Sound display by Herd

TROWBRIDGE century-breaker Neil Herd dropped just two frames to claim the Cuestars Open at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.

Playing in his first tournament of the season, Herd, receiving a 28-point handicap start, eased past former Challenge Tour player Nathan Williams 3-0 in the final.

Herd, who many years ago posted a 136 break in a Cuestars event, defeated Paul Rose (Jesters SC, Swindon) and Dennis Hushley (Copnor SC, Portsmouth) both 3-0 but was forced to a fifth-frame decider by Reading youngster Dean Matthews in the last four.

Williams, from Salisbury, edged out Paul Quinnell, from Guildford, 3-2 in the second semi.

High Wycombe’s Nick Birney, who triumphed in Bournemouth last month, lost 3-2 in the last 16 to Dion Baker.

Despite a first-round exit to Jesters club-mate David Volante, ranking leader Neil Craycraft denied Williams top spot with victory in the Plate.

The 35-year-old overcame Rose 2-0 in the final to lead by four points. Portsmouth pair Baker and Hushley are third and fourth with two to play.

Herd became the eighth different winner of Cuestars Open events this season. Birney, Williams, Craycraft, James Sumner, Sebastian Worrall, Billy Castle and Shane Castle all have one victory each.


Neil Craycraft: 93

Paul Quinnell: 48


LAST 32 (three points): Alan Childs (Salisbury SC) bt Declon Shipperley (Liberal Club, High Wycombe) 3-0, Paul Quinnell (Rileys, Guildford) bt Liam Tinne (Salisbury SC) 3-2, David Volante (Jesters SC, Swindon) bt Neil Craycraft (Jesters SC, Swindon), Nat Day ( Reading) bt Cameron Holt (Reading), Nick Birney (Liberal Club, High Wycombe) bt Mason Sawyer (Colours, Reading) 3-0, Dion Baker (Copnor SC, Portsmouth) bt Marc Harman (Wimbledon) 3-0.

LAST 16 (five points): Quinnell bt Childs 3-0, Volante bt Day, Birney bt Baker 3-2, Nathan Williams (Salisbury SC) bt Ron Ellis (Burgh Heath, Surrey), Neil Herd (Trowbridge) bt Paul Rose (Jesters SC, Swindon) 3-0, Dennis Hushley (Copnor SC, Portsmouth) bt Tim Clark (Jesters SC, Swindon) 3-0, Mark Silvester (Cowplain Club) bt Fred Pearce (Burgh Heath, Surrey) 3-0, Dean Matthews (Reading) bt Liam O’Shea (Jesters SC, Swindon) 3-0.

QUARTER-FINALS (eight points): Quinnell bt Volante 3-1, Williams bt Birney 3-0, Herd bt Hushley 3-0, Matthews bt Silvester 3-0.

SEMI-FINALS (12 points): Williams bt Quinnell 3-2, Herd bt Matthews 3-2.

FINAL (25/18 points): Herd bt Williams 3-0.


LAST 16: Craycraft bt Shipperley 2-0, Pearce bt Sawyer, Ellis bt Clark.

QUARTER-FINALS: Craycraft bt Pearce 2-1, Ellis bt Holt, Tinne bt O’Shea, Rose w/o Harman.

SEMI-FINALS (one point): Craycraft bt Ellis 2-1, Rose bt Tinne.

FINAL (five/three points): Craycraft bt Rose 2-0.