Century break helps Mark Lloyd complete golden double
THERE were three reasons to be cheerful for Gosport teenager Mark Lloyd as the curtain came down on his last full season on a regional snooker circuit.
The English Under-16 Champion clinched the Cuestars South of England Under-21 gold tour double and chalked up a first century break in tournament play.
Lloyd – who secured the rankings title two weeks previously despite missing one leg because of the European Under-17 Open in Malta, which he won – beat Bradley Cowdroy 2-0 in the championship play-off final at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.
The 16-year-old set out his stall by knocking in a 100, his first ever competitive ton, in his opening frame of the day in the group stages against Arron Smith on the match table.
He said: ‘The balls just went in. I was unlucky not to get more.
‘But it only wins one frame.
‘I’ve got over the century barrier so hopefully now more breaks fly in.’
Lloyd, who is also looking forward to the English Under-18 Championship final next month, said his priorities now lie with the EASB Premier Junior Tour and the Cuestars Championship Tour, which next season carries a Q School place for the rankings winner.
But he may enter a few gold tournaments.
‘I’ll probably do enough next year to get in the top-16,’ he added.
‘I’m going to concentrate on the nationals now.
‘This has ended it how I wanted to. I’ve ended with a century and won them both. I haven’t done too badly.’
As part of his prize, Lloyd took on guest professional Kurt Maflin in an exhibition frame and lost 69-29.
Olly Gibbs, who won the bronze tour championship in 2014, finished silver tour runner-up.
The 12-year-old, from Gosport, lost 2-0 in the final against Steven Hughes.
In the opening frame, Gibbs went in-off into the middle pocket and left an easy pink in baulk to gift Hughes the lead.
And in the second frame, Hughes clawed back a deficit with a 20 break to the blue.
Gibbs then potted the pink but missed the frame-ball black.
Chloe White, from Havant, was bronze tour runner-up.
She needed crutches to get to the table and hobbled around on an injured ankle against Ryan Hughes in the final.
Hughes took the lead but White made it 1-1 with a run of 25.
She missed out on the win, though, as Hughes rallied to win the decider.
Copnor’s Callum White was runner-up in the Six-Reds Challenge and William Forster collected the Mayfair SC, Gosport, Section Championship trophy.
Elsewhere, Fareham’s James Budd, the only player to beat Joe Perry at last season’s finals day, repeated the feat this year by seeing off world number 50 Maflin on a re-spotted black.