Budd crowned six reds champion

LAST year’s runner-up has gone one better in the Gosport & Fareham Snooker League’s Six Reds Championship.

Fareham teenager James Budd (left) won a “thrilling” fifth-frame decider against Scott Stoneage to claim £65 prize money at Mayfair Snooker Club, Gosport.

The 17-year-old, who is third in the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour rankings and also competes on the EASB Regional Junior Tour, battled back from 1-0 down to edge out seasoned league player Stoneage 3-2.

Budd, receiving a seven-point handicap start, said: “Scott is a great player. I played him in a recent scratch comp and lost 3-0. But I seemed more relaxed and I played some brilliant shots.”

The 25-strong field played off half their league handicaps in four round-robin groups.

Budd topped his seven-man group, winning 13 frames out of 18. He then saw off defending champion James Fox 2-1 in the quarter-finals and knocked in a 44 break in the opening frame of a 2-0 last-four victory over Dan Booker.

“That break helped me to get a rhythm going to get into the final,” explained Budd, who is sponsored by BAF Entertainment.

And he added: “Thanks to everyone in the league who have supported me during games and after. I really appreciate it.”

Report and picture by Tim Dunkley.