ALDERSHOT’S Ryan Mears has emerged as favourite to claim the Cuestars South of England Championship Tour snooker title.
The 22-year-old took a clear lead in the rankings after victory in the third leg at Salisbury Snooker Club.
Mears disposed of Southampton’s Mike Finn in the final.
After taking the first frame, he had a chance for 2-0 after Finn constructed a 67 break.
Ryan’s dad Ray said: “Ryan eventually had a chance to clear up the colours following a 39 break and a snooker, but failed on a long yellow.”
The pair shared the next two. Finn went in off the first red in the decider and later miss-hit a safety shot. Mears kicked off a 54 break with a difficult plant followed by a long straight blue.
Finn, who had beaten Mears 3-2 in the group stages, went in off again and conceded with a possible 67 points left on the table.
“You win some; you lose some,” said Finn, who admitted that liquid refreshment had been taken during his 25th birthday celebrations the previous day.
In the group stages, Salisbury teenager James Bolton pulled off a stunning victory over Mark McLean to qualify for the knockout.
McLean (Southampton) led 2-0 and by 44 points in the third. Bolton, 16, won 3-2.
Finn compiled a 64 in his 3-1 semi-final victory over Martin Wallace (Reading) while Mears accounted for Bolton 3-0 and contributed a 55.