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Cowdroy may not need his back-up plan

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  • Cowdroy may not need his back-up plan

    BRADLEY Cowdroy may be focusing on his “back-up” plan but it’s not doing his snooker any harm.

    The 16-year-old from Bournemouth leads the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour after claiming his fourth winner’s trophy of the season.

    In a battle of the left-handers, Cowdroy beat Oliver Sykes 2-0 to clinch the ninth leg at the 147 Snooker Club, Swindon.

    Both finalists recently earned promotion to the national under-21 circuit, the EASB Premier Junior Tour.

    Cowdroy took the first frame on the black and a 46 break in the second left his 12-year-old opponent from Chandler’s Ford requiring snookers with three reds left.

    “Oliver almost did a really good clearance to go 1-0 up and for me to nick that after he missed the black was massive,” he said.

    Cowdroy, who lost 2-0 to Sykes in their first round-robin match of the day, reckons he’s not the quickest out of the blocks.

    “It started off not great,” he said. “I always start off slow but somehow managed to get my game together and started to play some decent stuff.”

    He added that travelling all over the country on the Premier Tour will be a “nightmare” but he’s “looking forward” to it.

    However, with his GCSEs looming large on the horizon, the Greenbaize Snooker Club will be seeing less of the talented teenager for a couple of months.

    “After I get my exams out of the way, I’m going to fully focus on snooker over the summer,” he vowed.

    “I’m going to properly knuckle down to practise and try to keep my place next season and try to build from there.

    “Snooker’s always been number one for me, and I still believe that can happen, but you always need a back-up.”

    Connor Benzey (Eastleigh) recorded the day’s highest break of 80 against Evan Plummer (Coulsdon) in the group stages of the event sponsored by Swindon-based Smarter Cuesports.

    Sykes knocked in a 76 in his 2-0 last-four victory over Anthony Rice (Fordingbridge).

    Mickey Joyce (Basingstoke), smart in his England waistcoat, was beaten 2-1 by Cowdroy in the second semi.

    Cowdroy takes a 15-point lead over Aidan Murphy (Bristol) into the tenth and final leg at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club on Sunday, May 6. Rice is three points further back in third.

    “It’s always nice to have the lead going into the last event because whatever happens is totally within my hands,” said Cowdroy.


    Connor Benzey: 80, 52, 43.
    Oliver Sykes: 76, 53.
    Bradley Cowdroy: 71, 46, 40.
    Aidan Murphy: 52.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Anthony Rice (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Mickey Joyce (Academy, Basingstoke); 3rd, Connor Benzey (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, Evan Plummer (Frames, Coulsdon); 5th, Dan Sykes (Chandlers Ford SC).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Oliver Sykes (Chandlers Ford SC); 2nd, Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Olly Gibbs (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, Jamie Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Aidan Murphy (Fishponds Cons Club, Bristol); 2nd, Steven Hughes (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Ryan Hughes (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, Elliott Weston (Top Spot, Havant).

    QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Rice 2-1 Gibbs, O Sykes 2-1 Benzey, Cowdroy 2-1 Murphy, Joyce 2-0 S Hughes.

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): O Sykes 2-0 Rice, Cowdroy 2-1 Joyce.

    FINAL (£65/£32.50, 25/18 points): Cowdroy 2-0 O Sykes.

    Ally Pollard in dreamland

    ALDERHOLT’S green-baize battler Ally Pollard finally got his hands on a winner’s trophy at his 50th tournament on a regional snooker circuit.

    It has taken the never-say-die 21-year-old more than five years and several thousand miles of travelling to reach his champagne moment.

    Pollard beat Ferndown potter Nat Kidner 2-1 in the final of the ninth leg of the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Silver Tour at the 147 Snooker Club, Swindon.

    He explained what winning the silverware meant to him in his penultimate event on the junior circuit and reflected on the years of disappointments.

    “To finally get my hands on a winner’s trophy is a brilliant feeling,” said Pollard. “Especially in my last year.

    “I just remember playing and getting beat every single time. I felt like winning was miles away.

    “I kept trying and I kept coming along and this season it seems to have all happened for me.”

    Pollard was forced to fight back from 1-0 down to Kidner, a winner of two legs this season.

    However, the fairy tale looked to be over as Kidner took the lead in the decider.

    Needing the last four colours, Pollard potted brown and blue, fluked the pink, and sunk a missable black.

    It is hoped the table will recover from the celebratory bang it received from the victor’s hand.

    Talking about the clearance, Pollard said: “My head was starting to go at that point.

    “I was thinking I’m 20 behind. But then I looked at the table and thought hold on a minute - if I could get myself together and pot these four balls, it’s all there.

    “Now that it’s happened, I’m on cloud nine. It’s been a long time playing in these competitions.”

