Winter of discontent in South Wilts

RICHARD Arnold (pictured) reckons his 5-0 defeat by Steve Ashton in the Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League was a “tragedy to rival Hamlet”.

The 53-year-old insisted he was “playing dreadfully” and “managed to drag Steve into the abyss” at Salisbury Snooker Club.

Ashton cruised through the fifth frame with runs of 30 and a 42 clearance after the previous four were decided on the last couple of colours.

Meanwhile, Neil Herd threatened to pack his cue away until January after relinquishing top spot following a 3-2 defeat by Simon Peacock.

The Tornado from Winterbourne Gunner secured the win bonus from 2-1 down with breaks of 44 and 48.

Herd (Frome) said: “No disrespect to Simon as he played OK. But that was the worst I’ve played all season. I’ll be happy to put my cue down till next year.”

Ten-time and defending champion John Hunter (Andover) goes into the new year as league leader after dispatching Anthony Rice (Fordingbridge) 4-1. A run of 60 gave Rice the fifth frame.

Rice, who was responsible for Hunter’s only defeat last season, said: “I was expecting a tough match, knowing John would want revenge for last year.

“The reality was we were both terrible. I’m sure John won’t be happy with the way he played but, at the end of the day, it’s the result that matters.”

David Rice chalked up a 34 in a 4-1 victory over his dad John and Neil Carroll (Rownhams) had a 50 in his 4-1 win against Gary Hart.

A 5-0 whitewash against Hart (Porton) gave Paul Burt (Britford) his first win of the season.

Results: Steve Ashton 5 Richard Arnold 0, Neil Carroll 4 Gary Hart 1, Neil Carroll 3 Stuart Dreyer 2, Neil Herd 2 Simon Peacock 3, Paul Burt 5 Gary Hart 0, John Hunter 4 Anthony Rice 1, David Rice 4 John Rice 1.

South Wilts League

 PlayedMatches WonMatches LostFrames wonFrames lostPoints Scored
John Hunter44016420
David Rice44014618
Neil Herd43115518
Steve Ashton43114617
Anthony Rice43111914
Simon Peacock42211913
Neil Carroll422101012
Paul Burt413101011
Stuart Dreyer4137138
Richard Arnold4135156
Gary Hart4044164
John Rice4043173

Highest break: John Hunter 72

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)