Rice claims first South Wilts title

ANTHONY Rice has claimed his first Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League title.

The 24-year-old from Fordingbridge, runner-up in the three previous seasons, beat defending champion Jake Stewart in the final match of the much-delayed 2019/20 season at Salisbury Snooker Club.

Needing to claw back a two-point deficit, Rice took the opening frames with breaks of 56 and 53. This meant the pair were now tied at the top of the table.

When he also won the third, and therefore the match and the title, Stewart conceded the last two frames.

Although pleased, Rice admitted it was a bit of an anti-climax.

He said: “A shame really as I’ve been a second-place merchant for so many years, it feels a tad anti-climatic to finally win it with this particular season perhaps feeling a tad ‘stale’ thanks to Covid.

“The match wasn’t all that competitive and Jake hasn’t played snooker in some time. I started well and didn’t offer many easy chances.”

Results: Anthony Rice 5-0 Jake Stewart