Mears Marks Opening Gold Event Success

Ryan Mears got his 2019/20 West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation Gold Series campaign off to a perfect start when he claimed the event one title at Jesters Snooker Hall last Saturday. 

Top amateur players from across the south-west region and further afield made their way to Swindon to break off the 16th consecutive edition of the prestigious series. With the overall end-of-season champion decided by a ranking list, hopefuls were keen to build an early platform from the first of five events. 

The Groups

Having only recently returned from Melbourne, Australia where he reached the knockout phase of the 2019 World Billiards Championship, Mears qualified top from Group A with four wins out of five. Joining him in the last eight was record three-time Gold Series champion Andy Neck who came second, just behind on frame difference. Elsewhere in the group, debutant Huw Carpenter adapted to the new environment well as he finished third, and there was a warm reception for 2008 champion Greg Batten, making his long-awaited return to the WEBSF scene.

Former winner Haydon Pinhey was one of two players to end the groups stage with a 100% record; highlighting breaks of 85, 93 and 104 in leading Group B. Reigning Gold Series Champion Alan Tunney advanced through in second place with his only loss coming at the hands of Pinhey. Steve Brookshaw and Chris Coumbe – like Mears, had both just come back from ‘Down Under’ after making the KOs of Billiards’ biggest event – came fourth and fifth respectively. 

Current Gold Masters Champion Andy Symons was in scintillating form in Group C, chalking up six wins out of six and producing a fantastic total clearance of 138 during his opening match against Connor Benzey. The break represents one of the highest ever made in the history of the competition. Symons, a two-time event winner last season too, also crafted a 115. Gold newcomer Alex Mucklow chalked up a trio of half-centuries as he qualified in second during a fine introductory showing.

There was a thrilling finish in Group D, with qualification going down to the final frame. Last month’s West of England Snooker Open finalist James Lee won the pool with five wins, whilst youngster Aidan Murphy’s 2-1 victory over Steven Hughes in the last remaining match of the groups saw him squeeze into second courtesy of head-to-head with Hughes. Like Murphy and Hughes, Peter Bicknell also registered four wins in a tight outcome. 

The Knockouts

All four group winners triumphed in the quarter-finals with Mears, Pinhey, Symons and Lee eliminating Mucklow, Murphy, Neck and Tunney respectively – Mears and Symons coming through in deciding frames. 

Aldershot’s Mears was the first to book his berth in the final after a 2-0 semi-final success over Pinhey, whilst an exciting third and final frame was needed to separate Symons and Lee, with the former controlling the latter stages and ousting it. 

In a breathtaking final, an inspired Mears quickly took a 1-0 lead and was heading towards the finish line when he was in the balls first during the next frame. Symons managed to counter, though, and looking flawless on a break of 63 it seemed as if a decider was on the way. However, an unexpected miss on what would have effectively been frame ball red allowed Mears a chance for glory. It was an opportunity he expertly and coolly seized in one visit, clearing up the last two reds and colours, including a tricky black to the left-middle after not getting perfect position on it from the pink. A great advert for the WEBSF circuit with a nice sized crowd watching on. 

A double champion at last season’s West of England Snooker and Billiards Opens, this was multi-talented Mears’ maiden gold event title in his first final. 

Event Two takes place at the Galaxy Centre, Torquay on the 23rd November. Entries into this event are now open via a link HERE, although spaces are limited.

2019/20 WEBSF Gold Series Event One | PREVIEW

Top amateur cueists from across the south-west region and beyond will line up for the start of the 16th West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation Gold Series this Saturday. 

The curtain-raiser to this prestigious five-event series will be hosted by Jesters Snooker Hall in Swindon, which had tables re-clothed earlier this week in preparation for the tournament. 

Every year since 2004, the Gold Series – originally born as the Gold Waistcoat Series -has been the Foundation’s premier accolade. Only ten players have claimed the coveted title, including current main tour professional and two-time Crucible Theatre qualifier Sam Baird. 

Jesters Snooker Hall in Swindon hosts event one of the 2019/20 WEBSF Gold Series

This season’s likely contenders 

Alan Tunney is the reigning Gold Series champion after he finished top of the 2018/19 rankings; securing the title for the first time. Torquay based Tunney – winner of an event and a finalist in another during his successful campaign, will be present in Swindon, as he aims to become just the second person to defend the trophy. 

