A CUESTARS Seniors Tour player recovered from feeling “cheesed off” to land his first singles title since the late 1980s.
Neil Carroll edged Steve Wheatland 4-3 in a three-and-a-quarter-hour epic Tony May Trophy final at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club.
Wheatland, from Southampton, had snatched the first frame of the Winchester City & District Snooker League’s handicapped singles final on a re-spotted black after failing to pot a colour until the 15th red.
Carroll, who conceded a 12-point start to his Chandler’s Ford SC C teammate, said: “I threw the first frame away. I played really well until the colours.
“I was really cheesed off at that point.”
But a 43 break, his highest this year, gave the 48-year-old from Rownhams a 2-1 lead.
After Wheatland levelled before the mid-session interval, Carroll missed a dolly black into a middle pocket for a 25 clearance but sunk a much harder second chance.
“At that point, it was all or nothing,” he admitted. “I’d probably have lost 4-2 if I’d lost that frame.”
Wheatland squared the match again before Carroll took the decider, albeit assisted by a couple of his famous flukes.
“I’m pleased with that,” he said.
“I know how good a player Steve is. Tactically, I’ve probably got the edge; potting wise, Steve’s got the edge on me.
“I tend to get a bit of run. I get ribbed by the other guys. But it wasn’t until the last frame that I got a couple of flukes.”
Carroll finished joint eighth on the Cuestars South of England Seniors Tour this season and sixth in the Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League.
Quarter-finals: Dave Nunn 2 Nathan Page 0, Steve Wheatland w/o Jamie Risk, Glenn Shefford 2 Tony Brine 1. Bye: Neil Carroll.
Semi-finals: Carroll 3 Nunn 2, Wheatland 3 Shefford 0.
Final: Carroll 4 Wheatland 3. Frame scores (breaks), Carroll first: 49(22)-56, 70(20)-27, 66(43)-29, 32-73, 69-58, 41(20)-75(24), 65-45.
Picture by Tim Dunkley. Neil Carroll (left) and Steve Wheatland