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Brothers win two Cuestars events

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  • Brothers win two Cuestars events

    Dan’s four-year wait over

    AFTER four years pounding the Cuestars circuit, Dan Sykes has finally got his hands on a winner’s trophy.

    And the 17-year-old from Chandler’s Ford recorded one of the best results of his life in the semi-finals.

    The teenager, whose ten-year-old brother Oliver had earlier won the Silver event, made it a family double by clinching the sixth leg of the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour at Fareham Snooker Club.

    Sykes took the first frame of the final against Jonny Mutch on the black and the second on the blue after his 16-year-old opponent from Cambridge had extracted the penalty points from the required snooker.

    “I knew it was going to come, it was just a case of when,” said Sykes, who had never been past the Gold quarter-finals before.

    It was a sweet 2-1 semi-final victory over England Under-16 champion Mark Lloyd from 1-0 down on one of the club’s two Star tables that hinted it could possibly be Sykes’ day.

    “That was a good draw,” he admitted. “I wanted to play against him because I’ve been so close to beating him (previously).

    “To get past that hurdle feels pretty good, to be fair, especially after that first frame.”

    Indeed. Gosport-based Lloyd showed his experience on the EASB Premier Junior Tour and on England duty by taking the opener despite needing two snookers on the pink. It was a hammer blow to his opponent.

    “It did frustrate me a little bit but that gave me the motivation to win the next two,” said Sykes.

    Reflecting on the professional standard tables, he added: “I really like it. It suits my game because it stops me hitting the ball hard. When I hit it hard, I miss. When I hit it softly and stroke it, it goes in.”

    Brad Chappell (Poole) lost 2-1 to first-time finalist Mutch in the last-four but maintained his six-point lead over Lloyd at the top of the rankings.

    No breaks of 40 or more were recorded by the 14 players.

    The seventh leg of eight is at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, on Sunday, April 10.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Brad Chappell (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, Dan Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Mike Trigg (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Anthony Rice (Salisbury SC); 5th, Arron Smith (Selsey RBL).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Jonny Mutch (Cambridge SC); 2nd, Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, James Budd (Fareham SC); 4th, Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury); 5th, Mickey Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Mark Lloyd (Stoke SC, Gosport); 2nd, Reece King (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Callum McDonald (Salisbury SC); 4th, Jamie Wilson (Chandler’s Ford SC).

    QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Chappell 2 Budd 0, Mutch 2 Trigg 0, Lloyd 2 Cowdroy 1, Sykes 2 King 0.

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Mutch 2 Chappell 1, Sykes 2 Lloyd 1.

    FINAL (£45/£25 25/18 points): Sykes 2 Mutch 0.

    Thanks, bro

    WORDS of advice from his older brother helped Oliver Sykes win his first tournament on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Silver Tour.

    The ten-year-old from Chandler’s Ford climbed to within one point of top spot after accounting for David Rice, 21, 2-0 in the final at Fareham Snooker Club.

    Sykes took the first frame on the black and accepted his opponent’s concession in the second with one red left on the table and just enough points available to win.

    He did most of the damage with a 28 break that included an outrageous pink from its spot into the yellow pocked followed by a plant.

    “I’m pretty happy,” said the young star, who had lost 2-0 to Rice in the group stages.

    But he admitted: “I wanted to carry on because I was playing really well and I wanted to pot some more balls,”

    Sykes - who had beaten two of his Chandler’s Ford clubmates in the earlier rounds, Connor Benzey (Eastleigh) 2-1 and Olly Gibbs (Gosport) 2-0 - revealed that his 17-year-old sibling Dan, who made it a family double by winning the Gold final, had dispensed some words of wisdom before the trip along the M27.

    “I said today I want to try to get my highest break (which currently stands at 52),” he explained. “But Daniel said ‘I wouldn’t worry about getting your highest break, I’d worry about trying to win’.”

    Rice (Fordingbridge), who turns out for Super League leaders Churchills A, had beaten Charlie Pringle (Chandler’s Ford) 2-1 from 1-0 down in the last-four.

    Bristol’s Aidan Murphy, 11, compiled his highest competitive break of 55 in a 2-1 defeat by Benzey in his final group-stage match. It proved to be the highest break of the day across all three categories.

    Just six points separate the top six which sets up an interesting last two events.

    Rankings leader Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford) crashed out in the group stages but remains top – by one point from Sykes and Murphy. Benzey and Rice are three points further back and two ahead of Gibbs.