That particular honour was achieved by Andy Neck, who also holds the record for the most overall titles following successes in 2012, 2013 and 2018. Haydon Pinhey – conqueror in 2016 and a two-time Gold Masters victor – and 2008 king Greg Batten – making his long-awaited return to the WEBSF scene – are the other former champions in the field this weekend. 

Former English Amateur Championship finalist Andy Symons has enjoyed a superb spell over the past 12 months, collecting the end of season Gold Masters invitational and two Gold Series events. Symons, who was pipped to the overall number one spot by Tunney, will be hoping for a repeat of last term where he took away the spoils from the opening event. 

Among the other likely contenders to feature in the latter stages of competitions in 2019/20 include promising teenagers Connor Benzey and Aidan Murphy. Benzey set the record for being the youngest ever Gold Series event finalist last season, only for that to be trumped by Murphy, a back-to-back runner-up in events four and five. 

Having only just returned home from Melbourne, Australia earlier this week where they all qualified for the knockout stages of the 2019 World Billiards Championship, Chris Coumbe, Steve Brookshaw and Ryan Mears will switch back to the snooker discipline. Both the latter two each won a snooker and billiards title on the circuit last season – Brookshaw tasted glory at Gold Series Event Two and the Billiards Open, while Mears uniquely completed the West of England Open double. Runner-up at last month’s West of England Snooker Open, James Lee will be looking to go one better at the same Jesters venue. 

For up-to-date coverage of all the action from Gold Series Event One this Saturday, please visit our Facebook and Twitter social media pages. 

Coaching, Competitions, Community | WEBSF celebrates 15 years of providing Billiards and Snooker for all

On September 25th 2004, the West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation was born. An official launch day was held at the Victoria Snooker Centre in Plymouth, hosted by WEBSF Patron and six-time world professional snooker champion Ray Reardon MBE.

A not-for-profit community group run by a small band of passionate and dedicated volunteers, the Foundation had a vision to encourage participation in grassroots billiards and snooker, providing opportunities into these wonderful sports for all, regardless of age, ability or location within the West of England. 

Despite difficult economic times and trying logistical issues, these goals throughout the past 15 years have been achieved. Maintaining a sustainable model, the organisation is stronger today than it has ever been, as it continues to help those who may otherwise have been unable to realise and develop their potential within the sports.

Coaching, competitions, community. Let’s look back at some of the images from the last 15 years…..

WESBF Patron and six-time world professional snooker champion Ray Reardon MBE hosted the launch day in September 2004 at the Victoria Snooker Centre in Plymouth.

The WEBSF have provided countless community and group coaching sessions in safe venues and environments across the West of England. Priding themselves to facilitate personal improvement through coaching, their unique, bespoke certified assessment scheme allows students to track and evaluate their progress.

Structured, tailor-made one-to-one coaching (and ecoaching) sessions have also been in demand. These too have remained accessable and affordable for all.

The foundation has already held over 200 tournaments, catering for players of all levels and ages, many of whom were making their first steps into tournament action. The flagship Gold Series has remained a constant throughout the 15 years – featuring several former and future professional players. In total, over 9,500 matches and 55,000 frames have been completed so far. This season, 100% of all entry fees will be awarded out straight away as prize money – nearly £60,000 has been paid out to date since 2004.
The WEBSF has helped over 750 different cueists find their competitive edge.

In more recent times the invitational Gold Masters Championship has been held for the best performing players from that season’s Gold Series.

The WEBSF Ladies Open has been a permanent annual fixture on the tournament calendar, and there is an exciting rebranding of the event on the horizon!

Serious about the three-ball sport too, two tournaments per year are hosted – the English Billiards Open and the West of England English Billiards Open

One of the WEBSF’s most publicised successes has been the rise of established professional player Sam Baird; a two-time World Championship Crucible qualifier. The Silver and Gold Series’ helped aid Baird’s snooker education and development.

A platform for gaining new skills, the WEBSF continues to create volunteer opportunities and pathways for a wide range of roles – no experience is neccessary and no barriers to personal development can’t be overcome!
Passion and volunteering have always been the heartbeat of the Foundation.

The West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation – Billiards and Snooker for all. Here’s to the next 15 years and beyond!

