CONNOR Benzey has taken an early lead in the race for the £250 first prize on the Cuestars Under-21 Gold Tour.
The 17-year-old from Eastleigh pocketed £100 after beating Jamie Wilson (Havant) 3-1 in the final of the first leg at Salisbury Snooker Club.
Benzey needed a snooker, the last five colours and a re-spotted black to take the crucial first frame. A run of 59 then doubled his advantage.
Wilson pulled one back with a 48 but missed a vital yellow into the middle in the fourth and his opponent cleared up.
Benzey described the first frame as “massive” and added: “I probably played the best I’ve played all day in the final.
“I was happy to beat Jamie because he’s playing well at the moment.”
Both losing semi-finalists beat their highest breaks over the weekend.
Callum Browne (Trowbridge) recorded an 87 against Londoner Marcos Dayao in the last-eight but was knocked out 2-0 by Benzey.
And Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford) – who beat former rankings champion Bradley Cowdroy (Bournemouth) 2-1 in the quarter-finals and lost by the same score to Wilson – posted a 95 the previous day against Anthony Rice in the WEBSF West of England Open at Jesters, Swindon.
Defending champion Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford) missed out on qualifying for the knockout by one frame.
A staggering SIX Premier Tour players were among the high-quality 16-strong field for the event sponsored by loft conversion specialist Attic Life and Salisbury Snooker Club.
For more information about the event sponsors, visit atticlife.co.uk and salisburysnookerclub.co.uk.
Waterlooville Sports Bar hosts the second leg of ten on Sunday, October 6.
Callum Browne: 87, 53, 42.
Marcos Dayao: 76, 49, 46.
Jamie Wilson: 65, 63, 58, 58, 51, 48, 40.
Bradley Cowdroy: 64.
Connor Benzey: 59.
Steven Hughes: 45, 44.
Aristos Pampouris: 45.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Steven Hughes (Chandlers Ford SC); 2nd, Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury); 3rd, Oliver Sykes (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, Chloe White (Waterlooville Sports Bar).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Connor Benzey (Chandlers Ford SC); 2nd, Dan Sykes (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Aristos Pampouris (Hurricane Room, Kings Cross); 4th, Richard Hillgrove (Basildon SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Marcos Dayao (Hurricane Room, Kings Cross); 2nd, Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Ronnie Sullivan (Frames, Coulsdon); 4th, Shane Kearns (Jesters, Swindon).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP D: 1st, Jamie Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 2nd, Mickey Joyce (Academy, Basingstoke); 3rd, O’Shay Scott (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, Louie Leighton (Basildon SC).
QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Hughes 2-1 Cowdroy, Wilson 2-1 D Sykes, Benzey 2-1 Joyce, Browne 2-1 Dayao.
SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Wilson 2-1 Hughes, Benzey 2-0 Browne.
FINAL (£100/£25, 25/18 points): Benzey 3-1 Wilson.
Picture by Tim Dunkley
From left: Connor Benzey, Joe Zaccariello (Salisbury SC manager) and Jamie Wilson.
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)