    Pollard had topped the round-robin group in the event sponsored by Swindon-based Smarter Cuesports and edged Chloe White (Havant) 2-1 in the last-four.

    Kidner defeated rankings leader Brett Wallace (Gosport) 2-0 in the second semi.

    Pollard began his long journey to success on the Cuestars circuit on home tables at Salisbury Snooker Club in October, 2012.

    Promotion from the Bronze Tour followed two seasons later. But before finishing runner-up in the previous two events in Fareham and Salisbury in his fourth campaign on the Silver Tour, he had never appeared in a final.

    Chandlers Ford Snooker Club hosts the tenth and final leg on Sunday, May 6.


    Brett Wallace: 38.
    Nat Kidner: 32.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP: 1st, Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Brett Wallace (Fareham SC); 3rd, Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 4th, Chloe White (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 5th, Callum White (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 6th, Riley Ellis (147 SC, Swindon); 7th, Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC).

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Kidner 2-0 Wallace, Pollard 2-1 Chloe White.

    FINAL (25/18 points): Pollard 2-1 Kidner.

    Sullivan claims Bronze rankings title

    CHIPSTEAD’S teenage potting ace Ronnie Sullivan has wrapped up the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour rankings title in emphatic style.

    The 13-year-old defeated first-time finalist Will Forster (Gosport) 2-0 to claim the ninth leg of ten at the 147 Snooker Club, Swindon.

    Sullivan, who broke the back of the second frame with a run of 34, had virtually secured top spot with two events to play.

    However, he was more delighted that he had won all nine frames in the event sponsored by Swindon-based Smarter Cuesports.

    “I’m more pleased about not dropping a frame than about winning the tournament,” he said.

    “But I’m still not playing as well as I should be playing.”

    Sullivan increased his highest competitive break to 80 in a handicap competition on home tables at Frames Sports Bar, Coulsdon, last month.

    So the target is a century? Not for this young man.

    He said: “Something over 110 would make me happy because 102 or 109 is not enough.”

    Sullivan made a nervous Cuestars debut at Frames in December, 2016. In fact, his first match was against Forster.

    “I lost 2-0 to Will,” recalled Sullivan. “I still remember the black he potted to beat me.”

    He has now won seven of his 16 tournaments and been runner-up on four occasions. His semi-final defeat by Riccardo Drayton (Chandler’s Ford) in Salisbury last month ended a run of nine finals.

    Sullivan, who has the English Under-14 Championship final in June to look forward to, thanked Curtis Braithwaite, Terry Burke and Tony Thompson for their help and support.

    Drayton, who was joint second with Samuel Laxton (Portsmouth), beat his rival for the runner-up spot 2-0 in the last-eight but went out by the same score to 12-year-old Forster in the last-four.

    In the second semi, Louie Leighton (Basildon) lost 2-0 to Sullivan.

    Sullivan and Drayton both recorded the day’s highest break of 40.

    Chandlers Ford Snooker Club hosts the tenth and final leg on Sunday, May 6.


    Ronnie Sullivan: 40, 34, 20.
    Riccardo Drayton: 40, 25.
    Will Forster: 23.
    Louie Leighton: 20.


    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Ronnie Sullivan (Frames, Coulsdon); 2nd, Samuel Laxton (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 3rd, Harry Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 4th, Jaydon Elliott (147 SC, Swindon).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Louie Leighton (Rileys, Benfleet); 2nd, Will Forster (Mayfair, Gosport); 3rd, O’Shay Scott (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, Mason Wilson (Academy, Basingstoke).

    ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Dean Russell (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 2nd, Riccardo Drayton (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Oliver Cooper (Frames, Coulsdon); 4th, Taylor Elliott (147 SC, Swindon).

    QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Sullivan 2-0 Cooper, Leighton 2-1 H Wilson, Forster 2-0 Russell, Drayton 2-0 Laxton.

    SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Forster 2-0 Drayton, Sullivan 2-0 Leighton.

    FINAL (25/18 points): Sullivan 2-0 Forster.

    Second Plate trophy for Scott

    NINE-year-old O’Shay Scott collected his second Plate winner’s trophy in three events at the 147 Snooker Club, Swindon.

    The Angry Wasp missed out on a place in the Bronze Tour knockout after losing a three-way play-off.

    But Scott (Eastleigh) beat home player Riley Ellis in the final of the competition for non-qualifiers.

    Silver player Ellis had been one win shy of progressing to the knockout in the event sponsored by Swindon-based Smarter Cuesports.

    Chandlers Ford Snooker Club hosts the tenth and final leg on Sunday, May 6.


    SEMI-FINALS: Riley Ellis (147 SC, Swindon) beat Callum White (Waterlooville Sports Bar); O’Shay Scott (Chandlers Ford SC) beat Taylor and Jaydon Elliott (147 SC, Swindon) in a one-frame round-robin.

    FINAL: Scott beat Ellis.

    Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)