Craycraft seals Championship title on a thrilling decider

WANTAGE snooker ace Neil Craycraft clinched the Cuestars South of England Championship Tour title on a thrilling deciding frame.

Craycraft, who is based at the 147 Snooker Club in Swindon, edged past rankings leader Matt Wilson 3-2 on the black in the play-off final at Jesters SC, Swindon.

The 37-year-old miscued while leading 42-0 and Wilson, from the Liberal Club in High Wycombe, helped himself to a 65 break.

Wilson played safe on the final red but Craycraft fluked a snooker from a double kiss.

Although Wilson escaped, he left the red on into the middle with the colours in the open. And Craycraft cleared to win on the black.

“I never expected to get back to the table,” admitted Craycraft.

“I got the first chance and I miscued having opened all the balls up in the previous shot. But Matt lost position and played safe.

“After a short safety exchange, I got the chance I needed and potted the last red and all the colours to win on the black.”

Wilson, 26, said: “Neil messed up his safety, double kissed it and snookered me. I had to hit and hope but stuck him up. He dished with 33 to win on the black. But that’s the way it goes sometimes, you take the rough with the smooth.”

Craycraft, who made a 112 break in his first match against Christian Chislett, had finished second in the rankings after the eight-tournament series across the South. He collected £150 and a trophy from world No 25 Matthew Stevens. Wilson pocketed £80.


Neil Craycraft: 112.
Matt Wilson: 106, 65, 60.
Mike Finn: 88, 75.
Shane Castle: 88, 53.
Alex Dunkley: 58.


LAST-16: Matt Wilson (Liberal Club, High Wycombe) w/o Zack Richardson (Moulsecoomb Social Club, Brighton), Adam Nash (Woolston Conservative Club) w/o Alex O’Donoghue (147 SC, Swindon), Alex Dunkley (Stubbington SC) beat Drew Farminer (Woolston Conservative Club) 3-1, Sebastian Worrall (Swindon SC) beat Lewis Miles (Jesters SC, Swindon) 3-0, Shane Castle (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Phil Wildman (147 SC, Swindon) 3-2, Ryan Mears (Sovereign SC, Farnborough) w/o Richard Somauroo, Mike Finn (Woolston Conservative Club) beat Richard Clark (Swindon SC) 3-0, Neil Craycraft (147 SC, Swindon) beat Christian Chislett (Selsey RBL) 3-1.

QUARTER-FINALS (£20): Wilson beat Nash 3-0, Worrall beat Dunkley 3-2, Castle beat Mears 3-2, Craycraft beat Finn 3-2.

SEMI-FINALS (£40): Wilson beat Worrall 3-0, Craycraft beat Castle 3-2.

FINAL (£150/£80): Craycraft beat Wilson 3-2.

Winbourne strikes Gold

CHANDLER’S Ford Snooker Club youngster Jordan Winbourne lived up to his favourite’s tag and was crowned Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Champion at the end-of-season play-offs at Jesters SC, Swindon.

Despite competing against lads up to seven years older than him, the 14-year-old century-breaker has dominated the rankings.

In the play-off semi-finals, he defeated 17-year-old Daniel Tallentire (Westbury) 3-1 from 1-0 down.

And he dropped the first frame in the final to club-mate Kevin Impett, 18. After clinching a tight second and trailing in frames three and four, he ran out a 3-1 winner.

“It was quite close,” admitted Winbourne. “I wouldn’t say I played that well but I was quite happy.”

Winbourne, who was presented with his trophy by Matthew Stevens, had won three of the six tournaments he’d played in to lead the rankings into the play-off.


QUARTER-FINALS: Jordan Winbourne (Chandler’s Ford SC) w/o James Bolton (Salisbury SC), Daniel Tallentire (Player’s, Westbury) beat Ben Tanner (The Academy, Eastleigh) 3-1, Kevin Impett (Chandler’s Ford SC) w/o Ollie Tydeman (Woolston Conservative Club), Lee Roling (The Academy, Eastleigh) w/o Daniel Woods (Chandler’s Ford SC).

SEMI-FINALS: Winbourne beat Tallentire 3-1, Impett beat Roling 3-2.

FINAL: Winbourne beat Impett 3-1.

