Snooker ace Lloyd closing in on more glory

Mark Lloyd
Mark Lloyd
Andy Boulton

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CURRENT English under-16 snooker champion Mark Lloyd is in sight of a rare double.

The 16-year-old, based at Stoke Snooker Club, Gosport, has potted his way to the final of this season’s national under-18 final.

Lloyd progressed through the last-16 knockout at the Northern Snooker Centre, Leeds, beating Riley Parsons 4-0, Chae Ross 4-1 and Ryan Davies 5-2.

He now faces James Pearson, from Leeds, a player ranked two places below him on the EASB Premier Junior Tour, in the final in June.

Lloyd said: ‘It was a tough day.

‘Only time will tell (if I can win). I just hope it comes together when I need it to.

‘I would like to thank everyone for the support they have given me.’

Lloyd is also closing in on Cuestars South of England under-21 gold tour success.

He takes a one-point lead over title rival Brad Chappell into the last leg of the competition.

Lloyd beat Chappell 3-1 in the final of the seventh event at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.

He could have been on for a huge break as well but broke down on a run of 61 in the fourth frame.

‘I just felt I was cueing well when I needed to get through the matches,’ he said.

‘I found something in the end though, having an opportunity for a century in the last but I missed a black on 60 odd. The balls were ideal.’

Lloyd admitted it was a shame to have missed the fourth leg in Bournemouth in January because of the European Under-17 Open in Malta, which he won.

But he added: ‘I’m pleased that I’m still in the title race.’

Poole-based Chappell, 21, who shared the title with Lloyd in 2013/14 and won it outright last season, will bow out of junior events following finals day in Swindon on May 15.

Bournemouth’s Reece King recorded the day’s highest break of 64.

Playing in only his third Cuestars event, Chichester’s Arron Smith chalked up a personal best competitive break of 41.

While only the top two can win the title, the battle is on for third place.

Beaten quarter-finalist Callum Browne leads Fareham’s James Budd and Bradley Cowdroy by six points.

Anthony Rice and Dan Sykes are three points further back in joint sixth.

Jonny Mutch, who lost 2-1 to Lloyd in the semi-finals, is another six points further back.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth’s Chloe White had to beat her brother Callum in the last-eight and home player Shane Kearns in the semi-finals.

Then after a great run she was edged out in her first bronze tour final.

She said: ‘Playing Ryan Hughes in the final was one step too much as he played the better snooker and deserved to win the game.

‘But it was a shame as I did beat him on the black in the qualifying stages earlier in the day.

‘Sheer hard work and practice has nearly got me to where I want to be.’

The final leg is at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club on Sunday, May 1.