BEN Crump declared he was “just happy to be back” after claiming his first tournament win on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour.
The 17-year-old from Gosport cruised to victory without dropping a frame all day in the seventh leg hosted and sponsored by Fareham Snooker Club.
Competing in his first event for nearly a year, Crump, who has been concentrating on his studies at St Vincent College, won all four of his round-robin matches to qualify top of his group.
He then overcame Chloe White (Havant), Will Forster (Gosport) and pictured first-time finalist Thomas Saunders (Braintree) all by 2-0 scorelines.
“It’s a shock,” he said. “I didn’t expect to get this far and win the competition.
“Some of the players have come on really well since the last time I played.
“I’m just happy to be back. Hopefully, I can win some more in the future.”
Crump had kept his hand in by turning out for his home club, Stoke SC, in the Gosport & Fareham Snooker League.
Meanwhile, rankings leader Riley Ellis (Wootton Bassett) extended his advantage to 12 points over Shane Kearns (Swindon) by beating his title rival 2-0 in the last-eight. The 12-year-old then went out 2-1 to Saunders, ten, in the semi-finals.
Remarkably, Ellis’ break of 36 in the group stages was the highest recorded in both the Bronze and Silver events.
And Forster topped his round-robin group to qualify for the knockout for the first time. The young potter then beat newcomer Riccardo Drayton (Chandler’s Ford) 2-1 before going out to Crump.
The eighth leg of ten is at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, on Sunday, March 19.
For more information about Fareham Snooker Club, visit www.farehamsnooker.co.uk.
Riley Ellis: 36, 23.
Ben Crump: 26.
Ronnie Sullivan: 22.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Ben Crump (Stoke SC, Gosport); 2nd, Ronnie Sullivan (Frames, Coulsdon); 3rd, Riccardo Drayton (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Callum White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 5th, Arnie Petty (Salisbury SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Will Forster (Mayfair, Gosport); 2nd, Shane Kearns (Jesters, Swindon); 3rd, Chloe White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 4th, Harry Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Riley Ellis (Jesters, Swindon); 2nd, Thomas Saunders (Stepfield SC, Witham, Essex); 3rd, O’Shay Scott (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Harry Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar).
QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Crump 2 Chloe White 0, Forster 2 Drayton 1, Ellis 2 Kearns 0, Saunders 2 Sullivan 0.
SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Crump 2 Forster 0, Saunders 2 Ellis 1.
FINAL (25/18 points): Crump 2 Saunders 0.
Pictures by Tim Dunkley
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)