ANDOVER cueman John Hunter stifled the free-flowing Matt Ford to clinch the sixth leg of the Cuestars South of England Seniors (40+) Tour
The 51-year-old pocketed £120 prize money after beating the rankings leader 2-0 in the final of a high-scoring event at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club.
A 30 break helped Hunter, who is in second place, take the opening frame and his opponent from Bracknell was chasing snookers with two reds remaining in the second.
“It was a good day to win a tournament as everyone was playing well,” he said.
Hunter accepted voluntary redundancy from a high-street bank last December.
He is now busier than ever playing the region’s talented young players, coaching, running junior sections in Salisbury and Newbury, and running Cuestars, which organises grass-root tournaments for all ages across central southern England.
“I can practise more but it puts more pressure on you because you’ve got more expectation,” he said.
“It especially helps safety play; I’ve managed to keep two really good players away from the balls for four frames.
“It couldn’t be any more important when you’re playing Matt because he just pots balls from anywhere. I’d like to go gung-ho with him but you’d lose.
“I feel very lucky now to have all my time for snooker. I’m excited about it.”
Meanwhile, Gosport legend Colin Norton returned to the Cuestars circuit after a five-year absence and was involved in the match of the day.
Dan Hammond (Winchester) opened their group-stage encounter with a run of 59. Norton replied with a 63 but lost on the black.
Norton squared the match with a 102 and secured a 2-1 victory with breaks of 59 and 61. He was then knocked out 2-0 in the last-four by Hunter.
And you have to spare a thought for Wayne Muddiman, from event sponsor Muddiman Building Services.
He beat Hunter 2-1 in the group stages, knocked in the day’s highest break of 110 against Londoner Andrew Darken and failed to qualify for the knockout by one frame.
The 23-strong field returned 28 breaks of 40 or more on the club’s refurbished tables.
For more information about Fair Oak-based Muddiman Building Services, go to www.muddimanbuildingservices.com.
The seventh leg of eight is at Salisbury SC on Sunday, March 25.
Wayne Muddiman: 110, 53, 53.
Colin Norton: 102, 63, 61, 59, 45, 40.
Matt Ford: 86, 85, 54, 48, 46.
Martin Wallace: 77, 61, 45.
John Hunter: 74, 72, 71, 62, 52.
Dan Hammond: 52.
John Monckton: 48.
Chris Rigby: 52, 48, 46, 46.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP POSITIONS
GROUP A: 1st, Matt Ford (Sunninghill Comrades Club, Ascot); 2nd, John Monckton (Woking SC); 3rd, Paul Bateman (Crucible, Newbury); 4th, Paul Burt (Salisbury SC); 5th, Steve Ashton (Salisbury SC); 6th, Ray Mears (Sovereign, Farnborough).
GROUP B: 1st, Martin Wallace (Crowthorne RBL); 2nd, Jean-Marc Bancilhon (Camphill Social Club); 3rd, Neil Carroll (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, Phil Morgan (Chandlers Ford SC); 5th, Stephen Hills (Traders, Northfleet); 6th, Alan Thomas (Jesters, Swindon).
GROUP C: 1st, John Hunter (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Chris Rigby (Chertsey SSNR Club); 3rd, Wayne Muddiman (Chandlers Ford Central); 4th, Andrew Darken (Chertsey SSNR Club); 5th, Nick Miles (Ashlett Club, Fawley); 6th, David Stewart (Chandlers Ford SC).
GROUP D: 1st, Colin Norton (Sarisbury Social); 2nd, Dan Hammond (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Richard Arnold (Salisbury SC); 4th, Herman Desmier (Bournemouth & District Constitutional Club); 5th, Jon Walker (Potting Shed, Aldbourne).
KNOCKOUT RESULTS (PRIZE MONEY)
QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Ford 2-1 Hammond, Rigby 2-1 Wallace, Hunter 2-0 Bancilhon, Norton 2-0 Monckton.
SEMI-FINALS (£25, 15 points): Ford 2-0 Rigby, Hunter 2-0 Norton.
FINAL (£120/£60, 25/18 points): Hunter 2-0 Ford.
Picture by Tim Dunkley
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)