Cuestars South of England success is golden for Lloyd... White reaches bronze final

Mark Lloyd, left, and James Budd
Mark Lloyd, left, and James Budd
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English under-16 snooker champion Mark Lloyd dropped just two frames out of 19 to win the second leg of the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour.

It was a late birthday present for the Gosport teenager who turned 16 the day before the trip to Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.

Lloyd took over top spot in the rankings after accounting for Fareham’s James Budd 3-0 in the final.

Earlier, he won all four group-stage matches by 2-0 scorelines.

Then he beat Anthony Rice 3-0 in the last eight and recorded a 3-2 semi-final victory over Brad Chappell.

In that last-four match Lloyd looked to have a century on the cards but broke down on 80, with the six colours left.

He quickly put the disappointment of missing the ton behind him, though.

‘It would’ve been nice to get the century but I was more focused on getting on with the next frame,’ said Lloyd.

‘It was a good day. I felt that I didn’t cue too badly.’

Meanwhile, victory on the bronze tour went to Ryan Hughes, from Chandler’s Ford.

On his way to glory, he had to account for a trio of Portsmouth cueists – from Copnor Snooker Club – in the knockout stages.

In the last eight, Rio Smith took a 1-0 lead against Hughes but could not maintain his advantage and fell to a 2-1 defeat.

Leg one winner Ben Tillison was unable to repeat his success as he lost 2-0 in the semi-finals.

Callum White had beaten Hughes 2-0 in the group stages but when they met again in the final it was a different story.

White had a 23-point lead in the final frame.

But Hughes made a break of 20 and then kept his nerve to finish with a long black to seal the winner’s trophy.

It was a first final for Copnor ace White, who showed his impressive potential.

He will be hoping to build on that good form with more appearances in finals.

Gosport’s Lloyd believes White has the ability to go on and achieve plenty more success.

‘Well done to Callum White,’ said Lloyd.

‘Let’s hope that gives him the confidence to get to the latter stages of these tournaments more consistently.’

Copnor ace White is now second in the bronze rankings, seven points behind his club-mate Tillison.

Hughes is one point further back in third.

The third leg of eight is at Frames Sports Bar, Coulsdon, on Sunday, December 13.