Gosport teenagers win South of England trophies

Mark Lloyd

Mark Lloyd

Nigel Ward

Double success for rivals who will meet in cup final

  • Gosport quartet win silverware at South of England tournament
  • Lloyd on course for gold success
  • Bonney to compete in the World Ladies’ Snooker Championship at the weekend
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Four Gosport teenagers picked up trophies in the Cuestars South of England under-21 snooker competition held at Fareham Snooker Club.

Mark Lloyd collected his third piece of silverware with his latest win on gold tour, while Matt Gillon is on the brink of silver success after his triumph.

I started off a bit shaky but just found something that made me play a little bit better

Mark Lloyd

Ben Crump reached the final of the penultimate leg at bronze level – and there was a first Cuestars trophy for Luke McCormick.

Gosport snooker ace Lloyd, 15, now leads the rankings after coming from 1-0 down to beat Anthony Rice 3-1 in the final of the tour’s seventh leg on the new professional table at Fareham.

‘I started off a bit shaky but just found something that made me play a little bit better,’ said Lloyd.

‘Once you get going on the Fareham table, it’s a nice surface. If you’re struggling on it, it’s not the best table to play on because they’re not big pockets.’

Lloyd leads Brad Chappell by five points going into the eighth and final leg, which will be held at Salisbury Snooker Club on May 3.

Rice is 12 points further back in third.

But it’s a tournament that Lloyd could miss, as he is due to take on Jack Harris in the final of the English Under-16 Championship on the same weekend.

So it all depends which day the national governing body allocates the match on.

Faced with the prospect of national glory, Lloyd said: ‘It wouldn’t be too bad to do well in that.

‘Obviously, I want to be national champion. You don’t want to be number two. You go in for a competition to win it.’

Lloyd is 26th on the EASB Premier Junior Tour, which is restricted to the top 49 under-21s in the country.

He has also earned himself an invite to the European under-17 Championship in Malta next year.

Elsewhere, there was further success in the silver rankings as 17-year-old Gillon took the honours after defeating first-time finalist 
Drew Hampshire 2-1 in the penultimate leg.

Gillon takes a 20-point lead going into the eighth and final leg on May 3.

The teenager eased through the first and third frames but was undone by good safety play in the second.

‘There was nothing I could do,’ admitted Gillon. ‘I’m awful against tactical (play). Well done to Drew. It’s good to see him in a final.’

Crump, also from Gosport, was beaten 2-0 by 10-year-old sensation Aidan Murphy in the final of the penultimate bronze tour event.

McCormick got his first taste of Cuestars silverware in the plate final.

He finished runners-up to Connor Benzey, who came third in his bronze round-robin group.

McCormick beat Coulsdon’s Harry Jones in the semi-finals.

n Former world snooker finalist and eight-time world ladies billiards champion Emma Bonney will be competing in the World Ladies’ Snooker Championship in Leeds from tomorrow.

World number one Reanne Evans heads a field of 37 of the world’s top female snooker players competing in the prestigious tournament.

Round-robin matches will be played tomorrow and Sunday, with the top two players in each group qualifying for Monday’s knock-out stage.

The final will take place on Tuesday.

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