Lilly survives early scare to triumph in Newbury

THERE can’t be many snooker tournaments where the eventual finalists managed only two wins between them in the round-robin group stages.

Dharminder Singh Lilly and Nick O’Sullivan must have both felt they were due an early bath in the ninth and last leg of the Cuestars Seniors (40+) Tour in Newbury.

But they ended up being the last pair standing at The Crucible Sports & Social Club.

Lilly, who also won the previous leg in Coulsdon, beat O’Sullivan (Reading) 2-0 to claim the £140 first prize and his 12th Cuestars tournament success in less than three years on the circuit.

Earlier, 49-year-old Lilly (Fareham) lost to Paul Morrison (Ashford) and David Moritz (Pinner) in his four-man group but advanced to the knockout by way of a better frame average.

And O’Sullivan followed the same path after defeats by Neil Carroll (Southampton) and Ray Grall (Staines) before a great run to his first final.

Lilly was pushed close by rankings runner-up Martin Wallace (Wokingham) in the last-eight. Steve Wheatland (Chandlers Ford) enjoyed an excellent 2-1 last-16 victory over rankings champion Paul Davis (Wareham). And Alex Greenham (Poole) and Mark Burrell (Swindon) made the semi-finals for the first time.

Morrison made the day’s highest break of 70 in the opening frame of his 2-1 last-16 defeat by Greenham.

Tournament organisers thanked the team at The Crucible who did a great job looking after them.

For more information about The Crucible Sports & Social Club, the event sponsor, go to www.cruciblesports.co.uk.

BREAKS

Paul Morrison: 70.
Alan Harvey: 67.
Dharminder Singh Lilly: 57, 46, 46.
Mark Burrell: 49, 43, 43, 40.
Jason Pusser: 49, 42, 41.
Paul Davis: 44.
Nick O’Sullivan: 42.
David Beakhouse: 40.

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP POSITIONS

GROUP A: 1st, Paul Davis (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, Neil Winkworth (Crucible, Newbury); 3rd, Graham Leech (Crucible, Newbury).

GROUP B: 1st, Martin Wallace (Crucible, Newbury); 2nd, Steve Wheatland (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Kevin Collins (Jesters, Swindon); 4th, Dharmendra Patel (Crucible, Newbury).

GROUP C: 1st, Mark Burrell (Jesters, Swindon); 2nd, Jason Pusser (St James Institute, Bournemouth); 3rd, David Beakhouse (Trinity Snooker Club, Henley); 4th, Gareth Samuel (Lytchett & Upton RBL).

GROUP D: 1st, Alan Harvey (Chertsey Social Club); 2nd, George Apperley (Crucible, Newbury); 3rd, Mark Evans (Crucible, Newbury); 4th, Darren Johnson (Petersfield Bowls & Snooker Club).

GROUP E: 1st, Franco Carchedi (Jesters, Swindon); 2nd, Jimmy Johnson (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Lun Lee (Orpington); 4th, Dennis Tristram (Shots, Watford).

GROUP F: 1st, Neil Carroll (Chandlers Ford SC); 2nd, Nick O’Sullivan (Crucible, Reading); 3rd, Dave Stockwell (Salisbury SC); 4th, Ray Grall (Hayes WMC).

GROUP G: 1st; Mark Prescott (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, Alex Greenham (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Steve Read (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, Peter Ebbins (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

GROUP H: 1st, Paul Morrison (West Byfleet Social Club); 2nd, Dharminder Singh Lilly (Stoke SC, Gosport); 3rd, Wai Lee (Hurricane Room, Kings Cross); 4th, David Moritz (Shots, Watford).

KNOCKOUT RESULTS

LAST 16 (10pts): Wheatland 2-1 Davis, Greenham 2-1 Morrison, O’Sullivan 2-0 Carchedi, Harvey 2-0 Pusser, Burrell 2-0 Apperley, J Johnson 2-0 Carroll, Lilly 2-1 Prescott, Wallace 2-0 Winkworth.

QUARTER-FINALS (12 pts, £10): Greenham 2-1 Wheatland, O’Sullivan 2-0 Harvey, Burrell 2-1 J Johnson, Lilly 2-1 Wallace.

SEMI-FINALS (15 pts, £30): O’Sullivan 2-1 Greenham, Lilly 2-0 Burrell.

FINAL (25/18 pts, £140/£70): Lilly 2-0 O’Sullivan.

Picture: Dharminder Lilly (left) and Nick O’Sullivan

By Tim Dunkley and Chris Wyatt

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