradley Chappell (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Anthony Rice (Salisbury SC); 4th, Sam Storey (Crucible, Newbury); 5th, Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury); 6th, Nathan Farmer (Stoke SC, Gosport).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Ronnie Blake (Frames, Coulsdon); 2nd, James Budd (Stoke SC, Gosport); 3rd, Austen Petty (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Anthony Church (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 5th, Mark Wells (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Budd 3 Chappell 0, Blake 3 Cowdroy 2.

    FINAL (£40/£15 25/18 points): Blake 3 Budd 1.

    Silver winner Gibbs: happy with how I’m doing

    AN ELEVEN-year-old from Gosport is quite rightly “happy with how I’m doing” after winning his first tournament on the second tier of the Cuestars South of England Under-21 structure.

    Olly Gibbs, last season’s Bronze Tour play-off champion, defeated his Stoke SC clubmate Matt Gillon 2-1 in the final of the sixth leg of the Silver Tour at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club

    Gibbs, who prevailed in the decider by a margin, said: “I played well at the start but he was just too good in the second frame.”

    Reflecting on stepping up a level, Gibbs said: “It’s harder because obviously the players are better. They’ve got more experience.

    “I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen but I’m happy with how I’m doing.”

    Earlier, he accounted for Reece King 2-0 in the last-eight, who had “demolished me” in the semi-finals at Swindon last November.

    “The last game against Matt was pretty tough but the game against Reece King was very tough,” said Gibbs.

    And he congratulated 17-year-old Gillon for taking over top spot in the rankings from group-stage casualty Callum McDonald (Salisbury SC), who dropped to second - ahead of semi-finalist Joe Kitchen (Stoke SC, Gosport).

    The seventh leg of eight is at Fareham Snooker Club on Sunday, April 12


    Reece King: 33.
    Olly Gibbs: 33.
    Lee Fitzpatrick: 30.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Reece King (Greenbaize SC, Bournemouth); 2nd, Jasmine Bolsover (Woking SC); 3rd, Abhay Chopra (Chandler’s Ford SC).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Joe Kitchen (Stoke SC, Gosport); 2nd, Drew Hampshire (147 SC, Swindon); 3rd, Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Matt Gillon (Stoke SC, Gosport); 2nd, Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Callum McDonald (Salisbury SC).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP D: 1st, Lee Fitzpatrick (Totton Rec); 2nd, Olly Gibbs (Stoke SC, Gosport); 3rd, Nat Kidner (Greenbaize SC, Bournemouth).

    QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Gibbs 2 King 0, Kitchen 2 Petty 0, Gillon 2 Hampshire 0, Fitzpatrick 2 Bolsover 1.

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Gibbs 2 Kitchen 1, Gillon 2 Fitzpatrick 0.

    FINAL (25/18 points): Gibbs 2 Gillon 1.

    Sixth successive final for Steven Hughes

    MATCHPLAY of the highest order helped Steven Hughes continue his staggering run of appearing in every final on this season’s Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour.

    The new rankings leader took advantage of home tables at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club to pick up his second winner’s trophy.

    Hughes’ tactical game overcame the phenomenal potting and safety play of Harry Jones, the son of former professional Bradley Jones, in the final of the sixth leg.

    An excellent snooker escape played at the right pace was the key to taking the first frame.

    But trailing by 20 points in the next, the 13-year-old revealed he was thinking: “How am I going to pull this back?”

    Hughes dug deep, closed the gap, potted the blue and – with the merest glimpse of a smile – landed perfectly on the match-ball pink into the middle.

    Paying tribute to his opponent from Frames Sports Bar, Coulsdon, Hughes praised his potting ability and added: “His safety play is excellent. It’s always the baulk cushion.”

    The Thornden School student had beaten Jones in the group stages and didn’t lose a frame throughout the tournament. He has a 20-point in the rankings with two events to play. The eventual champion will play professional Joe Perry at Finals Day.

    “It’s been a great day,” said Hughes.

    Connor Benzey, also based at Chandler’s Ford SC, climbed to joint third after losing 2-1 in the last-four to Jones.

