Lloyd shares golden prize

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Dean Russell. Picture: Tim Dunkley

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A TRADEMARK comeback thwarted by a black-ball game meant a regional snooker title was shared for the first time in the Cuestars competition’s five-year history.

After eight legs in eight months, nothing separates Poole potter Brad Chappell and Gosport ace Mark Lloyd at the top of the South of England Under-21 Gold Tour rankings.

Chappell led Lloyd by seven points going into the last event at Salisbury Snooker Club.

The pair met in the final, with Lloyd needing to clinch his second tournament win of the season to draw level.

And the 14-year-old, who is sponsored by Stoke Snooker Club, in Gosport, took the first two frames in the best-of-five clash.

His 19-year-old opponent then launched one of his famous comebacks and forced a decider.

However, an attempted safety left the final black close to a pocket – and Lloyd didn’t need to be asked twice.

Lloyd said: ‘At two-all, I had to deal with it somehow.’

The pair, who finished with 111 points each, could meet again on the EASB Premier Junior Tour next season.

Lloyd is currently second on the EASB Regional Junior Tour South as he bids to reach the premier.

He added: ‘It’s just snooker to me. It would be nice but I’ve got to get there first.’

– TIM DUNKLEY