Ladies league ends in “absolute bedlam”

HAMPSHIRE’S only ladies snooker league ended its inaugural season in “absolute bedlam” – but in the nicest possible sense of the phrase.

Michelle Jeffrey, from Micheldever Station, was crowned champion on a presentation night at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club that will live long in the memory.

She had edged Southampton’s Amanda Cox in a one-frame play-off after the pair ended the campaign on the same points.

Jeffrey said it had been a “great experience” competing in the first Ladies Only League and added: “The vast majority of us are new to snooker.

“The league has been great for encouraging ladies to get involved instead of watching our children from the sidelines and is proving to be a great social event for us all too.”

Trudy Schwedler recorded the league’s highest break of 18 in the final round of games.

For presentation night, it was decided to pair up 13 women with 13 members of the club’s Saturday morning under-13 league for a doubles tournament followed by a buffet and karaoke.

If the level of excited chatter and frivolity were any indications of success, the event was an overwhelming triumph.

Marc Lockley, who runs which donated a cue and case for Jeffrey and many other prizes, said: “It was absolute bedlam – in the best possible way.”

On the tables, Charley Linter and Harry Wyatt, nine, beat Kelly Beer and Lennon Savage, nine, in the main final.

Rossana Zagaroli and Fiona Cunningham, nine, overcame Kelly Read and Toby Phillips, seven, in the Plate final.

Mandy Fisher, president of World Women’s Snooker, sent her congratulations.

She said: “I’m delighted to see such a successful local ladies league in Hampshire.

“I would love to see this happening in every county in the UK.

“Huge congratulations to Michelle and commiserations to Amanda who narrowly missed out.

“Well done to everyone involved. You can be very proud of your success.”

The league was the brainchild of Cuestars snookermum Jackie Ellis, who said: “It has been fantastic to see everyone grow in confidence and expertise.”

A staggering total of 18 women have signed up for the second season of the league which is aimed at novice players. Matches are played fortnightly using handicaps.

Picture by Tm Dunkley

Jackie Ellis addresses the players at the end-of-season presentation.

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)