    The final frame drew applause from the spectators. Jones led with a 26 break. Benzey immediately replied with a 29 only for his opponent to clear with a 22 to win on the black.

    Hughes accounted for first-time semi-finalist Ben Crump (Mayfair SC, Gosport) 2-0 to reach the final.

    The seventh leg of eight is at Fareham Snooker Club on Sunday, April 12.


    Connor Benzey: 29.
    Harry Jones: 26, 22.
    Ryan Hughes: 23
    Adam Cowdroy: 22, 20.
    Harry Cook: 22.
    Ben Hatch: 21


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Harry Jones (Frames Sports Bar, Coulsdon, Surrey); 3rd, Ben Hatch (Eastleigh); 4th, Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 5th, Harvey Banger (Chandler’s Ford SC).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Ben Crump (Stoke SC, Gosport); 2nd, Connor Benzey (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Luke McCormick (Mayfair, Gosport); 4th, David Rice (Salisbury SC); 5th, Connor Shaw (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Harry Cook (Woking SC); 2nd, Charlie Pringle (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Bowen Zhu (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Albert Warren (Salisbury SC); 5th, David O’Callaghan (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP D: 1st, Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Ryan Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Adam Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 4th, Liam Ashman (Player’s, Westbury).

    QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): S Hughes 2 R Hughes 0, Crump 2 Pringle 0, Benzey 2 Cook 0, Jones 2 Reed 1.

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): S Hughes 2 Crump 0, Jones 2 Benzey 1.

    FINAL (25/18 points): S Hughes 2 Jones 0.

    Second Plate for Rice, first trophy for Warren

    DAVID Rice collected his second successive Plate winner’s trophy on the Cuestars circuit but took time out to congratulate his opponent for claiming his first ever piece of snooker silverware.

    The 20-year-old from Fordingbridge had lost out in a three-way black-ball play-off in the group stages of the Bronze Tour event but prevailed in the non-qualifiers event.

    Aided by a 24 break, Rice defeated 11-year-old Albert Warren, from Ludwell, near Shaftsbury, in the final.

    He said: “I was pleased with my performance against Connor Benzey but after that I couldn’t produce any good snooker in the groups and was disappointed with the way I played.

    “In the Plate, I played quite well to get to the final and I would just like to congratulate Albert on his first Cuestars trophy. The way he is improving, there hopefully will be more to come.”


    David Rice: 24.


    LAST-16: Anthony Rice (Salisbury SC) beat Connor Shaw (Greenbaize, Bournemouth), Luke McCormick (Mayfair, Gosport) beat Anthony Church (Greenbaize, Bournemouth), Albert Warren (Salisbury SC) beat Adam Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth), Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat David O’Callaghan (Greenbaize, Bournemouth), Ben Hatch (Eastleigh) beat Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth), David Rice (Salisbury SC) beat Harvey Banger (Chandler’s Ford SC), Bowen Zhu (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Nathan Farmer (Stoke SC, Gosport). Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC) bye.

    QUARTER-FINALS: McCormick beat A Rice, Warren beat Sykes, Hatch beat Pollard, D Rice beat Zhu.

    SEMI-FINALS: Warren beat McCormick, D Rice beat Hatch.

    FINAL: D Rice beat Warren.

    Have you got any snooker news?

    Send me your snooker news now. It doesn’t have to be from a Cuestars tournament. E-mail me details or contact me via Facebook and you could be on the Cuestars website and in your local newspaper. E-mail:

    Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)

    About Cuestars

    Founded 25 years ago by director John Hunter, Cuestars runs grass-root snooker tournaments across the South of England.

    Competitions take place on Sundays between October and May, and cater for players of all ages.

    All Cuestars tournaments are played off scratch. There are no handicaps, except in the Under-21 Plate and the Under-21 team event. Cuestars uses a round-robin format leading to a knockout.

    Competitions for 2014/15 include: South of England Championship Tour; Under-21 Gold, Silver and Bronze Tours; Under-21 team event; Weekend Junior Section Rankings and Seniors (40+) Tour.

    Website: E-mail John Hunter:

  • #2
    Really nice lad Ronnie , has come on massively under the guidance of Terry .
    Still trying to pot as many balls as i can !