RYAN Hughes stormed back to the top of the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Silver Tour rankings after collecting a fourth winner’s trophy this season.
The never-say-die 15-year-old from Chandler’s Ford beat David O’Callaghan (Bournemouth) 2-1 from 1-0 down in the final of the eighth leg at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.
Hughes, who missed a “sitter” of a frame ball in the decider before securing victory on the pink, said: “The last frame was awful.
“Neither of us were potting. It was like neither of us wanted to win.”
Earlier in the event sponsored by Swindon-based Smarter Cue Sports, Hughes won all four group-stage matches and dispatched title rival Charlie Pringle 2-0 in the last-four.
“It was the best I’d played all day, which was quite lucky for me,” said Hughes. “But he wasn’t playing as well as he could.
“I always do well in Swindon so I had that in my mind as well.”
Indeed. He won two Bronze tournaments plus the 2016 Bronze championship play-off at Jesters. In fact, he has now won nine of his 23 Cuestars under-21 singles events.
Hughes, who slipped to second place following the sixth tournament in Havant, now leads clubmate Pringle by five points going into the last two legs.
Leg seven winner O’Callaghan accounted for Keegan Reed (Salisbury) 2-0 in the second semi. It was the third time this season that Reed had finished one win short of a first appearance in a final.
The ninth leg of ten is at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club on Sunday, April 9.
For more information about Smarter Cue Sports, which supplies cue sport products to clubs and retailers, visit www.smarter-cuesports.co.uk.
Brett Wallace: 48.
David O’Callaghan: 38, 32, 30.
Ryan Hughes: 33.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Ryan Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Bowen Zhu (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Brett Wallace (Fareham SC); 5th, Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, David O’Callaghan (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, Charlie Pringle (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Evan Plummer (Frames, Coulsdon); 4th, Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC); 5th, Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).
SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Hughes 2 Pringle 0, O’Callaghan 2 Reed 0.
FINAL (25/18 points): Hughes 2 O’Callaghan 1.
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)