Rising star shines after slipping under the radar

BOUWE Bosma capped a remarkable debut season on the Cuestars circuit with a surprise victory in the South of England Under-21 Silver Championship.

Chandler’s Ford SC’s rising star “slipped under the radar”, according to Cuestars director John Hunter.

The 14-year-old, who crept into the last-eight play-off as bottom seed, fought back from two frames down to stun home player Sam Jefferson 3-2 in the play-off final at Jesters SC, Swindon.

“I was just thinking ‘keep going; keep battling’,” he explained.

Guest-of-honour Matthew Stevens said “well done” and then demonstrated the difference between a professional and an amateur in an exhibition frame.

Tim Dunkley, Bosma’s World Snooker coach, said: “I’m delighted for Bouwe.

“He has a cue-action to die for, determination and a snooker brain. Together, they are a lethal combination.”


QUARTER-FINALS: Bouwe Bosma (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Liam Burnet (The Academy, Eastleigh) 3-1, Daniel Winfield (Player’s, Westbury) beat Lee Bell (The Academy, Eastleigh) 3-2, Sam Jefferson (Jesters SC, Swindon) beat Bradley Chappell (Green Baize, Bournemouth) 3-1, Lee Warner (Stoke SC, Gosport) w/o Thyas Evans (Player’s, Westbury).

SEMI-FINALS: Bosma beat Winfield 3-2, Jefferson beat Warner 3-1.

FINAL: Bosma beat Jefferson 3-2.

Parsons saves his best to last

OLIVER Parsons pipped hot favourite Ryan Gavin for the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Championship title.

Playing on home tables at Jesters in Swindon, Parsons, who finished third in the rankings, defeated Gavin 3-1 in the play-off final to record his first tournament win of the season.

Gavin, based at the Liberal Club in High Wycombe, had dominated the rankings after winning four of the seven tournaments across the South and was widely tipped to claim the title.

Parsons edged out Swindon’s Jodie Symes, the women’s world No 18, 3-2 in the last-eight and survived another five-framer against Mark Lloyd, from Gosport, in the semi-finals.


QUARTER-FINALS: Ryan Gavin (Liberal Club, High Wycombe) beat Gary Wilkins (Player’s, Westbury) 3-1, Joshua Lee (Jesters, Swindon) beat Bradley Hatch (The Academy, Eastleigh) 3-2, Oliver Parsons (Jesters, Swindon) beat Jodie Symes (Jesters, Swindon) 3-2, Mark Lloyd (Stoke SC, Gosport) w/o Joe Moon (Jesters, Swindon).

SEMI-FINALS: Gavin beat Lee 3-2, Parsons beat Lloyd 3-2.

FINAL: Parsons beat Gavin 3-1.

Masterclass by Grainger

ALAN Grainger, based at the Liberal Club in High Wycombe, is the inaugural Cuestars South of England Masters Champion.

Rankings winner Grainger confirmed his position as the best Cuestars player over the age of 50 by beating billiards aficionado Trevor Thorn, from Basingstoke, 3-1 in the play-off final.


SEMI-FINALS: Alan Grainger (Liberal Club, High Wycombe) beat Fred Pearce (Burgh Heath, Surrey) 3-1, Trevor Thorn (Basingstoke Conservative Club) beat Ron Ellis (Burgh Heath, Surrey) 3-0.

FINAL: Grainger beat Thorn 3-1.

Section champions

THE eight Cuestars Section champions pocketed £100 and a certificate – and enjoyed a frame with Welsh wizard Matthew Stevens.

Picking up their prizes were: Jodie Symes (Jesters SC, Swindon), Daniel Winfield (Player’s, Westbury), Kyle Hollow (The Academy, Basingstoke), Ashley Smith (Copnor SC, Portsmouth), Mark Wells (Green Baize, Bournemouth), Jordan Wallace (Thatcham SC), Ryan Gavin (Liberal Club, High Wycombe), Jamie Marsh (Rileys, Cardiff).

Double delight for the Winbournes

THERE was double delight for Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold champion Jordan Winbourne.

The 14-year-old teamed up with dad Chris to triumph in the Family Doubles.

Jordan praised his dad’s safety play after the Chandler’s Ford SC pair beat Ben Tanner and his dad Kevin 2-1 in the final.

