Sonnie shines in Salisbury

A BUCKINGHAMSHIRE teenager reckons his experience of competing on the national junior snooker circuit helped him secure a first regional tournament win of the season. Sonnie O’Sullivan (pictured) was quietly satisfied after beating English Under-16 champion Mark Lloyd 3-1 in the final of the first leg of the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour.“ Yes, it’s always nice (to beat a national champion),” he smiled.

The 19-year-old from Aylesbury, who only lost one frame all day at Salisbury Snooker Club, has never played 15-year-old England international Lloyd in their one-and-a-bit seasons on the EASB Premier Junior Tour, which is restricted to the country’s top-48 under-21s.Reflecting on life on the Premier Tour, O’Sullivan said: “It’s tough. Every match is hard. It’s the reason why I came here today: to get a bit of confidence, to get a couple of wins.“The next one’s in Coulsdon, which I’m looking forward to because I don’t have to book into a hotel or travel for three hours.“Getting down to the close frames (in Salisbury), it was just experience that got me over the line in most of them. You could see on the colours, little safety shots that some people don’t know. It was a tough day but it’s nice to just get a win.”

O’Sullivan won the Cuestars Silver Tour championship play-off in 2013 and the Gold equivalent the following season. He has yet to get past the last-32 on the Premier Tour after qualifying from the Regional Tour South at the end of the 2013/14 season.“Last season was a struggle,” he said. “I didn’t really play well at all. My aim this season is to get out of the groups, get to the last-16 and get through to the second day.“It’s nice to see players that you know. Last season, it was just me, Mark and Thomas (Lancastle). Now James (Budd) has come up and Ronnie Blake. Hopefully, some more will come through next season.”

Anthony Rice, from Fordingbridge, who finished third in the group of death that included Lloyd (Gosport) and Brad Chappell (Poole), recorded the day’s highest break of 79. The second leg of eight is at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, on Sunday, November 1.


Anthony Rice: 79.
James Budd: 69.
Brad Chappell: 52, 40.
Sonnie O’Sullivan: 46.
Mark Lloyd: 44, 40.
Jonny Mutch: 44.
Bradley Cowdroy: 42.
Callum Browne: 40.

GOLD RESULTSROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury); 2nd, Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Nathan Farmer (Stoke SC, Gosport); 4th, Cameron Holt (Liberal Club, High Wycombe).ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Sonnie O’Sullivan (Liberal Club, High Wycombe); 2nd, Reece King (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Mickey Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Dan Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC).ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Jonny Mutch (Cambridge SC); 2nd, Mike Trigg (Chandler’s Ford SC); 3rd, Jamie Wilson (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 4th, James Budd (Fareham SC).ROUND-ROBIN GROUP D: 1st, Mark Lloyd (Stoke SC, Gosport); 2nd, Brad Chappell (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Anthony Rice (Salisbury SC); 4th, Callum McDonald (Salisbury SC).

QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Browne 2 Chappell 0, O’Sullivan 2 Trigg 0, King 2 Mutch 0, Lloyd 2 Cowdroy 0.

SEMI-FINALS (15 points): O’Sullivan 2 Browne 0, Lloyd 2 King 1.

FINAL (£50/£30 25/18 points): O’Sullivan 3 Lloyd 1.

Report and picture by Tim Dunkley.