Third win puts Tillison top

Portsmouth potter Ben Tillison has regained the lead in the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour rankings.

The 15-year-old (pictured) replaced birthday boy Ryan Hughes in first place after beating his title rival from Chandler’s Ford 2-0 in the final of the sixth leg at Fareham Snooker Club.

Tillison needed a snooker on the pink in the first frame and the last five colours in the second to notch up his third tournament win of the season.

Hughes, now 14, is five points adrift with two events left in what has developed into a two-horse race.

While relishing the challenge, Tillison admitted that he does feel the pressure.

“My palms were sweating all the way through (the final) and it was hard to grip my cue,” said the left-hander.

“It was quite tense. I do enjoy it but sometimes it’s overwhelming how important it is.”

Tillison qualified from his group in third place, beat Copnor clubmate Rio Smith 2-0 in the quarter-finals and Arnie Petty (Fordingbridge) 2-1 in the last-four.

Petty received a walkover in the quarter-finals as his opponent, Ben Hatch (Southampton), had left the venue not realising he could still qualify for the knockout.

Third-placed Chloe White (Portsmouth) finished second to Hughes in their round-robin group and then lost 2-0 when the pair met again in the semi-finals.

The seventh leg of eight is at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, on Sunday, April 10.


Ben Tillison: 25, 23.
Bowen Zhu: 25.
Shane Kearns: 25.
Ryan Hughes: 20.


ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Rio Smith (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 2nd, Ozzy Rea (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 3rd, Ben Hatch (Southampton); 4th, Ben Crump (Mayfair, Gosport); 5th, Connor Shaw (Greenbaize, Bournemouth).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Arnie Petty (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Riley Ellis (Jesters, Swindon); 3rd, Ben Tillison (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 4th, Bowen Zhu (Chandler’s Ford SC); 5th, Callum White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Ryan Hughes (Chandler’s Ford SC); 2nd, Chloe White (Copnor SC, Portsmouth); 3rd, Harry Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC); 4th, Shane Kearns (Jesters, Swindon).

QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Tillison 2 Smith 0, Petty w/o Hatch, Hughes 2 Ellis 1, Chloe White 2 Rea 1.

SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Tillison 2 Petty 1, Hughes 2 Chloe White 0.

FINAL (25/18 points): Tillison 2 Hughes 0.

Report and picture by Tim Dunkley