‘Slammin’ Dunks’ powers his way to Salisbury victory

A POWER cut threatened to short-circuit Alex Dunkley’s bid to clinch the fourth leg of the Cuestars South of England Championship Tour.

But the former Cuestars Under-21 champion (left) made light of the 20-minute break during the second frame of the semi-finals to make it a lucky 13th outing on the circuit.
Dunkley secured his first tournament win on the Championship Tour by edging Aldershot hotshot Ryan Mears 3-2 on the final black on the match-table at Salisbury Snooker Club.
Mears, who is based at Farnborough’s Sovereign Snooker Club, had clawed back a 2-0 deficit and led by 14 points on the colours.
But his 23-year-old opponent potted yellow to blue to level. And then doubled the pink and developed the match-ball black.
Ray Mears, Ryan’s dad, said: “It was very exciting with lots of chances missed by both into the tight pockets of table 15.”
Less than 12 hours after returning from the Pro-Ticket Tour in Leeds, Dunkley was in action in Salisbury.
The Cue T’s Snooker Lounge potter, dubbed ‘Slammin’ Dunks’, topped his four-man round-robin group and defeated James Ray (Farnborough) 3-1 in the last-eight.
During the second frame of his 3-0 semi-final victory over rankings leader Jon Charlton – who lives in Haslemere but is based at Aldwick RBL, Bognor Regis – all the club’s table lights went out. The lads retired to the bar to catch part of the Carling Cup Final.
Dunkley climbed to third, one point adrift of Martin Wallace (Reading).
Ryan Mears, 23, beat two clubmates, James Ray and Dominic Holmes, to win Group D and accounted for Wallace 3-0 in the last-eight
Welsh under-19 international Callum Lloyd (Rileys, Newport) beat Charlton in the group stages on his Cuestars debut. The Group C winner dispatched home player Steve Ashton 3-0 in the last-eight but went out by the same score in the semi-finals to Mears.
It’s been so long since Stuart Haines turned out for a Cuestars event that his registered home club, the 147 in Southampton, actually closed nearly five years ago. Haines won all three matches in Group B but was knocked out 3-0 by Charlton in the quarter-finals.
And congratulations must go to long-suffering snookerdad Ray Mears, who won his first-ever frame on the tour – against clubmate Jessie Stevens.
“I was pleased with my own performance as I won a frame in a Cuestars Championship match for the first time ever,” said Mears senior.
“(It was) the first fruits of the extra time I am spending working on my game since I retired!”
The fifth of the six legs is on Sunday, March 25, at the Ambassador Snooker Club, Poole.
Ryan Mears: 86, 58, 54, 54, 53.
Callum Lloyd: 72, 68.
Ben Tanner: 52, 52, 52.
GROUP A: 1st, Alex Dunkley (Cue T’s, Marchwood); 2nd, Martin Wallace (Colours, Reading); 3rd, Ben Tanner (The Academy, Eastleigh); 4th, Ollie Kendrick (Whitmore Reans Cons Club, Wolverhampton).
GROUP B: 1st, Stuart Haines (147, Southampton); 2nd, Steve Ashton (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Jessie Stevens (Sovereign SC, Farnborough); 4th, Ray Mears (Sovereign SC, Farnborough).
GROUP C: 1st, Callum Lloyd (Rileys, Newport, South Wales); 2nd, Jonathan Charlton (Aldwick RBL, Bognor Regis); 3rd, Alex Thorn (Salisbury SC).
GROUP D: 1st, Ryan Mears (Sovereign SC, Farnborough); 2nd, James Ray (Sovereign SC, Farnborough); 3rd, Dominic Holmes (Sovereign SC, Farnborough).
QUARTER-FINALS (8 points, £5): Dunkley beat Ray 3-1, Charlton beat Haines 3-0, Lloyd beat Ashton 3-0, Ryan Mears beat Wallace 3-0.
SEMI-FINALS (12 points, £15): Dunkley beat Charlton 3-0, Ryan Mears beat Lloyd 3-0.
FINAL (25/18 points, £60/£30): Dunkley beat Ryan Mears 3-2.