Rice end’s Wade’s run

A TEENAGER from Fordingbridge has ended Mitch Wade’s remarkable run in the Tuesday Singles League at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club.

Anthony Rice (pictured), who competes on the Cuestars Championship Tour and Under-21 Gold Tour, rallied from 1-0 down to dispatch the “almost unbeatable” seven-time champion 2-1 in the Series 9 play-off final.

The 18-year-old said: “Mitch made a comment at the end. He said ‘you took on three or four suicide shots in that decider and they all went in’.”

It looked like business as usual as Wade, who had won the previous six titles, compiled breaks of 58, 49 and 47 in a 2-1 quarter-final victory over Carlo Cavagnetto.

He survived an epic 2-0 win against Dan Hammond in the last-four to maintain his record of reaching all nine finals.

And he then left his teenage opponent needing snookers with two reds left in the first frame of the final.

But Rice squared the match on the blue in a scrappy second frame in which his highest break was 12.

Opting to attack in the decider, Rice claimed victory when Wade conceded on the stroke of midnight.

“I thought if I could get another 20 or 30 points here, he’s in some serious trouble,” he said.

“I couldn’t believe they kept going in. I was surprising myself.

“I did try and play them as shots to nothing. They weren’t out-and-out suicide shots.

“The reason why I took them on was because he had me bang in trouble.

“Sometimes you can almost put your opponent in too much trouble and they end up potting their way out of it. If the safety (shot) is just as hard as a pot, go for the pot all day long.”

Paying tribute to Wade, he said: “Everyone knows what a good player Mitch is. He’s almost unbeatable in this. But no one is unbeatable over a best-of-three (frame match).

“I came into this a bit nervous because I wanted to take that title off him.

“It was a brilliant run but I’m glad I could end it.”

Rice, who is studying accountancy at Salisbury College, had beaten Series 5 finalist Neil Carroll 2-1 and Marc Russell 2-0 with break of 52 and 36 to reach his first final.

He added that getting “a good kicking” in practice sessions from Cuestars director John Hunter had improved his matchplay.

Report by Tim Dunkley.