Tinne takes over South Wilts lead as Ashton crashes back to reality

STEVE Ashton (pictured) was brought “crashing back to reality” by Richard Arnold in the second round of Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League matches.

Ashton had kicked off the new season at Salisbury Snooker Club with a 5-0 victory over 14-year-old debutant Eddie Mason.

But Arnold prevailed 3-2 when the 55-year-old friends went head-to-head.

Arnold raced to a 2-0 lead, albeit fluking a deciding black along the way.

He said: “This woke Ashton from his age-related slumbers and he ground his way back to two each.”

Arnold took the winner’s bonus point with a long blue followed by the pink and black.

Meanwhile, Liam Tinne is the new front-runner thanks to a 5-0 success over Herman Desmier (Wimborne).

The 27-year-old former Cuestars junior said: “I was potting very well in the first few frames.

“I didn’t miss much, just kept losing the white and having to recover with some long shots.

“Herman played some really good stuff and his safety play was very good.

“The frames were close. I just managed to edge them.”

Jake Stewart was tipped to win the league by last-season’s runner-up Anthony Rice (Fordingbridge).

Rice re-tipped Stewart’s cue – and was then beaten 4-1 by it.

He said: “When I arrived his tip was just coming off.

“I put a new one on for him and assumed that he just wouldn’t be able to settle. How wrong I was.

“He’s a great player and I think it’ll be a tough ask for anyone to beat him.”

Stewart, who contributed a 50 break, is one point adrift of Tinne.

Lee Stagg reckons he wasn’t playing his best in a 5-0 victory over Graham Wallace (Fovant) and added: “Graham was noticeably struggling throughout the entire match.”

Antony Foxcroft, who subjected Mason (Porton) to his second 5-0 whitewash, said: “I’m happy with my second win and a good start to the season.

“Eddie played some nice shots at times followed by a few cheeky flukes.”

And David Rice (Fordingbridge) edged Stuart Dreyer 3-2.

Dreyer said: “Dave played well. He didn’t miss much.”

Results: Antony Foxcroft 5-0 Eddie Mason, Lee Stagg 2-3 Callum McDonald, Lee Stagg 5-0 Graham Wallace, Anthony Rice 1-4 Jake Stewart, Stuart Dreyer 2-3 David Rice, Paul Burt 4-1 Callum McDonald, Steve Ashton 2-3 Richard Arnold, Liam Tinne 5-0 Herman Desmier.

Highest break: Anthony Rice 127

P W L F A Pts
Liam Tinne 2 2 0 10 0 12
Jake Stewart 2 2 0 9 1 11
Antony Foxcroft 2 2 0 8 2 10
Paul Burt 2 2 0 7 3 9
Steve Ashton 2 1 1 7 3 8
Lee Stagg 2 1 1 7 3 8
Anthony Rice 2 1 1 5 5 6
David Rice 2 1 1 5 5 6
Callum McDonald 2 1 1 4 6 5
Richard Arnold 2 1 1 3 7 4
Stuart Dreyer 2 0 2 3 7 3
Herman Desmier 2 0 2 2 8 2
Eddie Mason 2 0 2 0 10 0
Graham Wallace 2 0 2 0 10 0

Picture by Tim Dunkley

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)