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Birney's two-year wait over

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  • Birney's two-year wait over

    HIGH Wycombe star Nick Birney admitted it had been a “long wait” to win his first event on the Cuestars South of England Seniors Tour for two years.

    But the 46-year-old was one stroke of fortune from making a group-stage exit in the seventh and final leg of the 40-plus circuit at The Crucible Sports & Social Club, Newbury.

    Birney cleared the last five colours to take the opening frame of the final on the black to counter a 30 break by Neil Herd and left his Frome-based opponent needing snookers with one red left in the second.

    Herd had dispatched first time semi-finalist Paul Stenning (Southampton) 2-1 to progress to his first Seniors final for 27 months.

    Speaking after his 2-0 victory, Birney said: “It’s been a long wait. I’ve been putting in a bit of practice lately so I was hoping to do well today.”

    But he added: “I should have been knocked out by Paul Lawrence. In the last frame, he missed the black all together.”

    Indeed. Birney lost his first round-robin match 2-1 to Southampton’s Ram Birring, beat Herd 2-1 and edged his third game 2-1 on the final black after Lawrence, also from Southampton, completely missed it.

    Birney, who is based at High Wycombe’s Liberal Club and won the Seniors Championship play-off in 2011/12, then accounted for this season’s runner-up John Hunter (Andover) 2-1 and newly-crowned champion Mike Talmondt (Portsmouth) by the same score in the knockout rounds.

    Reflecting on life on the Seniors Tour, he said: “I’ll be back. I love it.

    “I love competing against Matt (Ford) and John – and even Wayne (Muddiman). Anybody can beat anybody on their day.”

    It was at Woking Snooker Centre on April 27, 2014, that Birney beat Neil Carroll (Rownhams) 2-0 to win his last final. And he had beaten Herd 2-1 in the last-four.

    Before the event in Newbury, Ford was presented with his Championship Tour trophy – and then crashed out in the group stages.


    Mike Talmondt: 69, 53, 46, 40, 40.
    John Hunter: 69.
    Matt Ford: 66, 47, 46, 40.
    Nick Birney: 58, 51.
    Martin Wallace: 57.
    Ram Birring: 46.
    Wayne Muddiman: 41


    GROUP A: 1st, Mike Talmondt (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 2nd, Dave Pullman (Sunninghill Comrades Club, Ascot); 3rd, Jon Monckton (Woking SC); 4th, Jonathan Walker (Potting Shed, Aldbourne).

    GROUP B: 1st, John Hunter (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Wayne Muddiman (Chandlers Ford Central); 3rd, Matt Ford (Sunninghill Comrades Club, Ascot); 4th, Alan Thomas (Jesters, Swindon).

    GROUP C: 1st, Neil Herd (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Nick Birney (Liberal Club, High Wycombe); 3rd, Paul Lawrence (Park Gate RBL); 4th, Ram Birring (Chandler’s Ford SC).

    GROUP D: 1st, Paul Stenning (Park Gate RBL); 2nd, Martin Wallace (Crowthorne RBL); 3rd, David Stewart (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Martin Luker (Jesters, Swindon).


    QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Talmondt 2 Wallace 0, Birney 2 Hunter 1, Herd 2 Muddiman 1, Stenning 2 Pullman 1.

    SEMI-FINALS (£20, 15 points): Birney 2 Talmondt 1, Herd 2 Stenning 0.

    FINAL (£80/£40, 25/18 points): Birney 2 Herd 0.

    Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)