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Ford focused on first title

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  • Ford focused on first title

    A BERKSHIRE sports trader has been installed as narrow favourite to claim the Cuestars South of England Championship Tour snooker title.

    Matt Ford set up a thrilling climax to the season after beating title rival Jon Charlton 3-1 in the final of the fifth leg at Salisbury Snooker Club.

    The 39-year-old from Martins Heron, Bracknell, takes a one-point lead into the last tournament in Swindon next month.

    “I was due a win,” said Ford, who had been beaten in his previous two finals.

    “I’ve played better and lost. But a win’s a win.

    “There’s one event left. I want, obviously, to try and finish top of the rankings. But it’s going to be close.”

    Ford took a 1-0 lead, largely thanks to fluking the yellow and glancing the brown in off the blue.

    But Bognor Regis-based Charlton, who is bidding for a fourth successive title, had his own slice of luck. After squaring the match and 32 points down in the third frame, he fluked a red on a break of ten and went on to make 47.

    However, Ford cleared to the pink for 35 from a free ball and won a scrappy fourth.

    “I don’t begrudge anyone making flukes,” he said. “It happens. You’ve just got to go on and try to score as many as you can.”

    Ford, who works for Ladbrokes and practises at Sunninghill Comrades Club, Ascot, announced his intention to compete on the Cuestars Seniors (40+) Tour next season in a bid to dethrone John Hunter - who has won, or jointly won, the rankings for the past three years.

    “I’m after John,” he laughed. “He’s had it all his own way for too long. Next season, I’ll be entering a few of those - trying to ruffle a few feathers.”

    Meanwhile, making his Championship Tour debut, Richard Swaffield - a title contender for the Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League, who also competes on the Seniors Tour - lost 3-1 to Ford in the last-four.

    In the second semi and on his return to the Cuestars circuit, Paul Quinnell, from Godalming, went out 3-1 to Charlton.

    Martin Wallace made a bid for the highest break of the day with a 76 against Neil Herd but Brad Chappell eclipsed that with an 84 against 13-year-old Charlie Pringle.

    Billy Castle, who beat Ford 3-2 in the Newbury final last month, suffered a reversal of that score in his first Group D match and failed to make the quarter-finals.

    In that group of death, Paul Quinnell, James Budd, Castle and Ford went into the final round of matches with identical records.

    And 17-year-old Silver Tour player Reece King (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) was delighted his head-to-head result with Ben Tanner (Eastleigh) meant he topped his round-robin group - from which his clubmate Chappell failed to qualify by one frame.

    The sixth and final leg is at Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon, on Sunday, April 19.


    Brad Chappell: 84, 58, 53.
    Martin Wallace: 76.
    Paul Quinnell: 61
    Matt Ford: 58.


    GROUP A: 1st, Martin Wallace (Crowthorne RBL, Berks); 2nd, Neil Herd (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Mickey Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Anthony Rice (Salisbury SC). Paul Davis (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) withdrew.

    GROUP B: 1st, Richard Swaffield (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Jon Charlton (Aldwick RBL, Bognor Regis); 3rd, Nick Miles (Ashlett Club, Fawley); 4th, David Rice (Salisbury SC); 5th, Peter Chin (Woking SC).

    GROUP C: 1st, Reece King (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, Ben Tanner (Eastleigh); 3rd, Brad Chappell (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 4th, Charlie Pringle (Chandler’s Ford SC).

    GROUP D: 1st, Paul Quinnell (Sovereign SC, Farnborough); 2nd, Matt Ford (Sunninghill Comrades Club, Ascot); 3rd, Billy Castle (Crucible, Newbury); 4th, James Budd (Stoke SC, Gosport).


    QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Ford 3 Wallace 0, Swaffield 3 Tanner 2, Charlton 3 King 0, Quinnell 3 Herd 2.

    SEMI-FINALS (£25, 15 points): Ford 3 Swaffield 1, Charlton 3 Quinnell 1.

    FINAL (£80/£50, 25/18 points): Ford 3 Charlton 1.

    Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)