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Wells bows out with first win

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  • Wells bows out with first win

    GREENBAIZE club members queued up to pay tribute to Mark Wells who bowed out of junior snooker with a first tournament win in his final event.

    The hard-working and popular 21-year-old collected the winner’s trophy at the eighth and last leg of the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour at Salisbury Snooker Club.

    Wells, who runs the Saturday morning junior section at the Greenbaize Snooker Club, Bournemouth, defeated 13-year-old clubmate Bradley Cowdroy 3-0 in the final.

    “I can’t believe I’ve won the last one,” he said. “I really wanted it today. I didn’t think it would happen until I was in the final.”

    “It was a good final. Brad played well. I’ve seen him develop.

    “They’re a great bunch (at Greenbaize). It’s so rewarding. It’s nice to win one myself but from now on it’s all about them winning.”

    Cowdroy said: “He really does deserve it. He does such a good job at the Saturday morning sessions. For it to be his last one and his first win, I feel really good for him.”

    And Gold Tour rankings winner Brad Chappell added: “Mark is so dedicated on a Saturday morning. On behalf of Greenbaize, I want to say thank you for everything you do. Winning it on your last one is absolutely brilliant.”

    Wells ended the title aspirations of Anthony Rice (Fordingbridge) with a 3-1 last-four victory.

    Cowdroy accounted from James Budd (Fareham) 3-2 in the second semi.

    Budd said: “Brad played well against me and battled through when 2-1 behind. I think he will become a professional when he gets older.”

    Last season, Chappell shared the rankings title with Mark Lloyd, who missed the Salisbury leg because he was otherwise engaged in winning the English Under-16 Championship final in Stoke.

    Chappell edged two points ahead of Lloyd despite failing to qualify for the knockout for the first time this season.

    He set off like a train with breaks of 73 and 57 in his first match, a 2-0 victory over 11-year-old Mickey Joyce (Basingstoke), but finished third in his group.

    “I usually start slow and build up,” he said. “Mickey is going to be absolutely brilliant. Against a player like that, you don’t expect to do what I did. Then I dipped massively.

    “I’m happy to win it. I’ve only got one more year (in this age group).”

    Rice could have snatched the title by winning the final.

    The top-16 ranked players will be invited to Finals Day on May 17 at Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon, for the championship play-off. Special guest Joe Perry will present the trophies and play exhibition frames against all the winners.


    Brad Chappell: 73, 57.
    Anthony Rice: 54, 41.
    Mark Wells: 53.
    James Budd: 45.
    Callum Browne: 41.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, James Budd (Stoke SC, Gosport); 2nd, Mark Wells (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Brad Chappell (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 4th, Mickey Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC); 5th, Nathan Farmer (Stoke SC, Gosport); 6th, Dan Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Anthony Rice (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Jamie Wilson (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 4th, Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury); 5th, Austen Petty (Chandler’s Ford SC).

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Wells 3 Rice 1, Cowdroy 3 Budd 2.

    FINAL (£40/£15 25/18 points): Wells 3 Cowdroy 0.

    King on cue for Q School

    BOURNEMOUTH teenager Reece King warmed up for the most important event of his snooker career with a first tournament win on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Silver Tour.

    The 17-year-old defeated Drew Hampshire (Swindon), who also lost the previous final in Fareham, 2-1 in the eighth and last leg at Salisbury Snooker Club.

    A runner-up twice in his debut season, King took the lead before sharing two black-ball frames with his opponent.

    “It’s nice to get a win,” he said. “In the first frame, I was potting well. In the second, Drew was an absolute machine.

    “I thought Drew had it, to be honest. Fair play to him. I hope he does well next season.”

    King, who works as a dryliner and is based at Greenbaize Snooker Club, has paid £600 of his own money to enter World Snooker’s Q School where the four semi-finalists from each of the two tournaments earn two-year pro-tour cards.

    “I’m buzzing for it,” he said. “I can’t wait. It’s a lot of money but I’ll give it a go.”

    Joining King on May 14 at Meadowside Leisure Centre, Burton upon Trent, are Ben Tanner, Adam Bobat, Nick Jennings, Brad Chappell, Billy Castle, Ben Harrison and Mike Finn.

    As expected, Matt Gillon (Gosport) was crowned Silver Tour rankings winner. The 17-year-old went out 2-1 to Hampshire in the last-four but had only needed to finish no lower than fourth in his six-man group.

    Joe Kitchen (Gosport) secured second spot by one point from King.

    Group B contained four of the top-five ranked players – and Ally Pollard (Alderholt), who had never before qualified for the knockout.

    But the 18-year-old had not read the script. Advised by nine-year-old Connor Shaw to “believe in yourself”, Pollard won three of his four matches to make the quarter-finals where he lost 2-0 to King.

    The top-16 ranked players will be invited to Finals Day on May 17 at Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon, for the championship play-off. Special guest Joe Perry will present the trophies and play exhibition frames against all the winners.


    Lee Fitzpatrick: 43.
    Matt Gillon: 38.
    Ally Pollard: 32.
    Reece King: 30.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Reece King (Greenbaize SC, Bournemouth); 2nd, Matt Gillon (Stoke SC, Gosport); 3rd, Nat Kidner (Greenbaize SC, Bournemouth); 4th, Lee Fitzpatrick (Totton Rec); 5th, Lewis Parnham (SWSA, Gloucester); 6th, Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Drew Hampshire (147 SC, Swindon); 2nd, Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Joe Kitchen (Stoke SC, Gosport); 4th, Jasmine Bolsover (Woking SC); 5th, Callum McDonald (Salisbury SC).

