It’s tight at the top of the South Wilts League

DEFENDING champion Jake Stewart did not produce the highest break of his Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League victory over Paul Burt.

Stewart managed a 47 in the 4-1 success at Salisbury Snooker Club but Burt eclipsed that with a 49.

Third-placed Antony Foxcroft missed the chance to overtake Stewart and John Hunter, who have identical records at the top of the table.

Foxcroft posted runs of 63 and 41 but went down 3-2 to Mark Ridout.

He said: “It was a very enjoyable game. Mark scored in key stages and deserved to win.

“I was happy with my performance, just not quite doing enough to come out on the winning side.”

David Rice picked up his first win of the season but couldn’t make it back-to-back bonus points in a re-arranged match.

Rice managed to claw back a 2-0 deficit against Lee Stagg and played a good deciding frame to prevail 3-2.

And he continued the theme of strong performances in the latter stages of matches in his 3-2 defeat by Stuart Dreyer.

Dreyer, who led 3-0 thanks to tight safety play, said: “I ran out of steam somewhat from then on but, to be fair, Dave did play better in the last two frames and capitalised on my errors.”

Anthony Rice remains in fourth place following a 4-1 victory over Kev Impett.

Both players admitted they struggled to find any rhythm.

Rice said: “Given the strong start (to the season) he has had, I was pleased with the scoreline.”

And Impett added: “Anthony was certainly the better player out the two of us, however, it was clear we were both lacking confidence in amongst the balls.”

Bottom-of-the table Eddie Mason is still searching for his first point.

A 5-0 defeat by Dreyer was the 15-year-old’s fourth straight whitewash.

But Dreyer had some comforting words for his opponent.

He said: “I can see that he has improved since I played him last year.”

Results: Eddie Mason 0-5 Stuart Dreyer, David Rice 3-2 Lee Stagg, Anthony Rice 4-1 Kev Impett, David Rice 2-3 Stuart Dreyer, Jake Stewart 4-1 Paul Burt, Antony Foxcroft 2-3 Mark Ridout.

Highest break: John Hunter 88

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)