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Can Rice make it a nap hand?

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  • Can Rice make it a nap hand?

    ANTHONY Rice is in pole position to join four other current Cuestars players on the EASB Premier Junior Tour.

    The 18-year-old from Fordingbridge leads the Regional Junior Tour South after winning the second leg of the under-20 feeder circuit at Frames Sports Bar Coulsdon.

    Rice, who made a quarter-final exit in the first leg in Dunstable in September, is currently seventh on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour and fifth on the Cuestars Championship Tour.

    A 100-mile journey that included the dreaded roadworks on the M3 meant the left-hander wasn’t concentrating enough in his first group-stage match.

    Trailing 2-0 to Jamie Wilkes (Bristol) but aware that the three best second-placed players from the five groups would qualify for the knockout, Rice dug deep to take the final frame.

    “I told myself to focus,” he said. “Even though I had lost the match, that frame could prove key to getting out of the group.”

    He then accounted for the “phenomenal young potter” Evan Plummer (Coulsdon) 3-0 and saw off Adam Edkins (Gillingham) 2-1 from 1-0 down.

    Through to the knockout by one frame, he beat Londoner Lennard Cripps 2-0, Wilkes 2-1 on the pink in the decider and Tokki Yamaguchi (Eastbourne) 2-0 in the final.

    “By the time the final came, I was eager to get home,” said Rice, who pocketed £125 prize money. “The roadworks on the M3 make it a longer journey than normal so it takes about two hours to get home.

    “That’s the last thing you want after you’ve spent the whole day trying to put full concentration into matchplay snooker.

    “Neither of us played great and I had some luck along the way.”

    Cuestars members already on the Premier Tour are Mark Lloyd (Gosport), James Budd (Fareham), Sonnie O’Sullivan (Aylesbury) and Ronnie Blake (Coulsdon).

    The third leg of six is at the Castle Snooker Club, Brighton, on Sunday, December 6.

    Tim Dunkley
    EASB Media Officer South and World Snooker coach

    The English Association of Snooker & Billiards is the national governing body for the amateur game in this country. For more information about competitions, rankings lists and results, see