Oliver Sykes is youngest Gold Tour champion

CHANDLER’S Ford snooker sensation Oliver Sykes has earnt a place in the record books of a regional junior circuit.

The 13-year-old is the youngest rankings winner in the ten-year history of the Cuestars Under-21 Gold Tour.

Sykes secured the title when Jamie Wilson (Havant) smacked in a long pink in the deciding frame of a key group-stage clash against Callum Browne (Trowbridge) in the last leg at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club.

The talented left-hander admitted he “watched every shot” of the game that denied title-rival Bradley Cowdroy (Bournemouth) a place in the knockout.

Players and parents throughout the club were aware of the significance of the match in which Wilson had battled back from 1-0 down.

Sykes then wrapped up the season by beating clubmate and rankings runner-up Connor Benzey 2-0 in the final to pocket the £100 first prize.

Defending champion Cowdroy, who had been four points adrift of Sykes, finished the season in third place.

Reflecting on a season during which he collected four winner’s trophies, Sykes said: “It’s been great. Bradley’s a really good player and you can’t underestimate him.

“I didn’t play amazing today but I just stuck in there.”

Sykes is the first Chandlers Ford SC member to win the Gold rankings since Daniel Woods in 2011.

Club-owner Ray Cooper was delighted that his golden generation rose to the challenge he laid down last September of bringing home the title this season.

He said: “The response has been fantastic. To see them all raise their efforts to a higher level of attainment was quite emotional.

“They all played their part and there were some outstanding contributions from individuals.

“I’m so proud of each of them for their response and at the same time humbled by their pride in what they have achieved for the club. I thank them all.”

In fact, four Chandlers Ford lads finished in the top six following the tenth leg sponsored by Pitman Training.

Semi-finalist Steven Hughes, who cleared the table for a personal best 79 break against fourth-placed Wilson in the group stages, was fifth. Ryan Hughes (no relation) was sixth.

Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, hosts the end-of-season finals day with special guest Robert Milkins on Sunday, May 19.

For more information about the event sponsor, visit www.pitman-training.com.


Steven Hughes: 79, 57.
Bradley Cowdroy: 73, 51, 49.
Connor Benzey: 54.
Jamie Wilson: 45.


ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Oliver Sykes (Chandlers Ford SC); 2nd, Connor Benzey (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Dan Sykes (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, Ronnie Sullivan (Frames, Coulsdon).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Steven Hughes (Chandlers Ford SC); 2nd, Jamie Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 3rd, Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 4th, Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury); 5th, Chloe White (Waterlooville Sports Bar).

SEMI-FINALS (15 points): O Sykes 2-1 Wilson, Benzey 2-1 Hughes.

FINAL (£100/£25, 25/18 points): O Sykes 2-0 Benzey.

O’Shay claims first Silver tournament win

O’SHAY Scott has won his first regional snooker tournament – at the age of ten.

The Eastleigh potter beat clubmate Mason Wilson (Basingstoke) 2-0 in the final of the tenth leg of the Cuestars Under-21 Silver Tour on home tables at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club.

Scott, who finished the season in fourth place in the rankings, defeated third-placed Louie Leighton (Basildon) 2-1 in the last-eight of the event sponsored by Pitman Training.

And he then prevailed 2-1 in a “very hard” semi-final clash with tour champion Shane Kearns (Swindon).

Known as The Angry Wasp for the way he moves around the table, Scott was runner-up in the previous leg in Salisbury last month.

He said: “I really wanted to win it because it was my second final. I just had to try my best.

“I feel very happy.”

Scott, whose highest break in competition is 56, made his Bronze Tour debut in Havant in February, 2017 at the age of eight. He was promoted to Silver this season.

As well as competing on the EASB Regional Junior Tour South, he has collected a host of titles at his home club.

Last year, the two-time Eastleigh & District Under-13 Premier League champion pocketed a whopping £450 for topping the six-month-long handicapped Open Series and he has won seven of the school-holiday competitions.