    The seventh leg of eight is at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, on Sunday, April 10.


    Aidan Murphy: 55.
    Olly Gibbs: 41.
    James Beaven: 36, 35.
    Steven Hughes: 36.
    David Rice: 30.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Olly Gibbs (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Charlie Pringle (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Harry Jones (Frames, Coulsdon); 4th, Adam Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Connor Benzey (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Aidan Murphy (Bristol Conservative Club); 3rd, Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC); 4th, Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, David Rice (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC); 4th, Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP D: 1st, David O’Callaghan (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, Drew Hampshire (147 SC, Swindon); 3rd, James Beaven (Frames Sports Bar, Coulsdon); 4th, Nat Kidner (Greenbaize SC, Bournemouth).

    QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Gibbs 2 Hampshire 1, Sykes 2 Benzey 1, Rice 2 Murphy 1, Pringle 2 O’Callaghan 0.

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Sykes 2 Gibbs 0, Rice 2 Pringle 1.

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

    Third win puts Tillison top

    Portsmouth potter Ben Tillison has regained the lead in the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour rankings.

    The 15-year-old replaced birthday boy Ryan Hughes in first place after beating his title rival from Chandler’s Ford 2-0 in the final of the sixth leg at Fareham Snooker Club.

    Tillison needed a snooker on the pink in the first frame and the last five colours in the second to notch up his third tournament win of the season.

    Hughes, now 14, is five points adrift with two events left in what has developed into a two-horse race.

    While relishing the challenge, Tillison admitted that he does feel the pressure.

    “My palms were sweating all the way through (the final) and it was hard to grip my cue,” said the left-hander.

    “It was quite tense. I do enjoy it but sometimes it’s overwhelming how important it is.”

    Tillison qualified from his group in third place, beat Copnor clubmate Rio Smith 2-0 in the quarter-finals and Arnie Petty (Fordingbridge) 2-1 in the last-four.

    Petty received a walkover in the quarter-finals as his opponent, Ben Hatch (Southampton), had left the venue not realising he could still qualify for the knockout.

    Third-placed Chloe White (Portsmouth) finished second to Hughes in their round-robin group and then lost 2-0 when the pair met again in the semi-finals.

    The seventh leg of eight is at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, on Sunday, April 10.


    Ben Tillison: 25, 23.
    Bowen Zhu: 25.
    Shane Kearns: 25.
    Ryan Hughes: 20.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Rio Smith (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 2nd, Ozzy Rea (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Ben Hatch (Southampton); 4th, Ben Crump (Mayfair, Gosport); 5th, Connor Shaw (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Arnie Petty (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Riley Ellis (Jesters, Swindon); 3rd, Ben Tillison (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 4th, Bowen Zhu (Chandler’s Ford SC); 5th, Callum White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Ryan Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Chloe White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 3rd, Harry Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Shane Kearns (Jesters, Swindon).

    QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Tillison 2 Smith 0, Petty w/o Hatch, Hughes 2 Ellis 1, Chloe White 2 Rea 1.

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Tillison 2 Petty 1, Hughes 2 Chloe White 0.

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

    Another trophy for Beaven

    FABULOUS February is but a distant memory for Surrey snooker star James Beaven.

    Last month, the 11-year-old from Banstead followed up his first ever tournament win in a Cuestars South of England Under-21 Silver Tour event in Woking by reaching the semi-finals of the English Under-14 Championship in Leeds.

    But in the sixth leg of the Cuestars circuit at Fareham Snooker Club, Beaven failed to qualify from the group stages.

    However, receiving a 14-point handicap start, he did beat Gold Tour player Callum Browne (Trowbridge) in the final of the Plate competition.


    PRELIM: Bowen Zhu (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Callum White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth).

    FIRST ROUND: Ben Crump (Mayfair, Gosport) beat Zhu, Anthony Rice (Salisbury SC) beat Harry Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC), Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) beat Arron Smith (Selsey RBL), Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury) beat Connor Shaw (Greenbaize, Bournemouth), Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC), James Beaven (Frames, Coulsdon) beat Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC), Shane Kearns (Jesters, Swindon) beat Adam Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

    QUARTER-FINALS: Rice beat Crump, Browne beat Kidner, Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC) beat Hughes, Beaven beat Kearns.

    SEMI-FINALS: Browne beat Rice, Beaven beat Reed.

    FINAL: Beaven beat Browne.

    Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)