OLIVER Sykes now leads the Cuestars Under-21 Gold Tour rankings after collecting his third winner’s trophy of the season at Fareham Snooker Club.
The talented left-hander from Chandler’s Ford edged first-time finalist Elliott Weston (Portsmouth) 3-2 from 2-1 down to clinch the seventh leg.
It was a magnificent display by the 13-year-old, who knocked out rankings leader Bradley Cowdroy (Bournemouth) in the last-four in another thrilling five-frame match.
Sykes battled through those two mentally draining five-frame matches in his trademark calm and composed manner.
“I try to keep calm and, even if I do miss a ball, don’t show reaction,” said The Sniper.
“There was a lot of safety with Brad. Against Elliott, it was pretty tight but I managed to stick in there and keep going. He’s improved a lot.”
Sykes, who pocketed £100 prize money, now leads Cowdroy by nine points with three of the ten legs remaining.
Third-placed Connor Benzey (Eastleigh) didn’t drop a frame in the group stages but lost 3-0 to Weston in the last-four of the event sponsored by the host club.
Weston climbed to fourth and looked comfortable on the club’s professional standard Star tables.
His dad, Jason, a former professional, said the 18-year-old has only been playing the game for two years and already has a high break of 91.
“He has improved very quickly,” he added.
Top Spot Snooker Club, Havant, hosts the eighth legs of ten on Sunday, March 17.
For more information about Fareham SC, visit www.farehamsnooker.co.uk.
Connor Benzey: 61, 43.
Bradley Cowdroy: 53.
Elliott Weston: 46.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, Elliott Weston (Top Spot, Havant); 3rd, Ronnie Sullivan (Frames, Coulsdon); 4th, Dan Sykes (Chandlers Ford SC); 5th, Steven Hughes (Chandlers Ford SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Connor Benzey (Chandlers Ford SC; 2nd, Oliver Sykes (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Ryan Hughes (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, Chloe White (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 5th, Arron Smith (Selsey RBL).
SEMI-FINALS (15 points): O Sykes 3-2 Cowdroy, Weston 3-0 Benzey.
FINAL (£100/£25, 25/18 points): O Sykes 3-2 Weston.
Picture by Tim Dunkley
From left: Elliott Weston, Fareham SC rep Brian Mitchell, Oliver Sykes.
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)