Summer skills day

NEW professional Billy Castle was guest of honour at the Cuestars Skills Day at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club.

Two 11-year-olds from the home club earned rave reviews for winning their respective sections.

Oliver Sykes amassed a remarkable score of 75 percent in his 11 practice routines to claim first place among the Gold Tour players. Bradley Cowdroy, on 67, was runner-up.

Riccardo Drayton recorded a fine total of 62 to head the eight Bronze players. Chloe White was second with 57. Ally Pollard won the Silver title.

Cuestars director John Hunter expressed his delight at the overall standard of the 13-strong field.

Castle played a practice match with last season’s Gold Tour rankings winner Mark Lloyd, who has just returned from the IBSF World Under-18 Championship in China, and demonstrated a couple of his practice routines to the youngsters.

The 25-year-old told the 13-strong field that he took the pressure off himself during Q School in Preston by taking his kids to Blackpool in between the six most important victories of his career that resulted in a two-year tour card.

And he is looking forward to taking on national treasure Jimmy White in the qualifying round of the European Masters at the beginning of August.

He said: “I’ve grown up watching Jimmy White on telly and I’ve had the opportunity to play him in practice, which is quite special.

“But to actually play him in a professional event is something I’ve only dreamt about since I started playing snooker.”

However, Castle insisted he will not be awestruck when he faces the six-time World Championship finalist.

“I’m going up there with the mindset that I just want to beat him up,” he added.


Gold: Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford) 75 pts, Bradley Cowdroy (Bournemouth) 67, Jamie Wilson (Havant) 62, Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford) 53.

Silver: Ally Pollard (Alderholt, near Fordingbridge) 51.

Bronze: Riccardo Drayton (Chandler’s Ford) 62, Chloe White (Havant) 57, Riley Ellis (Clyffe Pypard, North Wilts) 55, Samuel Laxton (Portsmouth) 53, Callum White (Havant) 49, O’Shay Scott (Eastleigh) 46, Will Forster (Gosport) 41, Mason Wilson (Basingstoke) 38.

Picture by Tim Dunkley

New professional Billy Castle and the 13-strong field for the Cuestars Skills Day at Chandlers Ford SC.

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)