Hunter and Burt off to flying starts

FIVE-time champion John Hunter and Britford cueman Paul Burt lead the Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League after the opening matches of the new season.

Hunter’s bid to retain the Graham Lee Memorial Trophy got off to a flying start with breaks of 52, 69 and 49 in a 5-0 victory over Neil Carroll at Salisbury Snooker Club.

“The second frame was crucial,” said Hunter, who led with a run of 52. “Neil was unlucky. After potting a fantastic blue he narrowly missed bringing the pink ball into a potable position to steal the frame.”

Burt also picked up maximum points at the Tollgate Rd club. The 48-year-old defeated Alex Thorn (pictured with Jimmy White, who sadly doesn\’t play in the league) 5-0 in a “war of attrition”.

Thorn (Shrewton) said: “It was one of those matches where it doesn’t matter what you do, you’re not going to win it.”

Solid matchplay earned Richard Arnold a 4-1 victory over last season’s runner-up Steve Ashton. Arnold (Salisbury) clawed back a 37-point deficit to pinch the second frame. A green to black clearance in the last salvaged a consolation point for Ashton.

After losing a scrappy first frame on the black, Trevor Pittman (Salisbury), who compiled a 34 break, steadily improved against Stuart Dreyer and ran out a 4-1 winner.

Amesbury teenager James Bolton edged past Gary Hart (Porton) 3-2. The 15-year-old won the first frame on the pink and the second with a tricky brown near the yellow pocket while cueing over the black.

Hart, who cleared the colours for the third and “got going a little” in the fifth, described the match as a “shaky start for us both”.

Results: Richard Arnold 4 Steve Ashton 1, Stuart Dreyer 1 Trevor Pittman 4, Paul Burt 5 Alex Thorn 0, John Hunter 5 Neil Carroll 0, Gary Hart 2 James Bolton 3.