Lloyd lifts West of England Snooker Open trophy

Teenager Mark Lloyd added his name alongside the established list of former champions after claiming the 2019 edition of the West of England Snooker Open. 

Soon to be celebrating their 15th year anniversary, the West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation (WEBSF) cut the ribbon for the new 2019/20 tournament season at familiar tour venue Jesters Snooker Hall. A total of 32 players from across the south-west of England and beyond made the trip to Swindon, all vying for the prestigious title and a slice of an £800 prize fund that consisted of 100% of entry fees. 

The Groups

Lloyd, from Gosport, qualified top of Group D with six wins from seven, constructing breaks of 71, 58, 63, 60 and 98 in the process. Joining him in the knockout rounds from the same group was second-placed Martin Pitcher who ousted last year’s runner-up James Height into third courtesy of a better frame difference by just one. 

Since the tournament’s rebirth in 2013 under the WEBSF banner, no player has won the title twice, yet alone defend it. 2018 champion Ryan Mears put up a spirited performance attempting to alter both those facts throughout the day. The Aldershot cueist finished first in a tight Group B with James Lee acquiring the other qualifying place, both just one win ahead of hot-prospect Liam Davies from Wales and Andy Symons. 

Ben Hancorn made no mistake in Group A as he progressed with a 100% record – registering an effort of 105 along the way – whilst Lee McArthur advanced in second with just one loss to his name. Cornwall’s Darran Lock was the table-topper in Group C, and after Steve Brookshaw lost his final fixture 2-0, youngster Connor Benzey was elevated into the second qualifying position courtesy of frame difference. 

Former winners Tom Kevern (left, 2013) and Dale Branton (right, 2017) stood either side of this year’s defending champion Ryan Mears and the new West of England Snooker Open perpetual trophy.

The Knockout Rounds

With the grueling group stage action over, the main event had been whittled down to just eight remaining hopefuls. 

Undefeated Hancorn recovered from losing the opening frame to overcome Pitcher 2-1, and after setting what would be the highest break of the competition with a 118 in the first frame, Lee also needed a deciding frame to eliminate Lock. There was no such requirement for all three frames in the bottom half of the draw, though, as defending champion Mears (49 break) saw off Benzey 2-0 and Lloyd (54 break) ended the hopes of McArthur. The fast route to victory was also taken in the semi-finals as Lee and Lloyd denied both Hancorn and Mears, respectively, 2-0. 

In a predictably close final affair, current English Under-21 champion Lloyd secured the opener before Lee forced a decider. The 19-year-old responded by starting the third frame positively with a break of 52, and although Lee created himself a counter-attacking opportunity, a subsequent miss was the beginning of the end as Lloyd completed his triumph, some 14 hours after the first cue ball was struck. 

In the West of England Snooker Open Plate event for those who finished third or fourth in their groups, Anthony Rice collected the prize money when he denied the talented Davies in the final on the colours. 

WEBSF Tournament Director Steve Canniford said “It has been a long day but worth the effort to facilitate a tournament where amateur snooker players from around the region compete in a competitive but friendly atmosphere. A great way to start the season and celebrate 15 years of volunteering with the WEBSF”

For an overview of the tournament’s results, please visit our page on cuescore.com here.

Article written and published by Michael Day

2019 WEBSF West of England Snooker Open | PREVIEW

Another season of quality and entertaining West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation tournament action gets underway this weekend. 

Opening the ten-event campaign will be the eagerly awaited 2019 West of England Snooker Open which takes place on Saturday at Jesters Snooker Hall in Swindon. With a rich history dating back decades, this annual competition is one of English amateur snooker’s most established and sought after accolades.

A full capacity of 32 cueists will compete during the one-day extravaganza in Wiltshire with entrants spread across the south-west region and beyond, but who will be left standing with the recently revealed perpetual trophy come the close of play?

The Contenders

Aldershot’s multi-talented Ryan Mears (pictured above) will make the trip to defend the title he won twelve months ago – later in the same season Mears completed a unique double by adding the West of England Billiards Open, too. Since the competition’s resurrection in 2013 under the WEBSF banner, no player has won this title twice, yet alone retain it.

The consistent James Height (Bristol) was runner-up to Mears in 2018; he’ll be present attempting to go one better, while a two-time winner on last season’s Gold Series and the victor of the invitational Gold Masters, Andy Symons (Tavistock), will also launch a bid for glory. Steve Brookshaw (Plymouth), claimant of a brace of trophies last term, and Gold Event Four champion Ben Hancorn (Bristol), are other candidates aiming to build on recent success.

