DORSET cueist Bradley Cowdroy has claimed his first Cuestars Under-21 Championship title.
The 20-year-old from Bournemouth cross-doubled the last black to wrap up a 3-1 victory over rankings winner Connor Benzey in the Gold Tour final at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.
Cowdroy reckons that having had a cue in his hand for only two hours since Q School ended for him a fortnight previously may have actually helped.
The talented left-hander, who received his trophy from guest professional Joe Perry, said: “It’s nice to check that one off the list and finish the year on a high.
“It certainly wasn’t pretty snooker today. I’ve not been playing a whole lot since Q School. I’ve taken a bit of a break so I didn’t have massive expectations and that probably helped. I was very relaxed.
“Connor has taken some time off as well so neither of us were really firing.
“For people with aspirations, if you’re not practising, it’s a very hard game. It just shows how important practice is.”
Cowdroy also paid tribute to the Cuestars “family” and the traditions of the end-of-season finale.
“It’s always a great day to be involved in,” he said. “Joe’s obviously been fantastic again, and also just the general atmosphere and bits like the trophy presentation and group picture.
“I think on finals day you really get to appreciate just what a great family we all are here, and long may it continue.”
Cowdroy beat home player Shane Kearns 3-1 in the last-four. Benzey (Eastleigh) overcame Riley Ellis (north Wilts) 3-0 in the second semi of the event sponsored by Jesters Snooker Club.
The newly-crowned champion made his Cuestars debut more than 11 years ago and won the Gold Tour rankings titles in 2017/18 and 2019/20.
For more information about the event sponsor, visit www.jesterssnooker.co.uk.
Bradley Cowdroy: 77, 56.
Connor Benzey: 76, 73, 54.
Simon Bubb: 76, 40.
Elliott Johnson: 61.
Steven Hughes: 40.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Connor Benzey (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 2nd, Shane Kearns (Jesters, Swindon); 3rd, Simon Bubb (Cousins, London); 4th, Steven Hughes (Chandlers Ford SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, Riley Ellis (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Elliott Johnson (London Snooker, Tooting); 4th, Jimmy Gregory (Sovereign, Farnborough) withdrew.
SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Cowdroy 3-1 Kearns, Benzey 3-0 Ellis.
FINAL (£100/£25, 25/18 points): Cowdroy 3-1 Benzey.
Picture: Bradley Cowdroy (right) and Joe Perry.