DIDCOT cueman Neil Craycraft made a winning return to the Cuestars snooker circuit after an absence of nearly seven years.
Craycraft defeated rankings leader Matt Ford 2-0 in the final of the fifth leg of the South of England Seniors (40+) Tour on home tables at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.
Bracknell-based Ford actually beat Craycraft 2-0 in the group of death that included second-placed John Hunter (Andover), Martin Wallace (Wokingham) – who reached the semi-finals of the Championship Tour event in Fareham two weeks previously – and Jon Walker (Aldbourne).
Neil Carroll (Southampton) made his first semi-final appearance of the season, losing 2-0 to Ford.
Craycraft beat Woking-based tennis coach John Monckton 2-1 in the other last-four match.
Meanwhile, Phil Morgan (Salisbury) has opened up a nine-point lead over Stephen Hills (Kent) in the Masters (55+) rankings and he climbed to fifth in the Seniors rankings.
He was undefeated in the group stages and lost 2-0 to Monckton in the quarter-finals.
With three tournaments to go, Ford leads group-stage casualty Hunter by 22 points. Dan Hammond (Winchester) is 17 points further back in third.
Chandlers Ford Snooker Club hosts the sixth leg of eight on Sunday, February 18.
Matt Ford: 95, 67, 60, 59, 58, 48.
John Hunter: 75, 74.
Neil Herd: 49.
Richard Arnold: 48.
Neil Craycraft: 46.
Dan Hammond: 40.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP POSITIONS
GROUP A: 1st, Phil Morgan (Chandlers Ford SC); 2nd, Neil Carroll (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Steve Ashton (Salisbury SC); 4th, Herman Desmier (Bournemouth & District Constitutional Club); 5th, Peter Chin (Jesters, Swindon).
GROUP B: 1st, Andrew Darken (Chertsey SSNR Club); 2nd, Paul Rose (Jesters, Swindon); 3rd, Stephen Hills (Traders, Northfleet); 4th, Richard Arnold (Salisbury SC); 5th, Jackie Ellis (147 SC, Swindon).
GROUP C: 1st, Matt Ford (Sunninghill Comrades Club, Ascot); 2nd, Neil Craycraft (Jesters, Swindon); 3rd, John Hunter (Salisbury SC); 4th, Martin Wallace (Crowthorne RBL); 5th, Jon Walker (Potting Shed, Aldbourne).
GROUP D: 1st, Neil Herd (Salisbury SC); 2nd, John Monckton (Woking SC); 3rd, Dan Hammond (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, David Stewart (Chandlers Ford SC); 5th, Paul Burt (Salisbury SC).
KNOCKOUT RESULTS (PRIZE MONEY)
QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Craycraft 2-0 Darken, Carroll 2-0 Herd, Ford 2-0 Rose, Monckton 2-0 Morgan.
SEMI-FINALS (£25, 15 points): Ford 2-0 Carroll, Craycraft 2-1 Monckton.
FINAL (£100/£50, 25/18 points): Craycraft 2-0 Ford.
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)