Mike Talmondt stepped up his title defence with victory in the second leg of the Cuestars South of England Seniors (40+) Tour.
A notorious slow starter, the defending champion was quick out of the blocks when drawn against leg-one winner Matt Ford in the first round-robin game at Fareham Snooker Club.
Talmondt said: ‘Sometimes it’s a good thing to get a strong player in the first match because it wakes you up quick,’ he said.
‘You can’t play bad all day and win it, that’s for sure.’
The Portsmouth cueist prevailed 2-0 and, despite losing to Neil Herd (Frome, Somerset), topped the five-man group.
Talmondt, 42, then accounted for Martin Luker 2-0 in the last-eight and chalked up an 81 break – the highest of the day – in a 2-0 victory over first-time semi-finalist Paul Lawrence.
Ford had beaten Wayne Muddiman, from Southampton, 2-1 and Salisbury’s Richard Swaffield 2-0 in his knockout matches.
Although the two attacking players ripped through the best-of-three frames final in 56 minutes, they both broke down on several occasions when huge breaks seemed imminent.
This was typified by Ford’s first scoring visit.
The 40-year-old constructed a fine 11-ball break of 23 but when he eventually achieved perfect position on the black, missed it off the spot.
Talmondt took the frame on the colours following a run of 35.
Ford squared the match on the pink and in the decider made a 39.
But, again, it wasn’t enough and Talmondt potted the pink to pocket the £80 prize money.
‘It was hard work,’ added Talmondt.
‘My form was a bit patchy. I had a couple of breaks but it wasn’t very consistent.
‘I was happy to get a win over Matt. He’s very aggressive.
‘It’s never going to take long with me and Matt playing. It’s not going to be a long, boring safety battle. I’m looking forward to the next one.’
Ford remains top, three points ahead of Talmondt.
The third leg of seven is at Salisbury Snooker Club on Sunday, December 20.
– TIM DUNKLEY