ANDOVER cueman John Hunter has won his first tournament on the Cuestars South of England Seniors (40+) Tour for just over a year.
The 51-year-old former champion pocketed £100 after overcoming ex-professional Mike Talmondt in the final of the second leg at Fareham Snooker Club.
Due to the late finish, both players agreed to a one-frame shootout.
Now top of the rankings, Hunter opened with a 32 break and won on the yellow after Talmondt (Portsmouth), chasing a record fourth title in a row, missed a great chance in amongst the balls on 17.
Hunter said: “To beat Mike in the final was nice because he’s had a good old run of wins against me. I was twitching big time but, thankfully, just got over the line.
“I’ve been practising so I felt more pressure. I played some good stuff and some not so good – so it was a big relief.”
There was more car park drama for Dan Hammond (Winchester) during the Dransfields-sponsored event.
Hammond, who was mistaken for a drug dealer while taking a break during the first leg in Bournemouth, had left Fareham SC and was heading to his car after making a group-stage exit – or so he thought.
He was called back as he had actually qualified under the head-to-head rule.
Four hours later and £30 richer, he left the club again after beating Martin Wallace (Wokingham) 2-1 in the quarters and losing 2-1 to Hunter.
Hunter, who lost the first frame and wrapped up the decider with the day’s highest break of 77 after being twice let off the hook in the second, said: “Dan’s improved so much.”
Meanwhile, Phil Morgan (Salisbury) leads the Masters (55+) rankings after qualifying for the knockout for the first time.
Matt Ford (Bracknell), a two-time Championship Tour winner, made a 62 break and still managed to lose the frame to Wayne Muddiman (Southampton) in his final group-stage match.
And Cuestars debutant Chis Rigby (Sutton), another product of the strong Byfleet league, qualified from his group, knocked out Ford 2-1 in the last-eight and eventually lost 2-0 to Talmondt in the semi-finals.
The 22-strong field produced 17 breaks of more than 40.
Leeds-based Dransfields is the UK’s largest independent supplier of gaming and amusement machines to pubs and clubs. For more information, go to www.dransfields.com.
The third leg of eight is at the 147 Snooker Club, Swindon, on Sunday, November 19.
John Hunter: 77, 55, 54.
Neil Herd: 65, 42, 42.
Matt Ford: 62.
Mike Talmondt: 58, 53, 43, 41.
Martin Wallace: 54, 49.
Chris Rigby: 50.
Glenn Gresham: 44.
Neil Carroll: 43.
Dan Hammond: 41.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP POSITIONS
GROUP A: 1st, John Hunter (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Matt Ford (Sunninghill Comrades Club, Ascot); 3rd, Wayne Muddiman (Chandlers Ford Central); 4th, Neil Carroll (Chandlers Ford SC); 5th, Richard Fullard (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 6th, Nick Miles (Ashlett Club, Fawley).
GROUP B: 1st, Martin Wallace (Crowthorne RBL); 2nd, Mark Tillison (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 3rd, Paul Lawrence (Park Gate RBL); 4th, Glenn Gresham (Fareham SC); 5th, Steve Ashton (Salisbury SC); 6th, Peter Chin (Woking SC).
GROUP C: 1st, Mike Talmondt (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 2nd, Dan Hammond (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Stephen Hills (Traders, Northfleet); 4th, David Stewart (Chandlers Ford SC); 5th, Andy Darken (Chertsey SSNR Club).
GROUP D: 1st, Chris Rigby (Chertsey SSNR Club); 2nd, Phil Morgan (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Neil Herd (Salisbury SC); 4th, Herman Desmier (Bournemouth & District Constitutional Club); 5th, Alan Thomas (Jesters, Swindon).
KNOCKOUT RESULTS (PRIZE MONEY)
QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Hunter 2-0 Morgan, Hammond 2-1 Wallace, Talmondt 2-0 Tillison, Rigby 2-1 Ford.
SEMI-FINALS (£30, 15 points): Talmondt 2-0 Rigby, Hunter 2-1 Hammond.
FINAL (£100/£60, 25/18 points): Hunter 1-0 Talmondt.
Picture by Tim Dunkley
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)