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Cuestars Finals Day with Joe Perry

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  • Cuestars Finals Day with Joe Perry

    What a week!

    A FAREHAM teenager capped a momentous week in his snooker career by collecting a first winner’s trophy on the Cuestars circuit and beating a top-16 professional in an exhibition frame.

    James Budd admitted he was “shaking like a leaf” when he faced Joe Perry at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.

    The 19-year-old, sponsored by BAF Entertainment, was the only one of 16 players to record a victory over the 2015 Players Championship winner during the Cuestars finals day.

    “I can’t believe I just beat the world number nine,” said Budd, who compiled breaks of 48 and 25. “I got every single shot right.

    “I knew I was in front but I was shaking like a leaf, I really was.”

    A few hours later, the classy left-hander clinched the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour Championship with a 3-2 victory over his EASB Regional Junior Tour South rival Ronnie Blake.

    Londoner Blake may consider himself slightly unfortunate after clawing back a deficit to level on the colours in the decider and laying a snooker on the yellow.

    But it was the last shot he played.

    Budd came off the side cushion, hit the yellow, fluked it into a corner pocket and cleared to the black.

    “What a day!” he declared.

    It came eight days after he compiled his highest matchplay break of 86 en route to reaching his fourth final of the season on the EASB Regional Junior Tour South which virtually confirms promotion to the EASB Premier Junior Tour.

    Budd, who made his Cuestars debut just over three years ago but had never previously won a tournament, accounted for Gold Tour rankings winner Brad Chappell (Poole) 3-0 in the last-four.


    Brad Chappell: 53, 52.


    LAST-16: Brad Chappell (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 3 Daniel Knox (Ascot) 1, Jamie Wilson (Copnor SC, Portsmouth 3 Austen Petty (Chandler’s Ford SC) 2, Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury) 3 Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 0, James Budd (Fareham SC) 3 Stewart Ball (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 2, Anthony Rice (Salisbury SC) 3 Dan Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC) 1, Mark Wells (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 3 Mickey Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC) 0, Jonny Mutch (Cambridge SC) 3 Nathan Farmer (Stoke SC, Gosport) 1, Ronnie Blake (Frames, Coulsdon) 3 Mark Lloyd (Stoke SC, Gosport) 2.

    QUARTER-FINALS: Chappell 3 Wilson 0, Budd 3 Browne 1, Rice 3 Wells 2, Blake 3 Mutch 1.

    SEMI-FINALS (£10): Budd 3 Chappell 0, Blake 3 Rice 2.

    FINAL (£40/£20): Budd 3 Blake 2.

    Gillon claims unique double

    MATT Gillon was brought down to earth with a bump after clinching a unique double on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Silver Tour.

    The Gosport teenager ended the eight-leg circuit top of the rankings and then won the last-16 championship play-off at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.

    But he was “absolutely slapped” by special guest Joe Perry, the world number nine, in an exhibition frame.

    Gillon accounted for Q School entrant Reece King (Bournemouth) 3-0 in the final.

    “I stormed it,” declared the 17-year-old. “I was really happy with how I played. It was probably one of the best matches I’ve ever played.

    “I had a good run of the balls against Reece. I just wouldn’t let him in.”

    And he added: “I didn’t really expect to come in and win the knockout competition because… well, it’s knockout, isn’t it? You’ve just got to hope you play well. There’s no groups.”

    Earlier, Gillon, who has left school and is hoping to start a retail apprenticeship, defeated Stoke SC clubmate Olly Gibbs 2-0 and one-time rankings leader Callum McDonald (Salisbury) 3-1.

    “I was really happy to beat Olly, my bogey player,” he said. “And I was happy to beat Callum because he’s one of the best players in Silver.

    “I don’t want to say there was no pressure on me, because there was. But there wasn’t as much pressure as I thought because I knew I was coming out with a trophy.

    “As long as I knew I’d won the rankings, I wasn’t really bothered if I lost in the play-off. Having no pressure on me helped.”

    One of 16 players selected to take on Perry, Gillon was restricted to two shots and no points as the 2015 Players Championship winner knocked in a 135, one of seven centuries he made during the afternoon.

    Gillon said: “I got absolutely slapped. It was a really good break. I told him it was a really good break.”

    He is the first player to complete the double since the new format was introduced in 2009/10. In fact, he’s only the second to win it outright across all three categories - Gold, Silver and Bronze. Jordan Winbourne (Hedge End) landed the Gold double in the inaugural season.


    Olly Gibbs: 33.
    Lee Fitzpatrick: 32.


