Midweek maestro Darken strikes again

ANDREW Darken is turning into a midweek maestro.

The Londoner moved up to second place in the rankings after recording back-to-back tournament win on the Cuestars Masters (55+) Tour.

Darken, who won the previous leg in Chandler’s Ford last month, pocketed £70 prize money after beating Herman Desmier 2-1 in the final of the third event at Salisbury Snooker Club.

It was only the second frame he had dropped all day.

Wimborne-based Desmier overcame rankings leader Raj Puri (Rochester) 2-1 in the last-four to reach his first ever Cuestars final in his 21st tournament.

The excellent turnout of 12 returned eight breaks of 30 or more. Steve Allen (Southampton) compiled the day’s best of 49 in his 2-1 group-stage victory over Steve Ashton (Salisbury).

Peter Ebbins (Bournemouth) qualified from the group stages for the first time but was knocked out 2-0 by Ashton, who then lost 2-1 to Darken.

Chandlers Ford Snooker Club hosts the fourth and final leg on Tuesday, March 17.


Steve Allen: 49, 43, 40.
Raj Puri: 36, 30.
Steve Ashton: 36.
David Stewart: 31.
Herman Desmier: 30


ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Raj Puri (Hartley Country Club); 2nd, David Stewart (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Peter Ebbins (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 4th, Jim Robinson (Bournemouth & District Constitutional Club).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Steve Ashton (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Steve Allen (Totton Recreation Club); 3rd, Paul Burt (Salisbury SC); 4th, Neil Carroll (Chandlers Ford SC).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Andrew Darken (Chertsey SSNR Club); 2nd, Herman Desmier (Bournemouth & District Constitutional Club); 3rd, Ray Mears (Sovereign, Farnborough); 4th, David Tuckett (Allstars, Bristol).

QUARTER-FINALS (12 pts): Puri 2-1 Burt, Desmier 2-1 Allen, Ashton 2-0 Ebbins, Darken 2-0 Stewart.

SEMI-FINALS (£10, 15 pts): Desmier 2-1 Puri, Darken 2-1 Ashton.

FINAL (£70/£30, 25/18 pts): Darken 2-1 Desmier.

Pictured are Herman Desmier (left) and Andrew Darken

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)