SURREY potter Edward James admitted he didn’t expect to win his first regional snooker tournament after losing his first match of the day.
But the 12-year-old (pictured left) swept all before him to clinch the second leg of the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour on home tables at Woking Snooker Centre.
James, who had never progressed past the semi-finals in his eight previous outings, defeated Luke Beebe, 12, whom he had lost to in his first group stage match, 2-0 to claim the trophy.
“There was a lot of pressure but I played really well,” he said. “It was close. (Luke’s) a really good player.
“When I lost my first frame to Luke, I didn’t think I had a chance.”
First-time finalist Beebe (Chandler’s Ford SC) is now ranked joint second with beaten semi-finalist Callum McDonald (Salisbury SC).
James knocked out first-leg winner and rankings leader Ollie Gibbs (Stoke SC, Gosport) in the quarter-finals from 1-0 down.
Ally Pollard qualified for the knockout for the first time via a re-spotted black during a three-way play-off in his round-robin group.
The 16-year-old from Salisbury SC then lost 2-1 to clubmate Kaine Petty in the quarter-finals.
Petty’s second successive last-four exit came at the hands of Beebe.
The third leg of eight is at Jesters Snooker Hall Swindon on Sunday, December 8.
Luke Beebe: 31.
Edward James: 26, 24, 22.
Callum McDonald: 25.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Luke Beebe (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Edward James (Woking SC); 3rd, Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC); 4th, Sam Warren (Chandler’s Ford SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Ben Hatch (Southampton); 4th, Adam Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Callum McDonald (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Harry Cook (Woking SC); 4th, Ryan Compton (Copnor SC, Portsmouth).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP D: 1st, Ollie Gibbs (Stoke SC, Gosport); 2nd, Jordan Lee (Woking SC); 3rd, Bradley Wrench (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 4th, Ben Tillison (Copnor SC, Portsmouth).
QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Beebe beat Lee 2-0, Petty beat Pollard 2-1, McDonald beat Kidner 2-1, James beat Gibbs 2-1.
SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Beebe beat Petty 2-0, James beat McDonald 2-1.
FINAL (25/18 points): James beat Beebe 2-0.
Picture by Tim Dunkley