Lloyd turns on the style to seal golden glory

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Samuel Laxton. Picture: Tim Dunkley

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GOSPORT teenager Mark Lloyd turned on the style with a first winner’s trophy on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour.

Lloyd battled through two humdinger knockout matches against home players at the Greenbaize Snooker Club, Bournemouth, after finishing runner-up in his three-man round-robin group.

The 14-year-old edged out Rikki Moore 3-2, from 2-0 down, in the last four.

He then defeated Bradley Chappell – who had beaten Lloyd 3-1 in the group stages – 3-2 in the final.

‘Brad played well in the first frame,’ admitted Lloyd, who then took the next two.

‘I was just about to win the second-to-last frame but he knocked in a fabulous clearance.

‘The momentum was with him.’

But there was to be no winning return to the Cuestars circuit for Chappell as the new rankings leader won the decider.

Dave and Rose Norman, the husband and wife owners of Stoke Snooker Club, Gosport, have sponsored Lloyd.

They popped into Greenbaize to check on their protégé’s progress.

The talented young potter, who also competes on the EASB Regional Junior Tour, reached the semi-final on his Gold Tour debut in Salisbury, then claimed Plate trophies in Woking and Swindon.

Meanwhile another Stoke Snooker Club member, James Budd, was denied a happy 18th birthday after letting slip a 2-0 lead against Chappell in the semi-finals.

In the Silver Tour, Joe Kitchen, from Stoke SC, posted a personal best 32 break in a 2-1 group-stage defeat by his club-mate Nathan Farmer.

Fellow Gosport potter Matt Gillon took out Farmer in the last eight, on his way to the final.

But his run was stopped by Mickey Joyce, 10, who saw off Gillon 2-0 in the final.

Gosport’s Ollie Gibbs, 10, finished second in the bronze tour event at Bournemouth.

The Stoke SC talent has already won two of his first three events on the tour.

The fifth leg of eight is at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club on Sunday, February 2.