Cuestars director John Hunter was delighted with the 18-strong entry. He said: “I will be making this a Championship Event next season.”


FIRST ROUND: Ben & William Gould (Thatcham SC) beat Scott & Doug Brady (Bracknell), Mason & Kyle Hollow (The Academy, Basingstoke) beat Steve & Jake White (Player’s, Westbury).

SECOND ROUND: Ben & William Gould beat Joe & Ben Thompson (Thatcham SC), Mason & Kyle Hollow beat Cameron & Nick Holt (Liberal Club, High Wycombe), Jasmine & Gavin Bolsover (Woking SC) beat Joshua & Jason Hughes (Suzy Q, Worcester), Jordan & Chris Winbourne (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Jordan & Gary Wallace (Thatcham SC), Ben & Kevin Tanner (The Academy, Eastleigh) beat Colin & Bradley Hatch (The Academy, Eastleigh), Mark & Keith Wells (Green Baize, Bournemouth) beat Ryan & Ray Mears (Sovereign SC, Farnborough), Lee & Terry Bell (The Academy, Eastleigh) beat Macaulay & Matt Fyffe (Thatcham SC), Jason & Liam Burnet (The Academy, Eastleigh) beat Peter & Richard Taylor (Green Baize, Bournemouth).

QUARTER-FINALS: Mason & Kyle Hollow beat Ben & William Gould, Jordan & Chris Winbourne beat Jasmine & Gavin Bolsover, Ben & Kevin Tanner beat Mark & Keith Wells, Lee & Terry Bell beat Jason & Liam Burnet.

SEMI-FINALS: Jordan & Chris Winbourne beat Mason & Kyle Hollow, Ben & Kevin Tanner beat Lee & Terry Bell.

FINAL: Jordan & Chris Winbourne beat Ben & Kevin Tanner 2-1.

Chappell is the short-game champion

BOURNEMOUTH’S Bradley Chappell emerged victorious from a massive 36-strong field to claim the Junior Six-Reds Challenge trophy and a frame with Matthew Stevens.

The 2008/09 Cuestars Under-15 champion, who is based at the Green Baize club, defeated Westbury’s Andy Dyer in the final of the shortened game.

Chappell disposed of three players from Thatcham Snooker Club to reach the semi-finals where he beat Bronze ranking leader Ryan Gavin.


FIRST ROUND: Derrick Volante (Jesters SC, Swindon) beat Joshua Hughes (Suzy Q, Worcester), Bradley Hatch (The Academy, Eastleigh) beat Jamie Marsh (Rileys, Cardiff), Rhys Zarb (Rileys, Cardiff) beat Jordan Winbourne (Chandler’s Ford SC), Mark Wells (Green Baize, Bournemouth) beat Daniel Tallentire (Player’s, Westbury).

SECOND ROUND: Volante beat Hatch, Wells beat Zarb, Jodie Symes (Jesters SC, Swindon) beat Peter Taylor (Green Baize, Bournemouth), Lee Roling (The Academy, Eastleigh) beat Joshua Lee (Jesters SC, Swindon), Oliver Parsons (Jesters SC, Swindon) beat Matthew Bellinger (Jesters SC, Swindon), Liam O’Shea (Jesters SC, Swindon) beat Ashley Smith, Andy Dyer (Player’s, Westbury) beat Eddie Green (Copnor SC, Portsmouth), Simon Closman (Player’s, Westbury) beat Daniel Compton (Copnor SC, Portsmouth), Cameron Holt (Liberal Club, High Wycombe) beat Joe Thompson (Thatcham SC), Jordan Wallace (Thatcham SC) beat Ben Thompson (Thatcham SC), Macauley Fyffe (Thatcham SC) beat Ben Gould (Thatcham SC), Bradley Chappell (Green Baize, Bournemouth) beat William Gould (Thatcham SC), Ben Tanner (The Academy, Eastleigh) beat Jake White (Player’s, Westbury), Ryan Gavin (Liberal Club, High Wycombe) beat Gary Wilkins (Player’s, Westbury), Liam Burnet (The Academy, Eastleigh) beat Jasmine Bolsover (Woking SC), Lee Bell (The Academy, Eastleigh) beat Scott Brady (Bracknell).