    PRELIMS: Olly Gibbs (Stoke SC, Gosport) 2 Lee Fitzpatrick (Chandler’s Ford SC) 0, Drew Hampshire (147 SC, Swindon) 2 Abhay Chopra (Chandler’s Ford SC) 1, Jasmine Bolsover (Woking SC) 2 Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 0, Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC) 2 Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC) 0.

    QUARTER-FINALS: Matt Gillon (Stoke SC, Gosport) 2 Gibbs 0, Callum McDonald (Salisbury SC) 2 Hampshire 1, Reece King (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 2 Bolsover 1, Pollard w/o Joe Kitchen (Stoke SC, Gosport).

    SEMI-FINALS: Gillon 3 McDonald 1, King 3 Pollard 0.

    FINAL: Gillon 3 King 0.

    Benzey and Perry: kindred spirits

    ONE is a snooker player who has just won his first major trophy. The other is a snooker player who has just won his first major trophy.

    “All I’ve ever wanted is to win a major tournament,” said 40-year-old professional Joe Perry, from Chatteris, near Cambridge, after clinching the Players Championship in Thailand in March.

    “I’ve been waiting so long to actually be a champion,” said 13-year-old Connor Benzey, from Eastleigh, after clinching the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour championship in Swindon.

    Three weeks after securing his first club title - the Eastleigh & District Under-13 Premier - Benzey travelled to Jesters Snooker Club for the last-16 play-off.

    Trailing 1-0 in the semi-finals to rankings runner-up Aidan Murphy (Bristol), Benzey composed himself and decided that today he was to become a winner.

    “I washed my hands and had a drink and just got back into it,” explained the Year 8 Toynbee School student.

    He prevailed 2-1 and then accounted for his Chandler’s Ford clubmate Oliver Sykes 2-0 in the final.

    It’s not often that you see a player take his game to a new level in the space of two frames. But nine-year-old Sykes did that in his 2-0 last-four victory over David O’Callaghan, who won the first leg of the season in Salisbury last October.

    Perry, who managed a 133 total clearance against the youngster, told him: “I’m sure I’ll be seeing you again.”

    And Benzey said: “He’s going to have a good season next season.”

    Benzey’s reward was a frame against Perry, who broke off. He played one (garbage) safety shot and the world number nine produced a 142 total clearance.

    “At least I got a shot,” he laughed.


    LAST-16: Ben Crump (Stoke SC, Gosport) 2 Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC) 1, Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC) 2 Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC) 0, David Rice (Salisbury SC) 2 Harry Jones (Frames, Coulsdon) 1, David O’Callaghan (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 2 Albert Warren (Salisbury SC) 1, Connor Benzey (Chandler’s Ford SC) 2 Connor Shaw (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 0, Chloe White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth) 2 Charlie Pringle (Chandler’s Ford SC) 0, Adam Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 2 Bowen Zhu (Chandler’s Ford SC) 1, Aidan Murphy (Bristol Conservative Club) 2 Ryan Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC) 1.

    QUARTER-FINALS: Sykes 2 Crump 0, O’Callaghan 2 Rice 1, Benzey 2 White 0, Murphy 2 Cowdroy 0.

    SEMI-FINALS: Sykes 2 O’Callaghan 0, Benzey 2 Murphy 1.

    FINAL: Benzey 2 Sykes 0.

    Greenbaize retains Club title

    GREENBAIZE has retained the Cuestars Club Rankings trophy.

    The Bournemouth club amassed more points in tournaments and Section competitions than any other of the affiliated clubs.

    Ball dominates shortened game

    STEWART Ball (Bournemouth) dropped just one frame in five best-of-three matches to claim the Six-Reds title.

    Ball beat ten-year-old Bowen Zhu (Chandler’s Ford) 2-0 in the final.


    PRELIMS: Lee Fitzpatrick (Chandler’s Ford SC) 2 Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC) 0, Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 2 Dan Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC) 0, Nathan Farmer (Stoke SC, Gosport) 2 Ryan Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC) 0, Stewart Ball (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 2 Charlie Pringle (Chandler’s Ford SC) 0, Mark Lloyd (Stoke SC, Gosport) 2 Ben Hatch (Eastleigh) 1, Harry Jones (Frames, Coulsdon) 2 Albert Warren (Salisbury SC) 1, Austen Petty (Chandler’s Ford SC) 2 Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC) 0.

    LAST-16: Cowdroy (51 break) 2 Fitzpatrick 1, Ball 2 Farmer 1, Lloyd 2 Jones 0, A Petty 2 Ashley Smith (Copnor SC, Portsmouth) 1, Bowen Zhu (Chandler’s Ford SC) 2 Abhay Chopra (Chandler’s Ford SC) 0, Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 2 Connor Shaw (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 1, Ollie Parsons (Jesters, Swindon) 2 Mickey Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC) 1, Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC) 2 Callum White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth) 0.

