Winbourne pots crucial pink to take News snooker crown

Lewis Wilson

Waterlooville on point in Peter Rook Cup

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Potting star Jordan Winbourne landed The News Snooker Championship in a nailbiting final which went down to the final pink.

The 17-year-old thought he’d missed his chance when rival Bob Cooper began to clear the colours in the final frame decider.

But despite being in prime position, Cooper missed an easy pink which ultimately proved costly.

Winbourne – the current Gosport & Fareham League individual champion – slotted it home to add the championship to his already bulging trophy cabinet.

The talented Stubbington Hawks cueist admitted he feared his chance had gone.

But he was pleased to be able to lift the prize.

Winbourne said: ‘I thought I’d lost it when he (Cooper) was on the pink.

‘I never played well – my highest break was 57 all day.

‘But my safety game was good, especially in the semi.

‘I’m pleased to win it. It was a good tournament.’

Stubbington player Cooper said: ‘I’m gutted. I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.’

It was Cooper who got off to a good start in the final, going 1-0 up after efforts of 25 and 32.

In the second frame, Winbourne got in first and took four reds and four blacks, making a 34 break before breaking down.

Cooper responded with a 38 but a fine long pot on the green saw Winbourne clear up and level the match.

Winbourne smashed in a superb 43 at the beginning of frame three, but again Cooper would not go away and got back into it thanks to a well-crafted 36.

However, it was Winbourne who made a critical break of 24 to go 2-1 up.

Cooper then dominated the next, knocking in a superb 85 – the highest break of the tournament – to force the decider.

A total of 40 players from both the Gosport & Fareham and Portsmouth leagues competed in the tournament, which was held at, and sponsored by, Village Snooker Club in Stubbington.

Former ladies’ billiards champion Emma Bonney, from Craneswater club, Southsea, overcome a tricky preliminary round battle against Danny Auld, but lost in the second round – as did her partner Nigel Ward.

Ex-England player Colin Norton made it to the semis but lost to Winbourne, who played some terrific safety.

The News Snooker Championship has been rekindled this year and, due to its success, will be held again.

Thanks goes to Village Snooker Club for hosting the event and supplying the trophies.