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Bunyard edges closer

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  • Bunyard edges closer

    PAUL Bunyard is bearing down on his fellow Aldershot snooker hotshot Ryan Mears in the race for the Cuestars South of England Championship Tour title.

    The 38-year-old closed the gap to 20 points following a 3-1 victory over the rankings leader in the final of the fifth leg at Fareham Snooker Club.

    Second-placed Mike Finn (Eastleigh) and Mark Lloyd (Gosport), who was third, made last-16 exits.

    Bunyard, now level with Finn, said: “It’ll be hard to catch Ryan because he’s so consistent. But, at the end of the day, you can only do what you do.”

    He took the opening frame, thanks in no small part to an outrageous fluke on the penultimate red that also developed the black into a perfect position.

    But, as he pointed out with a laugh: “You make your own luck - unless it’s against me.”

    Bunyard, who also won the second leg in Chandler’s Ford last October, doubled his advantage with a 56 break that ended when he called a foul on himself.

    Mears pulled one back but the 29-year-old was left chasing snookers with two reds left in the fourth frame.

    Bunyard said: “I didn’t play particularly well in the group stages but, having Mike Finn in my group, once I won that one, I had a chance and played quite well in the knockout.

    “Playing Ryan in the final is always going to be tough. You have to try to keep him out of the balls. And then, hopefully, when you get in the balls, score a few.”

    Both finalists compete in the Byfleet & District Billiards & Snooker League.

    Earlier, Martin Wallace (Wokingham), who insisted he “couldn’t pot a ball” on his return from a month-long holiday in his beloved Australia ten days before the event, lost two pink-ball frames to Mears in his first semi-final for three years.

    And Bunyard fought back from 1-0 down to overcome former Welsh international Callum Lloyd 3-1 in the second last-four encounter.

    The 28 runners for the event sponsored by Fuller’s brewery returned 19 breaks of 50 or more.

    Highest in the group stages was a 90 chalked up by Finn against James Cullen (Walton-on-Thames) which eclipsed the 83 made by Paul Ganley (Woking), on his return to the circuit, in his match against women’s world number 30 Chloe White (Havant).

    But Bunyard surpassed them all in the knockout with a 97 to wrap up a 2-0 last-16 victory over Ganley.

    Turning back to the group stages, Chandlers Ford SC pair Stu Barter and Neil Carroll played out a deciding frame to remember (or forget) on one of the club's two unforgiving professional standard Star tables.

    Not one colour was potted off the first 13 reds. Carroll let slip a 9-4 lead and lost the frame.

    For more information about Fuller’s, a family-run London brewery established in 1845, go to

    The sixth leg of eight is at The Crucible Sports & Social Club, Newbury, on Sunday, February 11. The eventual rankings winner earns a free place at World Snooker’s end-of-season Q School.


    Paul Bunyard: 97, 59, 56.
    Mike Finn: 90, 53.
    Paul Ganley: 83.
    Callum Lloyd: 78, 61, 60, 54.
    Ryan Mears: 78, 61, 50.
    Mark Lloyd: 66.
    Labeeb Ahmed: 59, 54, 51.
    Ronnie Blake: 54.
    Christian Chislett: 53.


    GROUP A: 1st, Labeeb Ahmed (Frames, Coulsdon); 2nd, Adam Nash (Churchills, Eastleigh); 3rd, Ronnie Blake (Frames, Coulsdon); 4th, Stu Barter (Chandlers Ford SC); 5th, Neil Carroll (Chandlers Ford SC).

    GROUP B: 1st, Martin Wallace (Crowthorne RBL); 2nd, Dan Sykes (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Paul Ganley (Woking SC); 4th, George Heatley (Woking SC); 5th, Chloe White (Waterlooville Sports Bar).

    GROUP C: 1st, Arron Smith (Selsey RBL); 2nd, James Budd (Fareham SC); 3rd, Mark Lloyd (Stoke SC, Gosport); 4th, Callum White (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 5th, Ray Mears (Sovereign, Farnborough).

    GROUP D: 1st, Callum Lloyd (Redz, Cwmbran); 2nd, Ryan Mears (Sovereign, Farnborough); 3rd, Stewart Crosswell (Churchills, Eastleigh); 4th, Andrew Darken (Chertsey SSNR Club); 5th, Mike Trigg (Chandlers Ford SC).

    GROUP E: 1st, Paul Bunyard (Woking SC); 2nd, Mike Finn (Churchills, Eastleigh); 3rd, James Cullen (Woking SC); 4th, Elliott Weston (Top Spot, Havant).

    GROUP F: 1st, Christian Chislett (Selsey RBL, Chichester); 2nd, Steve Wheatland (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Christopher Edwards (West Byfleet Social Club); 4th, Steven Hughes (Chandlers Ford SC).


    LAST-16 (20 points): Ahmed 2-0 Wheatland, Wallace 2-0 Crosswell, Blake 2-0 Smith, Ryan Mears 2-0 Finn, Nash 2-0 Sykes, C Lloyd 2-1 M Lloyd, Bunyard 2-0 Ganley, Budd 2-0 Chislett.

    QUARTER-FINALS (£20, 24 points): Wallace 3-1 Ahmed, Ryan Mears 3-2 Blake, C Lloyd 3-2 Nash, Bunyard 3-1 Budd.

    SEMI-FINALS (£35, 30 points): Ryan Mears 2-0 Wallace, Bunyard 3-1 C Lloyd.

    FINAL (£140/£70, 50/36 points): Bunyard 3-1 Ryan Mears.

    Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)