    QUARTER-FINALS: Ball 2 Cowdroy 0, Lloyd 2 A Petty 0, Zhu 2 Kidner 1, Parsons 2 S Hughes 0.

    SEMI-FINALS: Ball 2 Lloyd 0, Zhu 2 Parsons 0.

    FINAL: Ball 2 Zhu 0.

    Rice brothers win Family Doubles

    FORDINGBRIDGE brothers Anthony, 18, and David Rice, 20, collected the Family Doubles title.

    They beat Abhay and Rick Chopra (Southampton) in the final after accounting for defending champions Jasmine and Gavin Bolsover (Woking) in the last-16.

    The Benzeys were forced to pull out in the last-16 as Connor was progressing in the Bronze Championship.


    PRELIMS: Keegan Reed & Peter Slade (Salisbury SC) beat Mickey & Eamon Joyce (Chandler’s Ford), Nathan & Paul Farmer (Stoke SC, Gosport) beat Drew & Greg Hampshire (147, Swindon), Connor & Mark Benzey (Chandler’s Ford) beat Callum & Nic Browne (Player’s, Westbury), Kaine & Arnie Petty (Salisbury SC) beat Aidan & Derek Murphy (Bristol Conservative Club), Abhay & Rick Chopra (Chandler’s Ford) beat Ryan & Grahame Hughes (Chandler’s Ford), Wendy & Brad Chappell (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) beat Albert & Rob Warren (Salisbury SC).

    LAST-16: Farmers beat Reed & Slade, Pettys w/o Benzeys, Connor Shaw & Colin Goddard (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) beat Chappells, Adam & Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) beat Derek & Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth), Oliver & Dan Sykes (Chandler’s Ford) beat Ally & Sarah Pollard (Salisbury SC), Callum & Chloe White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth) beat Ben & Colin Hatch (Eastleigh), Anthony & David Rice (Salisbury SC) beat Jasmine & Gavin Bolsover (Woking SC). Bye: Chopras.

    QUARTER-FINALS: Pettys beat Farmers, Chopras beat Shaw & Goddard, Cowdroys beat Sykeses, Rices beat Whites

    SEMI-FINALS: Chopras beat Pettys, Rices beat Cowdroys.

    FINAL: Rices beat Chopras.

    Joe Perry’s exhibition frames

    JOE Perry delighted players, friends and family with seven centuries, which included three total clearances, in 16 scintillating exhibition frames against selected Cuestars members.

    The world number nine demonstrated the standard required to make a living from the game. It took five frames before a ton was recorded. But then there was virtually no stopping him.

    Only Gold Tour champion James Budd recorded a victory. Some of the others played just one shot.

    PERRY’S FRAMES (BREAKS, c=clearance, tc=total clearance)

    Ashley Smith, Copnor SC Section champion: 24-68 (47)
    Ollie Parsons, Jesters, Swindon, Section champion: 8-122 (40, 48, 32)
    Bradley Cowdroy, Greenbaize, Bournemouth, Section champion: 0-116 (47, 68)
    Jasmine Bolsover, Woking SC, World Ladies U21 champion: 19-104 (31)
    Steven Hughes, Chandler’s Ford SC, Bronze rankings winner: 18-102 (100)
    Mark Lloyd, Stoke SC, Gosport, English Under-16 champion: 11-110 (35, 67)
    Brad Chappell, Greenbaize, Bournemouth, Gold rankings winner: 4-110 (46, 63)
    Matt Gillon, Stoke SC, Gosport, Silver rankings & championship winner: 0-143 (135c)
    Callum McDonald, Salisbury SC Section champion: 0-141 (141tc)
    James Budd, Fareham SC, Gold champion: 75-11 (Budd: 48, 25)
    David O’Callaghan, Greenbaize, Bournemouth: 2-103 (103)
    Ally Pollard, Salisbury SC: 15-99 (37, 46)
    Mark Wells, Greenbaize, Bournemouth: 8-80 (62)
    Reece King, Greenbaize, Bournemouth: 7-108 (102)
    Connor Benzey, Chandler’s Ford SC, Bronze champion: 0-142 (142tc)
    Oliver Sykes, Chandler’s Ford SC, Bronze championship runner-up: 0-133 (133tc)

    REFEREES: Alan Thomas & Steve Toms


    Greenbaize, Bournemouth: Bradley Cowdroy
    Copnor SC, Portsmouth: Ashley Smith
    Salisbury SC: Callum McDonald
    Jesters SC, Swindon: Ollie Parsons

    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: