First Cuestars tournament win for 11 years
OLLIE Douglas has won his first Cuestars tournament for more than 11 years.
The 29-year-old emerged triumphant from a massive 36-strong field to claim victory in the second leg of the Cuestars South of England Championship Tour at his home club, The Crucible Sports & Social Club, Newbury.
Douglas – who won the Newbury Open at Newbury Snooker Club on April 30, 2000 – cruised through the knockout stage without dropping a frame and accounted for Alex O’Donoghue (Jesters,Swindon) 3-0 in the final.
He moved straight into second place in the rankings.
His 2-0 victory over Billy Castle in the round-robin group stages banished the event-one winner to the Plate competition.
The competition for the £400 prize money was cut-throat with only the group winners progressing to the knockout.
Douglas, who did not play in the first leg, dispatched Adam Nash (Churchills, Eastleigh) 3-0 in the last-eight. Nash had cruised through Group C without dropping a frame, one of only two players to achieve this feat.
The other was Neil Clayton (Woking Snooker Centre) in Group B, who was also knocked out in the quarter-finals – 3-2 by Group D winner Jonathan Charlton (Aldwick RBL, Bognor Regis).
In the semis, Charlton lost 3-1 to O’Donoghue, who had seen off Group H winner Andy Vernon (Sunninghill Comrades Club, Ascot) 3-2 in the previous round.
Sam Thomas (Penarth Road SC, Cardiff) qualified from a tight Group G by virtue of just one frame, beat Group E winner David Beakhouse (Colours, Reading) 3-0 but fell 3-0 to the eventual champion.
Castle maintained top spot in the rankings with victory in the Plate competition.
The 19-year-old, who is based at Cue T’s Snooker Lounge, Marchwood, fired in the day’s only century in the final.
Welsh under-19 international Ed Topham (Rileys, Cardiff) was restricted to just two shots asEngland under-19 international Castle constructed a 101.
Derek Castle, Billy’s dad, said: “Ed went for the only red on and missed it and Billy had 101 from it.
“As the day went on, he got a lot more confident. The more he played, the better he was getting.
And he added: “It was a very nice club.”
Thatcham Snooker Club-based Sam Storey was “glad” he made his Championship Tour debut in Newbury
The Silver Tour youngster said: “It was good fun and I wasn’t far from taking frames against some really good players.”
Ten players from the host club took part and seven made the trip from Wales.
Cuestars director John Hunter paid tribute to the “great” venue and vowed to bring more tournaments to Newbury.
“It was a fantastic competition,” he said. “The venue was great and the tables were quality.
“The feedback from the players was very positive. I would like to thank the club proprietor Andy Bolter and his staff.
“The players appreciated all the tables being brushed and ironed for the start of the event. I’m looking forward to holding more competitions at Newbury’s Crucible Sports & Social Club.”
The third leg of the six Cuestars Championship Tour events is on Sunday, January 27, at Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon.
Billy Castle: 101, 65, 53, 50, 50.
Alex O’Donoghue: 87.
Ollie Douglas: 79, 77.
Neil Clayton: 65.
Sam Thomas: 63.
Jonathan Charlton: 62.
David Beakhouse: 51.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP POSITIONS
GROUP A: 1st, Ollie Douglas (Crucible, Newbury); 2nd, Billy Castle (Cue T’s, Marchwood); joint 3rd, Neil Rampton (Crucible, Newbury) & Neil Winkworth (Crucible, Newbury); 5th, James Facey (Roath Labour Club, Cardiff).
GROUP B: 1st, Neil Clayton (Woking SC); 2nd, Andy Bolter (Crucible, Newbury); 3rd, Chris Richards (Roath Labour Club, Cardiff); 4th, Matthew Johns (West End Labour Club, Barry, Wales); 5th, Lewis Griffiths (Penarth Road SC, Cardiff).
GROUP C: 1st, Adam Nash (Churchills, Eastleigh); 2nd, Paul Broome (Crucible, Newbury); 3rd, Aaron Watts (Crucible, Newbury); joint 4th, Neil Carroll (Salisbury SC) & Dean Matthews (Ivy Leaf Club, Maidenhead).
GROUP D: 1st, Jonathan Charlton (Aldwick RBL, Bognor Regis); 2nd, Dominic Holmes (Sovereign SC, Farnborough); 3rd, Jimmy Higgins (Crucible, Newbury); 4th, Alan Grainger (Liberal Club, High Wycombe); 5th, Ollie Kendrick (Whitmore Reans Conservative Club, Wolverhampton).
GROUP E: 1st, David Beakhouse (Colours, Reading); 2nd, Lewis Miles (Jesters, Swindon); 3rd, Edward Topham (Rileys, Cardiff); 4th, Robbie Self (Crucible, Newbury).
GROUP F: 1st, Alex O’Donoghue (Jesters, Swindon); 2nd, Kennedy Brown (Swindon SC); 3rd, Vince Elphick (Hassocks Mens Club, West Sussex); 4th, Sam Storey (Thatcham SC).
GROUP G: 1st, Sam Thomas (Penarth Road SC, Cardiff); 2nd, Craig Marsh (Crucible, Newbury); 3rd, Luke Reynolds (Ambassador, Poole); 4th, Kevin Ward (Hassocks Mens Club, West Sussex).
GROUP H: 1st, Andy Vernon (Sunninghill Comrades Club, Ascot); 2nd, Chris Rice (Crucible, Newbury); 3rd, Martin Wallace (Colours, Reading); 4th, Dominic Johns (West End Labour Club, Barry, Wales).
QUARTER-FINALS (8 points, £20): Douglas beat Nash 3-0, Thomas beat Beakhouse 3-0, Charlton beat Clayton 3-2, O’Donoghue beat Vernon 3-2.
SEMI-FINALS (12 points, £35): Douglas beat Thomas 3-0, O’Donoghue beat Charlton 3-1.
FINAL (25/18 points, £150/£75): Douglas beat O’Donoghue 3-0.
PLATE RESULTS (ONE-FRAME SHOOT-OUT)
LAST-32: Castle beat Reynolds, D Johns beat Matthews.
LAST-16: Castle beat D Johns, Bolter beat Facey, Higgins beat Winkworth, Marsh beat M Johns, Rice beat Self, Rampton beat Griffiths, Wallace beat Watts, Topham beat Richards.
QUARTER-FINALS: Castle beat Bolter, Higgins beat Marsh, Rice beat Rampton, Topham beat Wallace.
SEMI-FINALS: Castle beat Higgins, Topham beat Rice.
FINAL (£25): Castle beat Topham.