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): King 2 Pollard 0, Hampshire 2 Gillon 1.

    FINAL (25/18 points): King 2 Hampshire 1.

    Rice caps debut season with first tournament win

    A 20-YEAR-OLD from Fordingbridge has ended his first season of competitive snooker with a winner’s trophy.

    David Rice, who decided to take the game more seriously just ten months ago, defeated Connor Benzey 2-0 in the final of the eighth and last leg of the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour.

    Rice took the first frame at Salisbury Snooker Club on a re-spotted black and clawed back a sizeable deficit to leave his 13-year-old opponent from Eastleigh needing snookers on the pink.

    “I played well during the whole day,” he said. “Connor hammered me in the first (group stage) game but I got my revenge in the end.

    “It was a nice day. Hopefully, there will be more to come next year. If I keep playing like that, there should be.

    “Connor played well but in the last frame I don’t know what happened. He let slip like a 30-point lead. Somehow, I came back and won.”

    Rice reached the semi-finals on his Cuestars debut last December and later that month finished second amongst the Bronze players and third overall in the Cuestars Skills Challenge in Salisbury.

    In January, he lost to Steven Hughes in the final in Woking and in February won the Plate in Swindon.

    Rice, who climbed to fifth place in the rankings, said: “Today I was really aiming to win it. When I played Steven in the final, I had nothing left in the tank. But I prepared better for today.”

    Meanwhile, there were a few unexpected twists and turns as both rankings title rivals, who had never before failed to qualify for the knockout, made group-stage exits.

    Aidan Murphy, from Bristol, lost his first round-robin match to Rice and was beaten on the final black by Albert Warren in his last match.

    Hughes, who took a seven-point lead into the final event, lost two matches and missed out on a quarter-final place after losing out in a three-way play-off for second spot.

    That means Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club-based Hughes is crowned rankings champion. The 13-year-old made his Cuestars debut in Fareham in April, 2014, reaching the quarter-finals. He repeated the feat in Salisbury the following month.

    This season, the determined teenage reached six finals, winning two.

    The top-16 ranked players will be invited to Finals Day on May 17 at Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon, for the championship play-off. Special guest Joe Perry will present the trophies and play exhibition frames against all the winners.


    David Rice: 28, 23.
    Bowen Zhu: 28, 21.
    Ben Crump: 26, 21.
    Connor Benzey: 24.
    Aidan Murphy: 24.
    Charlie Pringle: 21.
    Oliver Sykes: 20.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Connor Benzey (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, David Rice (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Aidan Murphy (Bristol Conservative Club); 4th, Adam Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 5th, Albert Warren (Salisbury SC); 6th, Callum Parsons (Nailsea Social Club).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Charlie Pringle (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Chloe White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 3rd, Luke McCormick (Mayfair, Gosport); 4th, Harvey Banger (Chandler’s Ford SC); 5th, Callum Georgiou (Nailsea Social Club); 6th, Lewis Wilson (Copnor SC, Portsmouth).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, David O’Callaghan (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC); 4th, Callum White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 5th, Quaid Bennett (Nailsea Social Club); 6th, James Woodley (Nailsea Social Club).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP D: 1st, Ben Crump (Stoke SC, Gosport); 2nd, Bowen Zhu (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Ryan Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 5th, Harry Wilson (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 6th, Connor Shaw (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

    QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Benzey 2 Zhu 1, Pringle 2 Sykes 0, O’Callaghan 2 Chloe White 0, Rice 2 Crump 1.

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Benzey 2 Pringle 0, Rice 2 O’Callaghan 0.

    FINAL (25/18 points): Rice 2 Benzey 0.

    First trophies for Plate finalists

    BOTH Plate finalists were delighted to pick up their first Cuestars trophies.

    Keegan Reed (Salisbury) beat his fellow Bronze Tour player Ryan Hughes (Chandler’s Ford) in the final of the competition for non-qualifiers at the last leg of the South of England Under-21 Tours at Salisbury Snooker Club.

    It should be noted that Reed, who thinks it’s most unfair that Bronze players only receive a 28-point start from Gold players, beat the Gold rankings winner Brad Chappell in the quarter-finals.


    PRELIMS: Harvey Banger (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat James Woodley (Nailsea Social Club), Callum White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth) beat Austen Petty (Chandler’s Ford SC), Dan Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Quaid Bennett (Nailsea Social Club).

    LAST-16: Banger beat White, Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC), Brad Chappell (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) beat Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth), Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC) beat Callum Georgiou (Nailsea Social Club), Ryan Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Adam Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth), Luke McCormick (Mayfair, Gosport) beat Callum Parsons (Nailsea Social Club), Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC) beat Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury), Albert Warren (Salisbury SC) beat Connor Shaw (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

    QUARTER-FINALS: Banger beat S Hughes, Reed beat Chappell, R Hughes beat McCormick, Warren beat Petty.

    SEMI-FINALS: Reed beat Banger, R Hughes beat Warren.

    FINAL: Reed beat R Hughes.

    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 and South Wales.

    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 included: 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: