ENGLISH under-16 champion Mark Lloyd takes a one-point lead over title rival Brad Chappell into the last leg of the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour.

The 16-year-old from Gosport defeated Chappell 3-1 in the final of the seventh event at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.

Lloyd broke down on a run of 61 in the fourth frame with a century beckoning.

“I just felt I was cueing well when I needed to get through the matches,” he said. “I found something in the end though, having an opportunity for a century in the last but I missed a black on 60 odd. The balls were ideal.”

Lloyd admitted it was a “shame” to have missed the fourth leg in Bournemouth in January because of the European Under-17 Open in Malta, which he won. But he added: “I’m pleased that I’m still in the title race.”

Poole-based Chappell, 21, who shared the title with Lloyd in 2013/14 and won it outright last season, will bow out of junior events following Finals Day in Swindon on May 15.

Reece King (Bournemouth) recorded the day’s highest break of 64. Playing in only his third Cuestars event, Arron Smith (Chichester) chalked up a personal best competitive break of 41.

While only the top two can win the title, the battle for third place is hotting up. Beaten quarter-finalist Callum Browne (Trowbridge) leads James Budd (Fareham) and Bradley Cowdroy (Bournemouth) by six points. Anthony Rice (Fordingbridge) and Dan Sykes (Chandlers Ford) are three points further back in joint sixth. Jonny Mutch (Cambridge), who lost 2-1 to Lloyd in the semi-finals, is another six points further back.

The eighth and final leg is at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club on Sunday, May 1.


Reece King: 64.
Mark Lloyd: 61, 55.
Brad Chappell: 56, 54, 42.
Callum Browne: 47.
Anthony Rice: 42, 42.
Arron Smith: 41.
Mickey Joyce: 40.


ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Jonny Mutch (WT’s Sports Bar, Cambridge); 2nd, Reece King (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Dan Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Arron Smith (Selsey RBL); 5th, Mickey Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Mark Lloyd (Stoke SC, Gosport); 2nd, Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury); 3rd, James Budd (Fareham SC); 4th, Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); scratched, Callum McDonald (Salisbury SC).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Brad Chappell (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, Anthony Rice (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Jamie Wilson (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Mike Trigg (Chandler’s Ford SC).

QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Chappell 2 King 0, Mutch 2 Budd 0, Lloyd 2 Rice 0, Sykes 2 Browne 0.

SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Lloyd 2 Mutch 1, Chappell 2 Sykes 0.

FINAL (£45/£20 25/18 points): Lloyd 3 Chappell 1. Frame scores, Lloyd first: 64-45, 1-74(56), 62-32, 78(61)-42(42).

Brace for Hampshire in closest ever title race

THE first player to win two legs this season on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Silver Tour has made a close title race even tighter.

Wiltshire teenage Drew Hampshire beat new rankings leader Aidan Murphy 2-1 in the final of the seventh and penultimate leg at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.

The 16-year-old based at the 147 Snooker Club, Swindon, who triumphed in the first event in Salisbury but missed the trip to Coulsdon in December, qualified for the knockout on frames difference from a tough group.

And he then accounted for the previous rankings leader, Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford), 2-1 in the last-four.

Reflecting on his match against 11-year-old Murphy (Bristol), Hampshire said: “It was a close game but I just managed to edge it on the colours in the deciding frame.”

And he added: “Overall, I was happy to play good consistently throughout the day.”

Gosport’s Olly Gibbs, 12, chalked up a personal best 70 break, the highest across all three categories, in the Silver group stages against David O’Callaghan (Bournemouth) but – as is so common in these situations – lost the match.

Remarkably, seven players can realistically win the closest ever title race in Cuestars history at the eighth and final leg at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club on Sunday, May 1.

Murphy has a two-point advantage over Hughes (Chandler’s Ford), last season’s Bronze rankings winner. Ten-year-old Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford) is one point further back.

If the top three all crash out early, the door opens for fourth-placed Connor Benzey (Eastleigh), nine points off top spot, joint fifth-placed Gibbs and Hampshire, 11 points off top spot, and seventh-placed David Rice (Fordingbridge), 14 points off top spot.


Olly Gibbs: 70.
Aidan Murphy: 49, 46.
Charlie Pringle: 34.
David O'Callaghan: 33.


ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Drew Hampshire (147 SC, Swindon); 3rd, Connor Benzey (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, David Rice (Salisbury SC); 5th, Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Aidan Murphy (Fishponds Conservative Club, Bristol); 2nd, James Beaven (Frames Sports Bar, Coulsdon); 3rd, Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC); 4th, Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC); 5th, Adam Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Olly Gibbs (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, David O’Callaghan (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 4th, Charlie Pringle (Chandler’s Ford SC); 5th, Abhay Chopra (Chandler’s Ford SC).

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

SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Murphy 2 Sykes 1, Hampshire 2 Hughes 1.

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

Ryan’s new cue decision vindicated

A BRAVE decision to use a two-day old cue paid dividends for a Chandler’s Ford teenager on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour.

Ryan Hughes won the seventh leg at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, to take a five-point lead over title rival Ben Tillison into the final event on home tables next month.

The 14-year-old defeated first-time finalist Chloe White 2-0 to claim his third winner’s trophy of the season.

“Chloe played pretty well in the final,” said Hughes, who bought a brand-new John Parris cue on the Friday.

“On Saturday I played quite well with it so I thought I’d use it on Sunday as well.”

And he revealed his tactics for the eighth and final leg at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club on Sunday, May 1: “I just need to make sure I win my games.”

Hughes finished second in his group of six after losing to White, beat clubmate Oli Line 2-0 in the last-eight and accounted for Tillison (Portsmouth) 2-0 in a must-win semi-final.

The following day, he managed a draw on his Super League debut for Chandlers Ford Central Club B against Ashlett Club C.

Third-placed White (Portsmouth) admitted it was “hard” having to beat her brother Callum in the last-eight and home player Shane Kearns in the semi-finals but she was delighted to make her first Bronze Tour final and will continue to strive for a winner’s trophy.

She said: “Playing Ryan in the final was one step to much as he played the better snooker and deserved to win the game. But it was a shame as I did beat him on the black in the qualifying stages earlier in the day.

“Sheer hard work and practice has nearly got me to where I want to be.”

The eighth and final leg is at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club on Sunday, May 1.


Ryan Hughes: 29.


ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Ben Tillison (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 2nd, Riley Ellis (Jesters, Swindon); 3rd, Oli Line (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Callum White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 5th, Kyle Carter (Jesters, Swindon); 6th, Connor Shaw (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Chloe White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 2nd, Ryan Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Shane Kearns (Jesters, Swindon); 4th, Rio Smith (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 5th, Arnie Petty (Salisbury SC); 6th, Harry Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC).

QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Tillison 2 Smith 1, Hughes 2 Line 0, Kearns 2 Ellis 1, Chloe White 2 Callum White 0.

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

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

Silver Tour hopeful picks up consolation prize

DAVID Rice’s bid to land the Silver Tour rankings title in his final season on the Cuestars under-21 circuit may be slipping away but the Fordingbridge cueman did have the consolation of collecting the Plate trophy in Swindon.

The 21-year-old finished fourth in a tough group and now lies in seventh place. Nothing less than winning the last leg in Chandler’s Ford would do. And then he’d also be sweating on other results.

Rice defeated Adam Cowdroy (Bournemouth) in the final of the handicapped competition for those players who missed out on qualifying for the knockouts in all three events.


PRELIM: Charlie Pringle (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC), Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC) beat Kyle Carter (Jesters, Swindon), David Rice (Salisbury SC) beat Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC).

QUARTER-FINALS: Petty beat Pringle, Rice beat Harry Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC), Adam Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) beat Arnie Petty (Salisbury SC), Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) beat Connor Shaw (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

SEMI-FINALS: Rice beat K Petty, A Cowdroy beat B Cowdroy.

FINAL: Rice beat A Cowdroy.

Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)

About Cuestars

Founded more than 25 years ago by director John Hunter, Cuestars runs grass-root snooker tournaments across the South of England.

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, the Under-21 team event and the Under-21 Handicap Championship. Cuestars uses a round-robin format leading to a knockout.

Competitions for 2015/16 include: South of England Championship Tour; Under-21 Gold, Silver and Bronze Tours; Weekend Junior Section Rankings and Seniors (40+) Tour.

Website: cuestars.co.uk E-mail John Hunter: john@cuestars.co.uk.