Eight Cuestars players on Premier Junior Tour

CUESTARS members will make up a quarter of the 32 players on next season’s national under-21 Premier Junior Tour.

Connor Benzey won the EASB Regional Junior Tour South and was promoted along with runner-up Jamie Wilson. Aidan Murphy topped the Midlands section.

Mark Lloyd, Mickey Joyce and Oliver Sykes retained their places.

Marcos Dayao and Bradley Cowdroy won spots via the play-offs at the North East Derbyshire Snooker Centre, Clay Cross, where 15 players were chasing six places.

Cowdroy (pictured) had finished 28th in his debut season on the Premier Junior Tour and was forced to endure the “horrible” play-offs.

The 17-year-old from Bournemouth was actually safe before his final match against Dayao – but didn’t realise it.

At 1-0 down and trailing in the second frame of the best-of-three, he laid the required SIX snookers but still lost.

Reflecting on his success after a difficult campaign, Cowdroy said: “The play-offs are horrible whether you’re playing well or not because there’s so much at stake.

“But I think I controlled my nerves better than I did a couple of years ago when I won one out of seven matches.

“It’s a massive relief more than anything. I’ve been really struggling for any sort of form in the last six months.

“I’m just happy now that I can take a break for a couple of weeks knowing I’m still on the Premier Tour and then work hard in the summer to try and get my game back to where I know I’m capable of being.”

Picture by Tim Dunkley

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)