JOHN Hunter rolled back the years to claim the third leg of the Cuestars South of England Seniors (40+) Tour.
Remarkably, the Cuestars director (left) clinched his first tournament win on the circuit without dropping a single frame at The Crucible Sports & Social Club, Newbury.
Hunter climbed to third place after seeing off rankings leader Nick Birney 2-0 in the final.
Earlier, the 45-year-old from Andover, who is based at Salisbury Snooker Club, won both group matches 3-0 and then dispatched Martin Wallace (Reading) 2-0 and Dave Mumford (Chandler’s Ford SC) 2-0 in the knockout.
Twice in his three previous Seniors outings, Hunter was a losing finalist: at Chandler’s Ford SC on November 28, 2010, and on home tables on January 30, 2011.
Birney, champion at Fareham last month, has now reached the final of all three legs.
The Group D winner from the Liberal Club, High Wycombe, beat Gary Hart (Salisbury SC) 2-0 in the quarter-finals
Second-placed Wayne Muddiman, runner-up in Fareham, topped Group C by one frame from Wallace. After beating Alan Grainger (High Wycombe) 2-0, he was knocked out by the same score in the semi-finals by Birney.
Group A winner Steve Tonks, from the picturesque Ashlett Club, near Fawley, reached the quarter-finals on his Cuestars debut and lost 2-0 to Mumford, Southampton’s 1995 Town Champion.
The fourth leg is on Sunday, March 18, at Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon.
Nick Birney: 65.
John Hunter: 53, 52.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP POSITIONS
GROUP A: 1st, Steve Tonks (Ashlett Club, near Fawley); 2nd, Gary Hart (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Paul Rose (Jesters, Swindon); 4th, Mike Thatcher (Shirley Conservative Club, Southampton).
GROUP B: 1st, John Hunter (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Alan Grainger (Liberal Club, High Wycombe); 3rd, Alan Thomas (Jesters, Swindon).
GROUP C: 1st, Wayne Muddiman (Chandlers Ford Central Club); 2nd, Martin Wallace (Colours, Reading); 3rd, Jason Francis (Crucible, Newbury); 4th, Neil Carroll (Salisbury SC).
GROUP D: 1st, Nick Birney (Liberal Club, High Wycombe); 2nd, Dave Mumford (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Nick Miles (Ashlett Club, near Fawley).
QUARTER-FINALS (8 points, £5): Mumford beat Tonks 2-0, Hunter beat Wallace 2-0, Muddiman beat Grainger 2-0, Birney beat Hart 2-0.
SEMI-FINALS (12 points, £15): Hunter beat Mumford 2-0, Birney beat Muddiman 2-0.
FINAL (25/18 points, £60/£30): Hunter beat Birney 2-0.