“Astonishing day” at Chandler’s Ford SC

THE tables were turned on Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club owner Jim Everett on an “astonishing” day that saw four players record five personal best breaks. Over the course of the season, the club’s members amassed nearly 50 per cent more points across all the Cuestars tournaments than second-placed Salisbury Snooker Club.

They collected the Club Rankings trophy, for the first time since 2004, from professional Kurt Maflin in Swindon the previous week.

And ten-year-old Oliver Sykes was selected to present the silverware to Everett, who has handed out hundreds of trophies to talented youngsters over the past 20 years.

The first personal best break of the day was posted by Bowen Zhu in an Eastleigh & District Under-13 League match against Charlie Wood. The 11-year-old missed the black on 37.

In the first round of Under-19 matches later in the morning, Charlie Pringle compiled a new high of 52 against Cuestars Bronze Tour double winner Ryan Hughes.

In his very next frame, the 14-year-old topped that with a 56 against England Under-14 Championship finalist Jamie Wilson.

And in the third round of games, Cuestars Silver Tour rankings winner Connor Benzey chalked up a 63 against five-time Premier champion Mickey Joyce.

World Snooker coach Tim Dunkley, who has helped Everett run the junior leagues for ten years and watched the drama unfold, said: “I can’t remember anyone making back-to-back 50s in the Under-19 League before.

“It’s not often that a half-century breaker sets two new personal bests and is still pipped for the morning’s high-break prize.

“It was a surreal 40 minutes.”

Later, in the Open Series, and a day after his 13th birthday, Joyce compiled a personal best 83 in the first frame of his quarter-final match against Grahame Hughes and – as is so usual in those circumstances – lost 2-1.

And in a scene that evoked memories of Manchester Utd changing from a grey strip to a blue one halfway through a 3-1 defeat by the Saints at The Dell 20 years ago, Hughes, feeling rather warm, swapped a grey shirt for a blue one halfway through his first final victory since October, 2014.

“It was an astonishing day,” said Dunkley, who will be running the Ken Jones May Half-Term Cup for under-18s from Monday to Friday, 11am-3pm, next week at Chandler’s Ford SC.


Top five: 1st, Chandlers Ford SC 1383 points; 2nd, Salisbury SC 931; 3rd, Greenbaize, Bournemouth, 813; 4th, Copnor SC, Portsmouth, 565; 5th, Jesters SC, Swindon, 471.

Picture by Tim Dunkley. Cuestars players and parents watch Oliver Sykes present the Club Rankings trophy to Jim Everett.

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