SWINDON is proving to be a happy hunting ground for Fareham cueman James Budd.
The 20-year-old, appearing in his third final in ten months at Jesters Snooker Club, clinched the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Handicap Championship.
Gold Tour player Budd defeated Bronze Tour rankings leader Ryan Hughes 2-1 to claim the title.
“I like playing in these events because it’s all of the three categories Gold (scratch), Silver (+14) and Bronze (+28) competing together,” said Budd.
“In the group stages, I played solid and managed to play well in my other games.
“Ryan played very well in the final. Giving 28 points head start wasn’t easy as he was playing a tactical game like I was playing too. But I managed to put a few mini breaks together to start off with to put me in the lead.”
Budd, who also competes on the EASB Premier Junior Tour, won the Gold Tour Championship play-off last May at Jesters and returned there in November to finish runner-up in the second leg of this season’s campaign.
There were 22 entries for the second running of the competition.
Defending champion Jonny Mutch (Cambridge) lost 2-0 in the last-four to Hughes, who had beaten Silver Tour rankings leader and Chandler’s Ford clubmate Steven Hughes (no relation) 2-0 in the previous round.
Callum Browne (Trowbridge) wrapped up a 2-0 Plate final victory over ten-year-old Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford) with his highest Cuestars break of 81.
Callum Browne: 81, 61, 43.
Jamie Wilson: 68, 43.
Ronnie Blake: 59, 51.
James Budd: 58, 46.
Jonny Mutch: 55.
Aidan Murphy: 42, 36.
QUARTER-FINALS: Ryan Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC) 2 Steven Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC) 0, Ronnie Blake (Frames, Coulsdon) 1 Jonny Mutch Cambridge SC) 2, Anthony Rice (Salisbury SC) 2 Jamie Wilson (Chandler’s Ford SC) 1, James Budd (Fareham SC) 2 Daniel Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC) 1.
SEMI-FINALS (£5): R Hughes 2 Mutch 0, Rice 0 Budd 2
FINAL (£30/£15): Budd 2 R Hughes 1.
Picture by Tim Dunkley: James Budd (left) with professional Joe Perry at finals day last year.