ONE Cuestars member has booked a place in the national last-16 of the English Six-Reds Championship.
Aldershot hotshot Ryan Mears (pictured), a beaten semi-finalist last season, will travel to Cueball Derby on Saturday, March 5, 2016.
The shortened version of the game threw up big breaks and tight finishes in the southern qualifying tournament at Woking Snooker Centre.
Despite opening his first frame of the tournament with a 70 break, Mears lost 4-2 to Lawrence Oliver (Milton Keynes) and thought he’d blown his chances when going down 4-2 to Chris Mason (Seaford, East Sussex).
With only two wins under his belt, the 27-year-old had to overcome Peter Devlin (London) – who had already won three out of four – in the final match to stand any chance of qualifying.
Mears, who compiled eight breaks of more than 30 during the day’s play, signed off with a 4-1 victory to deprive Devlin of a place in Derby by just one frame.
But there was heartbreak for Dominic Holmes (Godalming) in his final group match. He faced Darran Lock (Seaton, Devon) with the winner taking the third qualifying spot.
Lock clawed back a 3-1 deficit against and compiled a 44 in the decider to triumph 4-3.
Labeeb Ahmed (Coulsdon) had earlier beaten Lock but finished fifth in his group.
Andrew Scott failed to qualify after losing his first three matches but had the consolation of making the day’s highest break of 72 in a 4-2 victory over fellow Londoner Adam Stacey.
Report and picture by Tim Dunkley