Charlie crowned Christmas Cup champion

BEHIND the smile lies eleven months of hard work and hundreds of hours of table time tinged with a liberal helping of heartache.

The smile tells you that it has all finally paid off for Bronze Tour player Charlie Pringle (pictured).

The 13-year-old ended seven days of skills training and competitions as the Christmas Cup champion at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club

Charlie, who led the rankings from Day 1, said: “I’ve won but I want to win more.”

Defending champion Steven Hughes finished 18 points adrift in second place.

However, there was nearly a final twist in today’s all-day snooker tournament. Pringle beat Hughes on the pink in his final group match to clinch his first perpetual trophy.

But defeat would have gifted Hughes second place in his group and a win in the play-off would have given the 13-year-old 18 points.

Pringle would have faced a three-way tie for bottom place in his group. And losing that and then his play-off match would have yielded four points.

And that would have tied the rankings!

Pringle said: “The pressure was on me today because I had to win a few matches to make sure.

“It feels good to finally get my name on a trophy, which I’ve had to work for.”

The Thornden School pupil joined the Eastleigh & District Under-13 League in February, 2014. Since then he has appeared in all the holiday competitions, progressed to the Under-19 League, become a regular in the Open Series and made his debut on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour.

He said his next ambitions are to win a Cuestars tournament, increase his high break from 22 to 30 and finish in the top four in the Open Series.

A ten-strong field lined-up for the seventh and final day.

Gold Tour player Anthony Rice beat Ally Pollard, who competes on the Silver Tour, to take maximum points on the final day.

Rice compiled a 40, the highest break of the competition.

The lads will reconvene for the February Half-Term Cup.

FINAL DAY LINE-UP. Back row, from left: Austen Petty, Anthony Rice, Ally Pollard. Front row, from left: Alfie Small, Harvey Small, Jacob Small, Charlie Pringle, Oliver Sykes, Steven Hughes, Oli Line.

FINAL RANKINGS: Charlie Pringle 98 pts, Steven Hughes 80, Oliver Sykes 76, Oli Line 57, Harvey Banger 39, Austen Petty 28, Harvey Small 24, James Greaves 23, Anthony Rice 22, Ally Pollard 20, Jacob Small 18, Sam Warren 16, Jack Collins 14, Callum Short 13, Reece Allen 12, Tarrik Wing 10, Alfie Small 10, Ryan Hughes 6, Blake Mitchell 4, Leighton Jeal 4.

Report and picture by Tim Dunkley.