BERKSHIRE snooker ace Matt Ford is £200 richer after retaining his Cuestars Seniors Championship title.
But the 43-year-old from Bracknell didn’t have it all his own way in the end-of-season finale at The Crucible Sports & Social Club, Newbury.
Ford lost 2-1 to Mike Quinnell (Bexley) in the group stages and edged Jon Charlton (Haslemere) 3-2 on a re-spotted black from 2-0 down in the last-eight.
And he came back from 1-0 down to beat Neil Craycraft (Didcot) 3-1 in the final.
The two powerhouses of the over-40’s circuit were squaring up to each other in the title decider for the second year running.
Craycraft edged a 25-minute opening frame on the blue but Ford moved up a gear and ripped through the next three in just 28 minutes with breaks of 74, 48 and 52.
Renowned for his quick-fire, attacking style, Ford admitted: “The longer the frame, the less chance I have of winning it.”
And he added: “In amongst the balls, I felt I wasn’t going to miss.
“This club’s very lucky for me. I’ve won a lot of tournaments here and I’ve played well in the World Seniors here. I always seem to get the run of the ball here.”
The 17-strong field, who were competing for a whopping £420 prize pot, returned 33 breaks of 40 or more.
Quinnell knocked in the highest group-stage break of 66 against Lawrence Millington (Bournemouth).
But that was eclipsed by rankings winner John Hunter’s 81 in a 3-0 quarter-final victory over Neil Carroll (Rownhams).
Hunter (Andover) then lost a fifth-frame decider to Ford in the last-four while Craycraft dispatched Wayne Muddiman (Southampton) 3-0 in the second semi.
John Hunter: 81, 65, 49, 46, 40
Matt Ford: 74, 56, 55, 52, 51, 48, 46.
Mike Quinnell: 66, 43, 43.
Jon Charlton: 59, 50, 46, 42.
Wayne Muddiman: 53, 47, 42, 42.
Neil Craycraft: 50, 46, 42, 42, 40, 40.
Neil Carroll: 49.
John Monckton: 46.
Carl Davies: 45.
Martin Wallace: 44.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP POSITIONS
GROUP A: 1st, John Hunter (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Wayne Muddiman (Chandlers Ford Central); 3rd, Andrew Darken (Chertsey SSNR Club); 4th, Paul Burt (Salisbury SC).
GROUP B: 1st, Mike Quinnell (Old Bexley Ex-Servicemen’s Club); 2nd, Matt Ford (Sunninghill Comrades Club); 3rd, Lawrence Millington (St James Institute, Bournemouth); 4th, Stephen Hills (Traders, Northfleet).
GROUP C: 1st, Martin Wallace (Crucible, Newbury); 2nd, Neil Carroll (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Carl Davies (St James Institute, Bournemouth); 4th, Chris Rigby (Chertsey SSNR Club).
GROUP D: 1st, Jon Charlton (Aldingbourne Social Club, Chichester); 2nd, Neil Craycraft (Jesters, Swindon); 3rd, John Monckton (Woking SC); 4th, Darren Johnson (Petersfield Bowls & Snooker Club); 5th, Neil Herd (Salisbury SC).
QUARTER-FINALS (£15): Hunter 3-0 Carroll, Ford 3-2 Charlton, Craycraft 3-0 Quinnell, Muddiman 3-1 Wallace.
SEMI-FINALS (£40): Ford 3-2 Hunter, Craycraft 3-0 Muddiman.
FINAL (£200/£80): Ford 3-1 Craycraft.
Picture by Tim Dunkley
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)