THIRD ROUND: Volante beat Wells, Symes beat Roling, O’Shea beat Parsons, Dyer beat Closman, Wallace beat Holt, Chappell beat Fyffe, Gavin beat Tanner, Bell beat Burnet.

QUARTER-FINALS: Symes beat Volante, Dyer beat O’Shea, Chappell beat Wallace, Gavin beat Bell.

SEMI-FINALS: Dyer beat Symes, Chappell beat Gavin.

FINAL: Chappell beat Dyer.

That’s the way to do it

SNOOKERDAD Gavin Bolsover showed his talented daughter that the old man has still got it.

Bolsover senior overcame Swindon’s Lewis Miles to claim the Senior Six-Reds Challenge trophy.

His phenomenal ten-year-old daughter Jasmine starts next season ranked 18th on the World Ladies Billiards & Snooker Association circuit.


FIRST ROUND: Drew Farminer (Woolston Conservative Club) beat Ray Mears (Sovereign SC, Farnborough), Phil Wildman (147 SC, Swindon) beat Steve White (Player’s, Westbury).

SECOND ROUND: Wildman beat Farminer, Terry Bell (The Academy, Eastleigh) beat Doug Brady (Bracknell), Jason Hughes (Suzy Q, Worcester) beat Ron Ellis (Burgh Heath, Surrey), Chris Winbourne (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Chris Bone (The Academy, Basingstoke), Ryan Mears (Sovereign SC, Farnborough) beat Colin Hatch (The Academy, Eastleigh), Gavin Bolsover (Woking SC) beat Alan Grainger (Liberal Club, High Wycombe), Paul Rose (Jesters SC, Swindon) beat Fred Pearce (Burgh Heath, Surrey), Lewis Miles (Jesters SC, Swindon) beat Wasim Khan (Uxbridge SC).

QUARTER-FINALS: Wildman beat Bell, Winbourne beat Hughes, Bolsover beat Ryan Mears, Miles beat Rose.

SEMI-FINALS: Wildman and Winbourne both withdrew.

FINAL: Bolsover beat Miles.

They also serve…

CUESTARS director John Hunter hailed Finals Day as a great success.

But none of it would have been possible without:

Paul Rose (Jesters SC, Swindon) for successfully running all the competitions.
Roy Danyluk (Liberal Club, High Wycombe) for refereeing all of Matthew Stevens’ matches.
Brad and Steve Baker (owners of Jesters SC) who gave up their club for the day.
Steve White and Lisa Jackson (Cuestars Foundation) for securing the services of a top professional.
Kevin Smithers (top snooker photographer) for providing the lads and lasses with a lasting memento of their encounter with Matthew Stevens.
John Hunter (Cuestars founder and director) without whose foresight and energy Cuestars would not exist.

Who invited Neil Robertson?

MATTHEW Stevens was shocked at Aldershot hotshot Ryan Mears’ resemblance to Aussie lefthander Neil Robertson who beat him 9-7 in the final of the 2008 Bahrain Championship.

In the last exhibition match of the day, Mears – who lost 3-2 to EASB Under-14 champion Shane Castle, 12, in the quarter-finals of the Championship Tour play-off – managed to beat Stevens. It was the only frame the Welsh professional lost all day.

Sources suggest that Stevens may have been “worn out by this stage”.

A star in the making

GUEST-of-honour Matthew Stevens was upstaged by his six-year-old son.

Freddie Stevens, who was a demon on the pool table, told photographer Kevin Smithers he could book him for an exhibition and it would only cost him an iPod touch.

And he informed Paul Rose, who is affectionately known to one and all as Rosie, that it’s a girl’s name.

Pictures by Kevin Smithers

Neil Craycraft with Matthew Stevens.
Jordan Winbourne with Matthew Stevens.
Bouwe Bosma with Matthew Stevens.
Oliver Parsons with Matthew Stevens.
Alan Grainger with Matthew Stevens.
Bradley Chappell with Matthew Stevens.
Jasmine Bolsover, Matthew Stevens and Gavin Bolsover.
Ryan Mears with Matthew Stevens.
Freddie Stevens

Did you do something notable in the last Cuestars tournament? Or any other tournament? Have you just beaten your highest break? Have you got anything to say? E-mail me details at [email protected] or contact me via Facebook and you could be on the Cuestars website.

Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)