Records tumble in Open Series

A RECORD £1,540 was paid out to the top-12 ranked players in Open Series 21 at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club.

English Under-18 Champion Mark Lloyd stopped off to collect the first prize of £350 en route to the European Under-18 Championship in Cyprus.

The 17-year-old from Gosport finished the 26-week handicapped competition 15 points clear of fellow Premier Junior Tour player Jordan Winbourne.

Three other records were set. A total of 54 different players competed over the six months, the average attendance was nearly 20 and a staggering 130 breaks of 50 or more, including six centuries, were recorded. Christian Chislett (Basingstoke) compiled the highest of 130.

Competition organiser Tim Dunkley said: “When we started this Saturday afternoon tournament in 2009, we never imagined the heights it would reach.

“No wonder the new generation are doing so well regionally and nationally with competition like this every week.

“These are special times to be an up-and-coming snooker player at Chandler’s Ford SC.”

Series 21 players included Suzie Opacic and Chloe White, the women’s world number seven and 45 respectively, the 2016 English Under-14 Championship runner-up Jamie Wilson and this season’s finalist Olly Gibbs, 13-year-old England international Mickey Joyce and century breaker Connor Benzey, 15, who leads the Regional Junior Tour – South West.

All three rankings leaders on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 circuit were regulars. Lloyd leads the Gold Tour, Charlie Pringle has a five-point lead over clubmate Ryan Hughes in Silver and Riley Ellis is top in Bronze.

And former Town Champions David Mumford, Mark Benzey and Danny Gallant made a handful of appearances to spice things up even more.

Series 22 is now underway with increased prize money of £1,755.

Tournaments start at 1pm every Saturday and are open to all ages. The format is a straight knockout with a plate for first match losers. There are free practice tables, subject to availability, until the finals end at between 6-7pm. Handicaps change every week depending on results. Entry is £10 for club members and £13 for non-members.

For more information, ring 023 8025 4834 or go to www.cfordsnooker.co.uk or email [email protected]

Open Series 21 prize money: £350 Mark Lloyd (Gosport), £290 Jordan Winbourne (Hedge End), £230 Steven Hughes (C/Ford), £175 Ryan Hughes (C/Ford), £125 Chloe White (Havant), £87.50 Connor Benzey (Eastleigh), £87.50 Phil Morgan (Salisbury), £52.50 Dan Sykes (C/Ford), £52.50 Charlie Pringle (C/Ford), £35 Riley Ellis (Wootton Bassett), £30 Oliver Sykes (C/Ford), £25 Dan Hammond (Winchester).

Picture by Tim Dunkley. 11 of the 12 prize winners

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)

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