Rice’s South Wilts bid in his own hands

ANTHONY Rice’s bid to claim a first Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League title is in his own hands.

The 22-year-old from Fordingbridge kept up the pressure with breaks of 56, 53 and 51 in a 4-1 victory over Mark Ridout at Salisbury Snooker Club.

Ridout (Lymington) admitted: “I considered myself fortunate to get one frame.”

It means Rice remains in third place with a game in hand. And he faces both of the top two in his remaining three matches.

Meanwhile, defending champion Jake Stewart posted a 63 as he eased past Stuart Dreyer 5-0.

Dreyer said: “Jake is always a tough opponent. With the added pressure of knowing that if you miss or let him in, he’s potentially going to punish you and score fairly heavily.

“Overall, I was totally outclassed.”

Stewart is now level on points with league leader John Hunter.

Antony Foxcroft reckons Lee Stagg’s scrappy play was better than his scrappy play and that his opponent deserved his 3-2 success.

And Paul Burt climbed to fifth place following a 4-1 win against David Rice.

Elsewhere, Stewart made the quarter-finals of the seventh leg of the Frames Sports Bar Championship Tour in Coulsdon, south London.

He beat Andrew Seymour (Newbury) 3-0 and Elliott Weston (Portsmouth) 3-0 before going out 3-2 to ex-professional Bradley Jones, the eventual tournament winner.

Brothers Anthony and David Rice both made first-round exits.

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

Highest break: Jake Stewart 132

Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)