JOHN Hunter is a whisker away from retaining the Cuestars Masters (55+) Tour title.
The 56-year-old from Andover chalked up four half-century breaks as he claimed a fifth successive victory at Salisbury Snooker Club.
Hunter beat first-time finalist Bob Toulouse (Camberley) 2-0 in a match where both players missed good chances.
The champion-elect has a massive 73-point advantage over Neil Carroll (Rownhams). The Masters rankings includes points earned by over-55 players on the Cuestars Seniors (40+) Tour.
Home player Terry Gumbrell had a good debut, finishing second to Hunter in his round-robin group before going out 2-0 in the quarter-finals to Toulouse.
Stephen Hills (Northfleet) beat Carroll 2-1 in the last-eight to reach a Cuestars semi-final for only the second time in nine years.
Another good turnout of 13 has prompted the organisers to announce plans to expand the midweek tour next season.
Chandlers Ford Snooker Club hosts the fourth and final leg on Tuesday, May 24.
John Hunter: 73, 64, 61, 54.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, John Hunter (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Terry Gumbrell (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Paul Burt (Salisbury SC); 4th, David Tuckett (Allstars Sports Bar, Bristol).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Neil Carroll (Chandlers Ford SC); 2nd, Andrew Darken (Feltham Constitutional Club); 3rd, Nick Miles (Cue T’s, Marchwood); 4th, Richard Arnold (Salisbury SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Bob Toulouse (Sovereign SC, Farnborough); 2nd, Steve Ashton (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Stephen Hills (Northfleet Traders Club, Gravesend); 4th, Adrian Walsh (Fareham SC); 5th, Jeff Payne (West Byfleet Social Club).
QUARTER-FINALS (12 pts): Hunter 2-0 Miles, Ashton 2-1 Darken, Hills 2-1 Carroll, Toulouse 2-0 Gumbrell.
SEMI-FINALS (£15, 15 pts): Hunter 2-0 Ashton, Toulouse 2-0 Hills.
FINAL (£70/£30, 25/18 pts): Hunter 2-0 Toulouse.
Picture: Bob Toulouse (left) and John Hunter.