Lloyd keeps his cool to land another prize

Mark Lloyd. Picture: Tim Dunkley
Mark Lloyd. Picture: Tim Dunkley
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Mark Lloyd flies out to Cyprus this weekend on the back of a ‘not very good’ winning performance.

The England under-18 champion warmed up for next week’s European Under-18 Championship by collecting his fourth winner’s trophy this season on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 gold tour.

Ben Crump

Ben Crump

In a repeat of the previous event in Havant, the 17-year-old from Gosport beat Bradley Cowdroy 2-0 in the final of the seventh leg hosted and sponsored by Fareham Snooker Club.

Reflecting on his play during the day, the rankings leader, who lost to 14-year-old Cowdroy, from Bournemouth, in the group stages, said: ‘It was not very good.

‘It’s grinding the matches and not getting fussed if you lose a frame. It was a struggle.’

Turning to Cyprus, he added: ‘If I play like I did, it’s not going to be good.

‘But if I play like I have been in practice, I’ll be fine.’

Meanwhile, Selsey teenager Arron Smith qualified for the knockout for the first time since his Cuestars debut a year ago. The 17-year-old went out 2-0 to Lloyd in the last-eight.

Two Chandler’s Ford players made the semi-finals. Fifth-placed Steven Hughes lost 2-1 from 1-0 up to Lloyd and Connor Benzey was beaten 2-0 by Cowdroy.

Jamie Wilson, from Havant, made his first appearance in the knockout this season but lost 2-0 to Benzey.

Lloyd has a 46-point lead but the race for the runners-up spot is tight. Only 11 points separate second-placed Callum Browne and Benzey, in seventh.

Meanwhile, Ben Crump declared he was ‘just happy to be back’ after claiming his first tournament win on the Cuestars South of England under-21 bronze tour.

The 17-year-old, from Gosport, cruised to victory without dropping a frame all day in the seventh leg hosted and sponsored by Fareham Snooker Club.

Competing in his first event for nearly a year, Crump, who has been concentrating on his studies at St Vincent College, won all four of his round-robin matches to qualify top of his group.

He then overcame Chloe White, of Havant, Will Forster, from Gosport, and first-time finalist Thomas Saunders all by 2-0 scorelines.

‘It’s a shock,’ he said. ‘I didn’t expect to get this far and win the competition.

‘Some of the players have come on really well since the last time I played.

‘I’m just happy to be back. Hopefully, I can win some more in the future.’

Crump had kept his hand in by turning out for his home club, Stoke SC, in the Gosport & Fareham Snooker League.

The eighth leg of 10 is at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon, on Sunday, March 19.

See farehamsnooker.co.uk for more information.