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Three Cuestars U21 rankings decided

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  • Three Cuestars U21 rankings decided

    Last Cuestars U21 title for Lloyd?

    ENGLAND under-16 snooker champion Mark Lloyd revealed he probably won’t defend the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour rankings title.

    The Gosport teenager won the final leg at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club to finish the season 14 points clear of rival Brad Chappell.

    But Lloyd, who is in this year’s national under-18 final and competes on the EASB Premier Junior Tour, says his sights are set on having a crack at earning a two-year tour card on the professional circuit via next season’s Cuestars Championship Tour.

    “I’m doing the Championship Tour because it’s offering a Q School place next year,” explained the 16-year-old, who is based at Stoke Snooker Club.

    “That’s the one I want to do, now there’s a bigger prize fund.”

    Lloyd shared the Gold title with Chappell two years ago and led the Poole cueman by one point going into the eighth leg.

    Chappell, 21, who now bows out of the junior circuit after an illustrious ten-year career, lost 2-0 to James Budd in the quarter-finals.

    Budd (Fareham) then recorded the day’s highest break of 60 in a 2-0 last-four victory over Reece King (Bournemouth) but went down 2-1 to Lloyd in the final.

    Lloyd, who is in his final year at Brune Park Community School, said: “It’s quite a nice way to finish the season.

    “I’ve been struggling with a muscle problem so it was quite nice to hit the ball smoothly and get back playing again in competition.”

    Budd finished joint third with Callum Browne (Trowbridge).

    The top-16 ranked players qualify for the championship play-off on Finals Day at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, on Sunday, May 15. Professional Kurt Maflin will present prizes and play exhibition frames against all the rankings winners, weekend section champions and play-off champions.


    James Budd: 60.
    Dan Sykes: 55.
    Bradley Cowdroy: 55.
    Reece King: 46.
    Callum Browne: 42.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Mark Lloyd (Stoke SC, Gosport); 2nd, James Budd (Fareham SC); 3rd, Dan Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Jonny Mutch (WT’s Sports Bar, Cambridge); 5th, Anthony Rice (Salisbury SC).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Jamie Wilson (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Reece King (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Luke Beebe (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Matt Gillon (Stoke SC, Gosport); 5th, Arron Smith (Selsey RBL).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury); 2nd, Brad Chappell (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 4th, Mickey Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC); 5th, Mike Trigg (Chandler’s Ford SC).

    QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Lloyd 2 Beebe 0, Wilson 2 Cowdroy 0, King 2 Browne 1, Budd 2 Chappell 0.

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Lloyd 2 Wilson 0, Budd 2 King 0.

    FINAL (£50/£25 25/18 points): Lloyd 2 Budd 1.

    Benzey triumphs on “unreal” day

    HE STARTED the 11-hour day as fourth favourite and ended it as champion.

    Eastleigh teenager Connor Benzey knew he had to win his first tournament on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Silver Tour to stand any chance of claiming the rankings title.

    On what was described as an “unreal” day at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club, the in-form, hard-working and totally dedicated 14-year-old marched on triumphantly with his head held high as his rivals fell away one by one.

    Seven players went into the eighth and final leg of the tightest ever season with a realistic chance of clinching top spot.

    David Rice (Fordingbridge), Olly Gibbs (Gosport) and third-placed Aidan Murphy (Bristol) made group-stage exits.

    In three dramatic and tension-filled quarter-finals, second-placed Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford) lost 2-1 on the final black to clubmate Charlie Pringle, third-placed Oliver Sykes, also based at the home club, went out 2-1 to James Beaven (Banstead) and Drew Hampshire (Swindon) lost 2-1 to fourth-placed Benzey.

    This meant that Benzey had to win the final or Hughes, last season’s Bronze rankings winner, would complete a unique double.

    He beat David O’Callaghan (Bournemouth) 2-0 and first-time finalist Pringle 2-0.

    Benzey said it felt “good” and simply added: “I knew I had to win the tournament to actually win it.”

    Dad Mark, an England pool international and former Southampton snooker Town Champion, said: “It was unreal. I was totally amazed at what he did.”

    Sponsored by Pitman Training Winchester, Benzey won the Bronze Tour championship play-off last season but had lost all three of his previous ranking event finals.

    The top-16 ranked players qualify for the championship play-off on Finals Day at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, on Sunday, May 15. Professional Kurt Maflin will present prizes and play exhibition frames against all the rankings winners, weekend section champions and play-off champions.


