Ashton’s cup (of Ovaltine) runneth over

STEVE Ashton celebrated his first win of the Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League season with a well-deserved cup of Ovaltine.

Following six straight defeats, the 55-year-old (pictured) climbed off the bottom of the table after “thrashing” Neil Carroll (Rownhams) 3-2 at Salisbury Snooker Club.

Ashton needed a snooker on the blue in the first frame and took the lead with a cheeky double on the black, which he insisted he played for.

Carroll then squared the match but Ashton went 2-1 up thanks to a 37 break and he wrapped up the win bonus after trailing in the fourth. Carroll picked up an extra point for winning the fifth.

It was a busy fortnight for World Seniors Tour player Carroll, who defeated Richard Arnold 3-2.

But firmly sandwiched between tables 8 and 10, the players weren’t sure whether they were doing battle in a kindergarten or a nursing home.

On one side were a couple of youngsters, who definitely weren’t too long out of nappies, and on the other side were octogenarians, who weren’t far from being introduced to the adult version of that article of clothing.

Carroll coped with the playing conditions rather better than Arnold and played the more solid snooker to move into an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Arnold rallied by attacking more and started to pot some good stuff to earn the last two frames and two valuable league points.

Carroll was also beaten 4-1 by Neil Herd (Frome).

Herd, who posted runs of 34 and 37, admitted: “We were both a bit below par.”

And second-placed Anthony Rice (Fordingbridge) whitewashed Arnold 5-0.

“It wasn’t the highest quality but I was consistent throughout with a few 30s and a 40 odd,” said the 20-year-old.

“He had a nice 39 in the fourth frame but I managed to claw it back on the colours.”

Results: Steve Ashton 3-2 Neil Carroll, Anthony Rice 5-0 Richard Arnold, Neil Herd 4-1 Neil Carroll, Neil Carroll 3-2 Richard Arnold, Anthony Rice 4-1 David Rice (corrected result), Lee Stagg P-P Paul Burt, David Rice P-P John Hunter.

Highest break: John Hunter 76

P W L F A Pts
John Hunter 7 7 0 30 5 37
Anthony Rice 7 6 1 25 10 31
Neil Carroll 7 3 4 17 18 20
Neil Herd 6 3 3 16 14 19
David Rice 6 3 3 13 17 16
Paul Burt 6 2 4 11 19 13
Richard Arnold 6 2 4 11 19 13
Steve Ashton 7 1 6 12 23 13
Lee Stagg 6 2 4 10 20 12

Picture by Tim Dunkley

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)