Ex-pro Talmondt gets competitive juices flowing again

Portsmouth’s ex-professional Mike Talmondt survived three key slices of bad luck to clinch his first tournament win on the Cuestars South of England Seniors (40+) Tour.

The 42-year-old (pictured) said it was “nice to get the competitive juices flowing again” but feared “it wasn’t meant to be” in the final of the fourth leg at Fareham Snooker Club.

In his trademark brisk style, Talmondt, a Town Champion more times than he can remember, took the first frame on the blue.

However, he was left decidedly unamused when Wayne Muddiman squared the match after making a 32 break from a fluked red and then embarking on a nine-ball run of 19 that included a fluked yellow following the first red.

And his patience was tested to the extreme in the decider. Muddiman (Chandlers Ford Central Club), trailing by 33 points, managed to leave the cue-ball in the jaws of a middle pocket so his opponent was snookered on the two remaining reds.

Talmondt successfully hit a red but left an easy starter. Muddiman potted red, black, red but missed a second black off its spot and Talmondt cleared yellow to pink to win.

“I was thinking ‘it wasn’t meant to be’ but luckily I scraped over the line,” said Talmondt, a taxi driver who was on the professional circuit in the 1990s.

“Things like that happen. It’s just snooker, I’m afraid, and there’s not a lot you can do about it. You’ve got to take it on the chin and not beat yourself up.”

Clutching the £80 prize money, he added: “It’s nice to play again. I didn’t play for a few years.

“It’s nice to have a bit of competition rather than just practising up the club. It’s nice to get the competitive juices flowing again. And it’s nice to play in something different that I haven’t won before against different people. I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Talmondt is second in the rankings, 17 points adrift of Andover’s John Hunter with two legs left.

Hunter won the first three tournaments but was denied a fourth success by Muddiman in the semi-finals.

“He can’t have it all his own way,” smiled Talmondt. “It keeps it a bit more interesting rather than him running away with it.”

Earlier, the Copnor Snooker Club cueman didn’t drop a frame in his five-man round-robin group.

He then compiled a 105 in his first quarter-final frame against Nick Birney (Liberal Club, High Wycombe), who leveled with a 51. But the decider did not quite live up to expectations.

“It was 13-12 with three reds left,” laughed Birney.

And Martin Wallace (Crowthorne RBL) quipped “I think I annoyed him” after taking the lead in the last-four.

Playing the best snooker of his life at the moment, Ray Mears (Sovereign SC, Farnborough) didn’t finish bottom of his group for the first time since last season’s fourth leg, also in Fareham, in January, 2014.

Mears ended the day fourth out of five in Group C, which took eight hours to complete. By that time one finalist was just waiting for the deciding frame of the second semi-final to be played.

Talking of Group C, did you know that retired test pilot David Stewart (Chandler’s Ford SC) was known as Great North Road in his RAF days because he got an A1 grade in his instructor’s exam?

The fifth leg of six is at Woking Snooker Centre on Sunday, March 22.


Mike Talmondt: 105, 52.
John Hunter: 65, 58, 51, 37.
Wayne Muddiman: 61, 37.
Neil Herd: 56, 38, 35, 30, 30.
Martin Wallace: 56.
Nick Birney: 51.
Richard Swaffield: 48.
Steve Ashton: 38.
Neil Carroll: 34, 31.
Phil Morgan: 32.
Mark Tillison: 31.


GROUP A: 1st, John Hunter (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Martin Wallace (Crowthorne RBL); 3rd, Alex Thorn (Salisbury SC); 4th, Richard Swaffield (Salisbury SC); 5th, Richard Arnold (Salisbury SC).

GROUP B: 1st, Wayne Muddiman (Chandlers Ford Central Club); 2nd, Nick Birney (Liberal Club, High Wycombe); 3rd, Steve Ashton (Salisbury SC); 4th, Paul Lawrence (Park Gate RBL, Southampton); 5th, Phil Morgan (Chandler’s Ford SC).

GROUP C: 1st, Mike Talmondt (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 2nd, Mark Tillison (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 3rd, David Stewart (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Ray Mears (Sovereign SC, Farnborough); 5th, Peter Chin (Woking SC).

GROUP D: 1st, Chris Stocker (Sunninghill Comrades Club, Ascot); 2nd, Neil Herd (Frome, Somerset); 3rd, Neil Carroll (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Bob Toulouse (Sovereign SC, Farnborough); 5th, Nick Miles (Ashlett Club, Fawley).


QUARTER-FINALS (£10, 12 pts): Muddiman 2 Tillison 0, Hunter 2 Herd 1, Wallace 2 Stocker 1, Talmondt 2 Birney 1.

SEMI-FINALS (£20, 15 pts): Muddiman 2 Hunter 1, Talmondt 2 Wallace 1.

FINAL (£80/£40 25/18 pts): Talmondt 2 Muddiman 1.

Report and picture by Tim Dunkley.