A SWIG of his opponent’s orange squash helped steady Anthony Rice’s nerves during a monster break in the Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League.
The 21-year-old from Fordingbridge needed a “moment to compose” himself after reaching 100 in the fourth frame of a 4-1 victory over Stuart Dreyer.
Suitably fortified, Rice proceeded to clear the colours for a personal best 127 in the first week of the new campaign at Salisbury Snooker Club.
He said: “The match was fairly close throughout and Stu was looking fairly confident and was hitting the ball really nicely.
“I had (the break) after absolutely no sign of any scoring power whatsoever.
“I wanted to take a moment to compose myself when I saw there was a chance for a massive break and noticed that my drink was empty.
“As I know Stu quite well, I didn’t feel bad about asking.”
Dreyer added: “After potting the blue ball to make 100 and with all the colours remaining on their spots, Anthony was feeling a bit jittery.
“He had no drink left and asked if he could have a swig of mine.
“How could I refuse? He went on to clear the colours to make the 127 clearance. It was a treat to watch.”
Meanwhile, the league’s youngest player lost 5-0 on his debut to Steve Ashton.
The 14-year-old from Porton said: “It was an intense start to my first league match ever but what an experience against an amazing player.”
Ashton said: “Eddie conducted himself very well.”
Richard Arnold also suffered a whitewash, against newcomer Liam Tinne.
Summing up the match, Arnold said: “Liam was fluent and I was effluent.”
Herman Desmier (Wimborne) was beaten 3-2 by Paul Burt in a very “nip and tuck” encounter.
Antony Foxcroft edged David Rice 3-2.
And Graham Wallace reckons Jake Stewart “simply blew me away” in a 5-0 defeat with breaks of 62, 58 and a brace of 55s.
Results: Eddie Mason 0-5 Steve Ashton, David Rice 2-3 Antony Foxcroft, Graham Wallace 0-5 Jake Stewart, Herman Desmier 2-3 Paul Burt, Anthony Rice 4-1 Stuart Dreyer, Richard Arnold 0-5 Liam Tinne, Lee Stagg P-P Callum McDonald.
Highest break: Anthony Rice 127
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)