Arnold waxes lyrical after first South Wilts win

RICHARD Arnold produced one of his classic match reports following a far from classic first win of the season in the Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League.

The 54-year-old climbed off the bottom of the table after edging Steve Ashton 3-2 in a fifth-frame decider at Salisbury Snooker Club.

But with a combined 110 years of life experience and 80 years of playing snooker, these two clearly haven’t learnt much.

Ashton opened up a two-frame gap. The run of the balls favoured him at crucial times in the opener but he took the second more convincingly.

Arnold scraped through a scrappy third and then had his turn of good fortune in the fourth, unintentionally angling his opponent in the jaws of a pocket with the frame ball dripping invitingly over another pocket.

With all the colours off their spots, another indication of the match quality, Arnold managed a green to black clearance to nick the decider.

He described snooker as possibly the most frustrating yet enjouable game on the planet.

Both players limped off into the distance for their Ovaltine and a lie down.

Meanwhile, Lee Stagg continued his excellent debut season by ending David Rice’s unbeaten start.

Stagg, who is now fourth in the table, beat Rice 3-2.

He said: “I knew as soon as David had the first frame that I had to tighten up my game. I’m very pleased with the result against such a good player.”

Stagg then lost 5-0 to defending champion John Hunter, who extended his lead at the top to ten points.

Elsewhere, Salisbury-based Phil Morgan has opened up a nine-point lead over Stephen Hills (Kent) in the Cuestars South of England Masters rankings, a separate listing for players aged 55 or over on the Seniors (40+) Tour.

And he climbed to fifth in the Seniors rankings after a quarter-final exit in the fifth leg at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.

Morgan, 55, was undefeated in the group stages before losing 2-0 to Woking tennis coach John Monckton in the last-eight.

Results: Richard Arnold 3-2 Steve Ashton, Lee Stagg 3-2 David Rice, Lee Stagg 0-5 John Hunter, Neil Carroll P-P Paul Burt, Neil Herd P-P David Rice.

Highest break: Neil Herd 59.

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)