Budd-ing talent pays tribute to pal

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James Budd took time out from celebrating victory in the Stoke Snooker Club Open to pay tribute to beaten finalist Mark Lloyd.

The 17-year-old Fareham potter wrapped up the 3-1 win at the Gosport club with a 27 clearance.

‘Mark is a good break-builder – he’s very talented for his age,’ said Budd.

Lloyd, 13, was forced to give his older opponent a seven-point start in the handicapped event.

In the first round, Budd, receiving six, beat Mike Hart 3-1. After a three-hour wait, he conceded 26 to Chris Roebuck and won 3-2. And he beat Joe Kitchen, who received 18, 3-0.

Earlier this month, Budd posted a personal best 85 break en route to winning the Secretary’s Shield – the under-30 event run by the Gosport & Fareham Snooker League. He accounted for Lloyd in the final.

The pair also compete on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Silver Tour, where Lloyd is the rankings leader after seven of the eight legs.

Fourth-placed Budd, hoping to make a first final in the last leg in Salisbury on May 5, is relishing promotion to the Gold Tour.

He said: ‘I’ll be up against very, very strong opponents, so I will need to put loads of time into practice.’

– TIM DUNKLEY