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Ex-pro retains Cuestars Seniors title

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  • Ex-pro retains Cuestars Seniors title

    PORTSMOUTH singles champion Mike Talmondt has retained his title on a regional circuit for players aged 40 and over.

    The ex-professional secured top spot on the Cuestars South of England Seniors Tour before a ball was struck in anger at the seventh and final leg at The Crucible Sports & Social Club, Newbury.

    “It’s just nice to play a bit of tournament snooker,” said Talmondt.

    “I’m happy about it this year because obviously it’s harder with Matt (Ford) playing. The standard is definitely impressive. It’s been good.

    “Matt’s won the Championship Tour. He’s done really well to win that. He plays aggressive snooker and scores heavy.

    “I’m pleased to get one up on Matt, that’s for sure.”

    The 43-year-old, who is planning to enter the Championship Tour next season, said playing in Cuestars events is a little different from the pressures of the cubicles at the Norbreck Castle Hotel, Blackpool, where the professional qualifying rounds were held in the 1990s.

    “It could destroy you if you were not used to it,” he said. “When you’re playing for a living, it’s a lot different from just coming down here for a knock on a Sunday.

    “You’ve got to try not to think about it. Just play your natural game and try to play as if it means nothing.”

    Talmondt, now based at The Craneswater Snooker Club and driving a taxi for a living, said his best result on the pro-circuit was beating Ryan Day (now the world number 20) 5-2 in the second qualifying round of the 1998 World Championship.

    “I played really well that day,” he added.

    Talmondt made his Seniors Tour debut in October, 2014, and has not missed one of the 13 tournaments over the past two seasons. He has won six events and only once failed to qualify for the knockout.

    He ended this season 23 points clear of former champion John Hunter (Andover). Ford (Bracknell) was two points further back.

    Round-robin groups of four in Newbury meant that even if Talmondt had lost all three games, he’d still collect enough rankings points for an uncatchable lead.

    In the event, he actually topped his group, beat Martin Wallace (Reading) 2-0 in the last-eight and lost 2-0 to the eventual tournament winner Nick Birney (High Wycombe) 2-1 in the semi-finals.

    A total of 39 different players competed this season. The 2016/17 tour will be extended to eight legs.

    Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)