RYAN Hughes edged his title rival and clubmate Charlie Pringle 2-1 to claim a fifth winner’s trophy on this season’s Cuestars South of England Under-21 Silver Tour.
The 15-year-old from Chandler’s Ford takes a 12-point rankings lead into the final event in Salisbury later this month.
Hughes, who won the Bronze rankings last season, was forced to battle hard against Pringle in the ninth leg on home tables at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club.
He took the first frame, lost the second on the black from a winning position and broke the back of the decider with a 38 break.
Reflecting on the pressure of playing a third frame, he said: “I was still confident. I just made sure I played as well as I had all day and didn’t really think about it.
“I feel quite good. I didn’t play very well at all (the previous day) and nothing felt right. Then I played really well all day.”
It was only the second frame out of 12 that Hughes dropped in the event sponsored by Pitman Training Winchester. The first was to Ally Pollard (Alderholt) in his first group-stage match – thanks in no small part to a couple of well-taken flukes on the colours.
Pollard beat Salisbury clubmates Keegan Reed and Kaine Petty to qualify for the knockout for the first time since last October. In fact, his 2-0 defeat by Pringle was his first semi-final appearance for nearly two years.
In the second semi, Hughes overcame third-placed David O’Callaghan (Bournemouth), who won the seventh leg in Fareham.
Hughes’s previous tournament wins were in Woking, Salisbury, Coulsdon and Swindon.
Pringle, 15, topped his group, despite losing 2-1 to Nat Kidner (Ferndown), and compiled runs of 55, 45, 41 and 30.
The tenth and final leg is on Sunday, April 30, at Salisbury Snooker Club.
For more information about Pitman Training, go to www.pitman-training.com.
Charlie Pringle: 55, 45, 41, 34, 30.
David O’Callaghan: 44.
Ryan Hughes: 38, 32, 32.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Charlie Pringle (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, David O’Callaghan (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 4th, Drew Hampshire (147 SC Swindon); 5th, Harry Jones (Frames, Coulsdon).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Ryan Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC); 4th, Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC).
SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Pringle 2 Pollard 0, Hughes 2 O’Callaghan 0.
FINAL (25/18 points): Hughes 2 Pringle 1.
Pictures by Tim Dunkley
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)