Following a titanic battle all season with Kearns, Leighton and Richard Hillgrove (Southend), his clubmate Riley Ellis finished second in the rankings after losing 2-0 to Wilson in the last-eight.

Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, hosts the end-of-season finals day with special guest Robert Milkins on Sunday, May 19.

For more information about the event sponsor, visit www.pitman-training.com.


Shane Kearns: 39.
Richard Hillgrove: 38, 34, 31.
Samuel Laxton: 36, 30.
Zak Truscott: 30.


ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Samuel Laxton (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 2nd, O’Shay Scott (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Shane Kearns (Jesters, Swindon); 4th, Dean Russell (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 5th, Harry Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Richard Hillgrove (Basildon SC); 2nd, Riley Ellis (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Zak Truscott (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 4th, Callum White (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 5th, Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Louie Leighton (Basildon SC); 2nd, Mason Wilson (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC); 4th, Oliver Cooper (Frames, Coulsdon); 5th, Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Laxton 2-1 Truscott, M Wilson 2-0 Ellis, Kearns 2-1 Hillgrove, Scott 2-1 Leighton.

SEMI-FINALS (15 points): M Wilson 2-1 Laxton, Scott 2-1 Kearns.

FINAL (25/18 points): Scott 2-0 M Wilson.

Shane Kearns crowned Silver Tour champion

SWINDON teenager Shane Kearns claimed his first major snooker title the day after returning from holiday in Spain.

The 17-year-old was crowned champion of the Cuestars Under-21 Silver Tour during the final leg at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club.

Although Kearns led the rankings going into the tenth event, two title-rivals were snapping at his heels and both needed to progress at least one round further.

The quiet man of the regional circuit, who hadn’t picked his cue up for a week, revealed that his expectations had not been on the high side.

“I feel happy,” he said. “I thought I wasn’t going to play well today because I came back from holiday yesterday.

“I didn’t even think I was going to qualify (for the knockout).”

In fact, it was a Wiltshire one-two. Riley Ellis (Clyffe Pypard), who won the Bronze title in 2016/17, finished runner-up.

Kearns only missed one leg this season and has never failed to progress from the group stages. He picked up three winner’s trophies along the way.

This Silver Tour has strength in depth but four players soon emerged from the pack to contest an absorbing title race at eight venues across central southern England.

Going into the last leg, Kearns led Ellis by two points. Louie Leighton (Basildon) was one point further back in third. Richard Hillgrove (Southend), who missed the previous tournament in Salisbury, was now out of contention.

The title was decided in the quarter-finals of the event sponsored by Pitman Training.

Kearns beat Hillgrove 2-1, Leighton lost 2-1 to O’Shay Scott (Eastleigh) and Ellis went down 2-0 to Mason Wilson (Basingstoke).

The newly-crowned champion then lost 2-1 in the semi-finals to Scott, the eventual tournament winner. But by then the job was done.

Kearns, who is based at Jesters Snooker Club, said he’s looking forward to competing on the Gold Tour next season.

“It’s going to be hard at first,” he admitted. “I’m trying to focus on different aspects of the game to improve.”

Kearns will be presented with his trophy by guest professional Robert Milkins during finals day at Jesters on Sunday, May 19.

For more information about the event sponsor, visit www.pitman-training.com.

Owen Jenkins, youngest Bronze champion

OWEN Jenkins is another Cuestars Under-21 record-breaker.

The ten-year-old is the youngest Bronze Tour rankings champion in the ten-year history of the junior regional circuit.

Jenkins took a virtually unassailable lead into the tenth and final leg at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club but wrapped things up in style.

He collected his fifth winner’s trophy of the season after beating his Waterlooville Sports Bar clubmate and rankings runner-up Thomas Sharp 2-1 in the final.

“I feel good,” he said. “The last few weeks, I haven’t been on form. But when it comes to Cuestars, I usually perform.”

Reflecting on the nine-month campaign across central southern England, Jenkins added: “It was very tough. They are all getting better and better.

“Thomas has done very well to get second because he was third for most of the season.”

