Gola aiming for back-to-back rankings titles

THERE was an early birthday present for Donnie Gola as he blew the title race wide open by winning the seventh leg of the Cuestars Under-21 Silver Tour.

Six days before his 16th birthday, the Islington teenager beat rankings leader Mason Wilson (Basingstoke) 2-1 on the pink in the final at Woking Snooker Centre.

“It was a very close game,” said Gola. “He’s a very hard player to beat. He’s very good, very skilful.”

It means Wilson remains in pole position with three events remaining. Gola, last season’s Bronze rankings champion, is three points adrift in second place. And William Hurley (Rayleigh), who lost 2-1 on a re-spotted black to Wilson in the last-four, is one point further back in third.

Gola progressed to the knockout by the skin of his teeth as one of the two best thirds.

“I thought I hadn’t qualified,” he admitted. “Because I came third in my group.

Ellise Scott (Eastleigh) reached the semis for the first time, going out in a third-frame decider to Gola. Hurley recorded the highest break of 59.

There was a massive 66-strong field for the combined Gold, Silver and Bronze tournaments which were sponsored by snookerdad Tan Jeraj and snookerz.co.uk. It was the highest turnout in the 14-year-history of the competition and eclipsed the previous record of 62 set in Coulsdon last October.

Fareham Snooker Club hosts the eighth leg of ten on Sunday, March 3.


William Hurley: 59, 35, 35.
Donnie Gola: 32, 32.
Ellise Scott: 31.
Christopher Woodward: 31.
Mason Wilson: 30.


ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Caden Read (Chandlers Ford SC); 2nd, Mason Wilson (Academy, Basingstoke); 3rd, Jamie Hogg (Frank’s, Stevenage); 4th, Lennon Savage (Salisbury SC); 5th, Tom McEvoy (Salisbury SC).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, William Hurley (Lanes Sports Bar, Rayleigh); 2nd, Gus Walker (Castle SC, Brighton); 3rd, Tyler Beer (Salisbury SC); 4th, Oliver Li (Castle SC, Brighton); 5th, Dylan Beer (Salisbury SC).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Daniel Walter (Copnor SC); 2nd, Ellise Scott (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Donnie Gola (Mildmay Club); 4th, Christopher Woodward (Chandlers Ford SC); 5th, Matthew Jameson (Castle SC, Brighton).

QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Gola 2-0 Read, Scott 2-1 Walker, Hurley 2-1 Hogg, Wilson 2-0 Walter.

SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Gola 2-1 Scott, Wilson 2-1 Hurley.

FINAL (25/18 points): Gola 2-1 Wilson.