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5 reasons for Ford to celebrate

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  • 5 reasons for Ford to celebrate

    BERKSHIRE cueman Matt Ford was celebrating on five fronts after his success on a regional snooker circuit.

    • First tournament win after finishing runner-up in the previous two legs.

    • Top of the rankings.

    • First ever victory over former champion John Hunter.

    • Highest break of the day.

    • Only a 20-minute drive home from a wet and windy Woking.

    The 41-year-old from Martins Heron, Bracknell, ended a “tough day” by winning the third leg of the Cuestars South of England Seniors (40+) Tour.

    And he produced the highest break of the tournament in the last frame on the match table at Woking Snooker Centre.

    Beaten in the finals of the previous two legs, by John Hunter in Bournemouth and Mike Talmondt in Fareham, it was third time lucky as Ford overcame Martin Wallace 2-0 to claim the £100 prize money.

    Left-hander Wallace (Wokingham), appearing in his first final since February, 2013, led into the colours in the opening frame but Ford cleared yellow to pink to snatch the lead.

    The new rankings leader, with his silky smooth cue action and attacking style, eventually grabbed the second frame by the scruff of the neck.

    After failing to make an impact with his first chance, he embarked on a run of 87 that ended with a missed blue with the rest.

    The break surpassed the day’s previous highest of 80 made by High Wycombe’s Nick Birney in a 2-1 group-stage victory over Ray Mears (Aldershot).

    “It was a tough day,” said Ford. “I’ve battled well but haven’t played well. And it’s only a 20-minute drive home, so that’s a bonus.”

    Talking about Wallace, he added: “Martin’s consistent. He’s (usually) in the quarters or semis. He’s a dangerous opponent.”

    Earlier, in the group of death that included former champion Hunter, former joint champion Wayne Muddiman and defending champion Talmondt, Ford recorded his first ever victory over Hunter (“although it wasn’t pretty”).

    Muddiman (Southampton) can consider himself a tad unlucky after winning three of his four matches in that group - and finishing third.

    As only the best three of the five group runners-up could qualify for the knockout, a tense best-of-three black-ball play-off - enjoyed immensely by those not involved - was needed to separate three players who had the same frames difference. Neil Carroll (Southampton) and John Monckton (Woking) progressed at the expense of Mark Tillison (Waterlooville).

    Monckton was knocked out 2-0 in the last-four by Wallace while Ford saw off Talmondt by the same score in the second semi.

    Ford leads ex-professional Talmondt (Portsmouth) by nine points. Group-stage casualty Hunter (Andover) drops to third, two points ahead of Wallace.

    The fourth leg of seven is at Cue T’s, Marchwood, on Sunday, December 18. The top-20 ranked players at the end of the series will play off for £500 prize money in Newbury on April 23.


    Matt Ford: 87, 54, 48, 43.
    Nick Birney: 80, 66, 44.
    Jon Monckton: 58.
    Jean-Marc Bancilhon: 53.
    Dan Hammond: 48.
    Mike Talmondt: 46.
    John Hunter: 40.
    Wayne Muddiman: 40.


    GROUP A: 1st, Chris Stocker (Sunninghill Comrades Club, Ascot); 2nd, Mark Tillison (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 3rd, Alan Thomas (Jesters, Swindon); 4th, Stephen Hills (Traders, Northfleet); 5th, Richard Arnold (Salisbury SC).

    GROUP B: 1st, Paul Lawrence (Park Gate RBL); 2nd, Neil Carroll (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Dave Pullman (Sunninghill Comrades Club, Ascot); 4th, Paul Shears (Devizes Literary & Scientific Inst); 5th, Peter Chin (Jesters, Swindon).

    GROUP C: 1st, Nick Birney (Liberal Club, High Wycombe); 2nd, John Monckton (Woking SC); 3rd, Jean-Marc Bancilhon (Camphill Social Club); 4th, David Stewart (Chandler’s Ford SC); 5th, Ray Mears (Sovereign SC, Farnborough).

    GROUP D: 1st, Mike Talmondt (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 2nd, Matt Ford (Sunninghill Comrades Club, Ascot); 3rd, Wayne Muddiman (Chandlers Ford Central); 4th, John Hunter (Salisbury SC); 5th, Wasim Khan (Liberal Club, High Wycombe).

    GROUP E: 1st, Martin Wallace (Crowthorne RBL); 2nd, Nick Miles (Ashlett Club, Fawley); 3rd, Dan Hammond (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Steve Ashton (Salisbury SC); 5th, Jon Walker (Potting Shed, Aldbourne).


    QUARTER-FINALS (£10, 12 points): Wallace 2 Stoker 0, Monckton 2 Lawrence 1, Ford 2 Birney 1, Talmondt 2 Carroll 0.

    SEMI-FINALS (£30, 15 points): Wallace 2 Monckton 0, 2 Ford 2 Talmondt 0.

    FINAL (£100/£50, 25/18 points): Ford 2 Wallace 0.

    Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)