And he is looking forward to the “challenge” of competing in longer matches on the Silver Tour.

“Best-of-threes will be a lot better,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dylan Smith (Tunbridge Wells) compiled a personal best 36 break in the first frame of his 2-1 semi-final defeat by Sharp.

The 11-year-old, who made four finals in his debut season, finished third in the rankings.

Sharp, remarkably, has at least reached the last-four in all ten legs.

Harry Wyatt (Ferndown), in the record books for winning a Bronze final at the age of eight, was fourth.

Freddie Turner (Andover) progressed to the semi-finals for the first time but was knocked out 2-0 by Jenkins.

Jenkins is the first of the new generation of junior league players at Waterlooville Sports Bar to win a Cuestars rankings title.

Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, hosts the end-of-season finals day with special guest Robert Milkins on Sunday, May 19.

For more information about the event sponsor, visit www.pitman-training.com.


Dylan Smith: 36, 27, 20.
Thomas Sharp: 22.
Harry Wyatt: 21.
Owen Jenkins: 20.


ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Owen Jenkins (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 2nd, George Laxton (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 3rd, Daniel Walter (Mayfair, Gosport); 4th, Lennon Savage (Chandlers Ford SC); 5th, Eddie Mason (Salisbury SC).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Thomas Sharp (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 2nd, Will Kempson (Salisbury SC); joint 3rd, Taylor Elliott (147, Swindon) & Ryan Kneller (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 5th, Ryan Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Dylan Smith (Victoria SC, Tunbridge Wells); 2nd, Jaydon Elliott (147, Swindon); 3rd, Katie Griffin (Jesters, Swindon); 4th, William Thomson (Chandlers Ford SC); 5th, Bradley Brewer (Salisbury SC).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP D: 1st, Freddie Turner (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Thomas McEvoy (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Harry Wyatt (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, Jake Sharp (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 5th, Sam Walter (Mayfair, Gosport); 6th, Tyler Mack (Waterlooville Sports Bar).

QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Jenkins 2-1 J Elliott, Turner 2-1 Kempson, T Sharp 2-0 McEvoy, Smith 2-0 Laxton.

SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Jenkins 2-0 Turner, T Sharp 2-1 Smith.

FINAL (25/18 points): Jenkins 2-1 T Sharp.

Picture by Tim Dunkley

Callum Browne claims Plate trophy in Chandler’s Ford

CALLUM Browne (Trowbridge) collected the Plate trophy during the tenth and final legs of the Cuestars Under-21 Gold, Silver and Bronze Tours at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club.

The British universities and colleges individual snooker champion beat Callum White (Havant) in the final of the competition for players not qualifying for the knockouts in the main events.

The two 19-year-olds progressed through a 16-strong field. Exeter University student Browne knocked in the highest break of 65 in his quarter-final victory over Eddie Mason (Salisbury).

Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, hosts the end-of-season finals day with special guest Robert Milkins on Sunday, May 19.

For more information about the event sponsor, visit www.pitman-training.com.


Callum Browne: 65.
Harry Wyatt: 20.


LAST-16: Harry Wyatt (Chandlers Ford SC) beat Lennon Savage (Chandlers Ford SC), Tyler Mack (Waterlooville Sports Bar) beat Bradley Brewer (Salisbury SC), Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury) beat Chloe White (Waterlooville Sports Bar), Eddie Mason (Salisbury SC) beat Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC), Ryan Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar) W/O Harry Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar), William Thomson (Chandlers Ford SC) beat Katie Griffin (Jesters, Swindon), Taylor Elliott (147, Swindon) beat Ryan Kneller (Waterlooville Sports Bar), Callum White (Waterlooville Sports Bar) beat Jake Sharp (Waterlooville Sports Bar).

QUARTER-FINALS: Mack beat Wyatt, Browne beat Mason, R Wilson beat Thomson, Callum White beat Elliott.

SEMI-FINALS: Browne beat Mack, Callum White beat R Wilson.

FINAL: Browne beat Callum White.

Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)