    Connor Benzey: 38.
    David Rice: 35.
    Oliver Sykes: 34.
    Aidan Murphy: 30.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC); 4th, David Rice (Salisbury SC); 5th, Nat Kidner (Greenbaize SC, Bournemouth).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Drew Hampshire (147 SC, Swindon); 3rd, Aidan Murphy (Fishponds Cons, Bristol); 4th, Harry Jones (Frames, Coulsdon); 5th, Adam Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Connor Benzey (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, James Beaven (Frames Sports Bar, Coulsdon); 3rd, Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC); 4th, Olly Gibbs (Chandler’s Ford SC).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP D: 1st, David O’Callaghan (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, Charlie Pringle (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Evan Plummer (Frames Sports Bar, Coulsdon); 4th, Abhay Chopra (Chandler’s Ford SC).

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

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Pringle 2 Beaven 1, Benzey 2 O’Callaghan 0.

    FINAL (25/18 points): Benzey 2 Pringle 0.

    Champion Hughes survives two black-ball dramas

    RYAN Hughes may want to take home the black ball from table eight at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club and mount it on a pedestal on his mantelpiece.

    The 14-year-old clinched the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour rankings title with a staggering fourth tournament win of the eight-leg circuit.

    But the drama which was expected to occur in the latter stages of the knockout erupted in the round-robin group stages.

    Hughes led title-rival Ben Tillison by five points going into the final leg. The pair were drawn in the same five-man group and managed only two wins apiece. And if Hughes hadn’t knocked in a long black to edge Tillison, his title chances would have evaporated.

    They were then forced into a three-way aggregate-points six-reds play-off with Bowen Zhu (Chandler’s Ford) for the two qualification places behind group winner Shane Kearns (Swindon).

    In the third game, Tillison needed to pot the final back against Zhu to keep his title hopes alive. But he went in-off.

    Credit to the 15-year-old from Portsmouth, he immediately turned round and shook Hughes’ hand and said: “Well done.”

    Hughes admitted: “I didn’t play that well in the groups. Then it was a three-way tie and Bowen got more points than Ben so that meant I’d won Bronze.

    “In the rest of the tournament, I just enjoyed myself.”

    For the record, Hughes beat clubmate Oli Line 2-0 in the last-eight, Riley Ellis (Swindon) 2-1 in the semis and Callum White (Portsmouth) 2-0 in the final.

    Hughes said he “enjoyed” the season-long tussle with Tillison as the pair took it in turns to lead the rankings.

    Dad Grahame said: “It was a fantastic achievement.”

    It was definitely a season of two halves. Tillison won two of the first three legs and the sixth one. Hughes won the second event and three of the last four. Zhu won the fourth leg.

    Perhaps the writing was on the wall earlier in a long day when Hughes knocked in a personal best 46 break in a warm-up frame with Silver rankings winner Connor Benzey before the draw was made.

    The top-16 ranked players qualify for the championship play-off on Finals Day at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, on Sunday, May 15. Professional Kurt Maflin will present prizes and play exhibition frames against all the rankings winners, weekend section champions and play-off champions.


    Bowen Zhu: 24, 20.
    Shane Kearns: 21.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Rio Smith (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 2nd, Dan Johnston (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Callum White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 4th, Connor Shaw (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 5th, William Forster (Mayfair, Gosport).

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

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

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

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Callum White 2 Zhu 1, Hughes 2 Ellis 1.

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

    Mickey makes it three out of four

    GOLD Tour player Mickey Joyce made it three winner’s trophies out of four for Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club members on the final day of the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold, Silver and Bronze Tours.

    Playing on home tables, the 12-year-old from Basingstoke failed to qualify for the knockout but beat Jonny Mutch (Cambridge) in the Plate final.


    PRELIMS: Abhay Chopra (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Harry Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC), Matt Gillon (Stoke SC, Gosport) beat Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth), Adam Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) beat Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC), Mickey Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Connor Shaw (Greenbaize, Bournemouth), Jonny Mutch (WT’s Sports Bar, Cambridge) beat Olly Gibbs (Chandler’s Ford SC).

    QUARTER-FINALS: Chopra beat Gillon, M Joyce beat Cowdroy, Mutch beat Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC), Chloe White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth) beat Arnie Petty (Salisbury SC).

    SEMI-FINALS: M Joyce beat Chopra, Mutch beat White.

    FINAL: M Joyce beat Mutch.

    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: E-mail John Hunter: