Unseeded Stafford proves his class

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Gary Stafford was crowned Autumn Grand Prix Series champion after he beat Danny Smith in the final.

The unseeded Stafford overcame Mike Gillet 3-2 in the first round before beating Jack Marriner 3-1 in the last-eight.

Those wins set him on the way to glory and he eased to a 3-0 win over Dale Masterman in his semi-final.

Second-seed Smith provided the opposition in the final but Stafford proved too strong, winning 4-2 to pocket the £320 top prize .

Smith had previously beaten Martin Stead 3-2 in the semis.

Earlier in the competition he negotiated a route past Bob Crawley, 3-2 in the quarters, and John Gibson, 3-1 in the first round.

Top-seed Andy Jenkins was knocked out in the last eight, going down 3-1 to Masterman.

Stead beat Paul Gibbs by the same margin in the other last-eight battle.

Ricky Williams, Jon Bramble, Sam Head, Adam Lipscombe, Mason Riou and Steve Jannaway were first-round victims.

Mick Street won the series plate contest, with a 2-0 victory over Shayne Daughtrey in the final.

Street had previously enjoyed 2-0 whitewashings of Gary Smith in the semi-finals and Stefan Evrard in the last eight.

Daughtrey also won his last-four tie 2-0 against Colin Littlecott, after a 2-1 quarter-final win against Ivan Lowden.

Jane Monaghan and Keith Hopper were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Monaghan still had cause to celebrate, though, as she won the ladies’ title by beating Sam Pike 2-0.

The Portsmouth ace will make her 100th Hampshire appearance when she lines up to face Nottinghamshire on January 19-20.

Fareham’s Steve Musson will be celebrating his own century of appearances as he also reaches the milestone.

Tim Hope, of Portsmouth, has been handed his first A team call-up following good form for the county B side.

The only other change to the squad is Fareham’s Steve West being lined up for a county debut as he replaces Paul Dunn in the second-string.

Portsmouth’s Martin Stead has been named as a reserve.

Men’s A: Dave Bonnett, Kev Ede, Mike Gillet, Sam Head, Tim Hope, Dean Jones, Dennis Murrell, Steve Musson, Sam Rooney, Danny Smith, Gary Stafford, Lee Ward.

Men’s B: Steve Ballard, Justin Bradshaw, Ben Bran, Paul Gibbs, Phil Harty, Andy Mitchell, Nillson Pritchard, Mick Street, Mark Thorne, Simon Timmins, Steve West, Paul Winter.

Men’s reserves: Paul Dunn, Martin Stead.

Ladies’ A: Maxine Cadwallader, Gemma Hayter, Elaine Harty, Sue Lowther, Jane Monaghan, Wendy Reinstadtler.

Ladies’ B: Jaine Heaton, Pennie Lewis, Kelly Palmer, Sam Pike, Tara Power, Dawn Simmonds.

Ladies’ reserve: Jo Senior.

 

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