Thank you and goodbye

IT WAS a pleasure having met and played you all.

Those were Bristol ace Thomas Lancastle’s parting words as he continued his domination of the EASB Regional Junior Tour South.

Lancastle – already assured of promotion to next season’s Premier Junior Tour – collected £100 prize money and his fourth winner’s trophy of the campaign at the eighth leg in Swindon.

Speaking after his 2-0 victory over second-placed Mark Lloyd (Gosport) in the final at Jesters Snooker Hall, the 17-year-old said: “The result does not reflect how I played.

“In the round robin (group stage), although I only lost two frames, my cueing was average at most. I wasn’t overly happy with that part of the day.

“However, in the final knockout stages I managed to find some reasonable form and got through without losing a frame.”

Lancastle, who had already amassed enough ranking points to claim top spot, insisted missing the Swindon trip never crossed his mind.

“As I had already qualified for the Premier Tour, it wasn’t necessary for me to attend this event,” said last season’s Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour rankings winner.

“But it’s all experience and at least it shows respect to the EASB, the clubs who run these events and also my fellow players. Also, my parents paid up front for all the events so not going wasn’t an option!

“I’m not sure if the Fareham event that was cancelled will be re-run. If not, I would like to say a big thank you to all those at the EASB who make this happen and I wish all those fellow players who unfortunately won’t be with me next season all the very best.”

And he added: “Next season’s going to be a tough one (but) I can’t wait.”

Runner-up Lloyd, 14, picked up £50 plus the high-break prize of £20 for a run of 77 in the group stages.

This season’s joint winner of the Cuestars Gold rankings title knocked out Sonnie O’Sullivan (Aylesbury) 2-1 in the semi-finals.

In the last-eight, Olly Clark (Gosport) went down 2-0 to Lancastle and third-placed Daniel Knox (Ascot) suffered the same fate at the hands of Londoner Ronnie Blake.

Sam Storey (Newbury) and Lewis Parnham (Gloucester) finished third in their respective five-man groups.

Other group-stage casualties were Canberk Benning (Swindon). Mickey Joyce (Basingstoke) and Dan Sykes (Chandler’s Ford).

The postponed seventh leg, which was to be held at Fareham Snooker Club on April 20, has yet to be rearranged.

Picture by Bob Lancastle

The field for leg eight.

Finalists Mark Lloyd (left) and Thomas Lancastle.