JOHN Hunter (pictured, left) denied Matt Ford (right) a perfect end to his birthday weekend by winning the second leg of the Cuestars Seniors (40+) Tour in Swindon.
The 55-year-old from Andover dropped just two frames all day at Jesters Snooker Club and recorded the highest break of 78.
Hunter pocketed £100 after a 2-0 victory in the final over Ford (Bracknell), who turned 46 the previous day
Ford, the two-time and defending Seniors Tour play-off champion, had the consolation of replacing Dharminder Lilly at the top of the rankings.
Hunter was delighted to improve on his last-16 exit in the first leg in Fareham.
He said: “I’m very pleased to win as I’ve put a lot of work in on the practice table.
“It was a relief to deliver the cue better under pressure after playing some shockers in the first Seniors event. And my break-building ability is back again after lockdown.”
Hunter, who last won the rankings title in 2018/19, is one point adrift of Ford going into the third and final leg at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club on Sunday, October 10.
But he does lead the Masters rankings, a separate listing for Seniors players who are aged 55 and over.
Defending Seniors rankings winner James Height (Shepton Mallet) and Anthony Cutler (Poole) made semi-final exits from the event sponsored by SnookerHub
To find out about amateur snooker tournaments, visit www.snookerhub.co.uk.
John Hunter: 78, 58, 55.
Matt Ford: 60, 51, 41, 40, 40, 40.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP POSITIONS
GROUP A: 1st, James Height (Shepton Mallet); 2nd, Matt Ford (Sunninghill Comrades); 3rd, Andrew Darken (Feltham Constitutional Club); 4th, Steve Read (Chandlers Ford SC).
GROUP B: 1st, Anthony Cutler (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, John Monckton (Top Q Club, Gloucester); 3rd, Steve Wheatland (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, David Moritz (Eastcote Billiards Club, Pinner); 5th, David Brock (Exeter SC).
GROUP C: 1st, Paul Lawrence (Park Gate RBL); 2nd, Kevin Collins (Jesters, Swindon); 3rd, Neil Carroll (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, Adam Denham (Keynsham Cons); 5th, Dharmendra Patel (Crucible, Newbury).
GROUP D: 1st, John Hunter (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Steve Allen (Totton Rec); 3rd, Raj Puri (Hartley Country Club); 4th, George Apperley (Crucible, Newbury); 5th, Peter Ebbins (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).
QUARTER-FINALS (12 pts): Height 2-0 Collins, Hunter 2-0 Monckton, Cutler 2-0 Allen, Ford 2-0 Lawrence.
SEMI-FINALS (15 pts, £20): Hunter 2-1 Height, Ford 2-0 Cutler.
FINAL (25/18 pts, £100/£50): Hunter 2-0 Ford.