Former champions and Plymouth duo Tom Kevern (2013) and Dale Branton (2017) will both be seeking to create history by getting their name etched onto the plinth for a second time, but with a talented pool of both younger and very experienced hopefuls present, this promises to be an exciting, unpredictable and ultra-competitive 2019/20 curtain-raiser.

Throughout the day we will be providing live updates on both our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and for the first time, you can keep abreast of the results via our dedicated tournament page on CueScore.

Previous WEBSF West of England Snooker Open Finals

2013 – Tom Kevern defeated Wayne Branton

2014 – Haydon Pinhey defeated Harvey Chandler

2015 – Eddie Manning defeated Steve Downing

2016 – Billy Castle defeated Eddie Manning

2017 – Dale Branton defeated Tom Kevern

2018 – Ryan Mears defeated James Height

Article written and published by Michael Day

2019/20 WEBSF Tournament Calendar Announcement

The West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation (WEBSF) is proud to announce its tournament calendar for the upcoming 2019/20 season. 

Since 2004 we have remained true to our ethos of providing a series of affordable, worthwhile and trusted one-day competitions held in the West of England that are open to players of all ages and abilities. 

The WEBSF circuit has featured several future main-tour professionals in its ranks over the last few years; Sam Baird, Eden Sharav, Billy Joe Castle, Harvey Chandler, Ian Preece and Jackson Page. These star names competed alongside fellow top amateurs and rising talents in a portfolio of flagship tournaments. 

During a season in which we will be celebrating our 15th anniversary, both the annual West of England Snooker Open and the five-event Gold Series will return. As too will the lucrative Gold Masters; an invitational, only open to the top 16 ranked players from this campaign’s Gold Series.  

The curtain-raising West of England Snooker Open will take place on Saturday 7th September. Entries for this event will be open this Saturday 10th August at 09.00. Spaces are limited for all WEBSF events, so please secure your entry as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Entry for each event will be made open at a certain time, please check either the website or our social media channels for regular updates. 

2019 West of England Snooker Open entry details

Once again, we will also host a duo of English Billiards events – the Billiards Open and the West of England Billiards Open, whilst we are very excited to stage a new competition for female players – the Carpenter Snooker Tournament. Further details about this new concept will be delivered in due course. 

All tournaments throughout the season will be run on a 100% pay out basis. All entry fees that come in, will go out again as prize money. 


2019/20 WEBSF Tournaments 


Saturday 7th September 2019
West of England Snooker Open, Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon

Saturday 19th October 2019
The Gold Series event one, Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon 

Saturday 23rd November 2019 
The Gold Series event two, Galaxy TQ, Torquay

Saturday 30th November 2019
The Billiards Open, Frames Snooker & Pool, Weston-super-Mare 

Saturday 4th January 2020
The Gold Series event three, Top Q Snooker Club, Gloucester

Saturday 8th February 2020 
The Gold Series event four, Frames Snooker & Pool, Weston-super-Mare

Saturday 22nd February 2020
West of England English Billiards Open, Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon 

Saturday 7th March 2020 
The Gold Series event five, Top Q Snooker Club, Gloucester

Saturday 4th April 2020
The Gold Masters (Invitational Event), Frames Snooker & Pool, Weston-super-Mare 

Saturday 2nd May 2020
The Carpenter snooker tournament for female players, Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon 

(All dates and venues are subject to change in certain circumstances)

Sponsorship and partnership opportunities are available for either a series of our events, or on an individual basis.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of supporting our not-for-profit organisation, please contact us.

English Billiards | Brookshaw matches personal best in Cwmbran

WEBSF Billiards Open champion Steve Brookshaw equalled his career best result in a World Billiards ranking event at last weekend’s Welsh Open. 

Held at the Redz Snooker Club in Cwmbran, female and male entrants from the UK and beyond made up the starting line-up of 43 players. 

Brookshaw, who went into the tournament as world number 13, began strongly in South Wales, topping his group after winning all three round-robin matches. Seeded through to the last 16, the versatile cueist stepped things up as he crafted a break of 141 during a 403-256 victory over Brian Harvey.

In the quarter-finals he faced fellow local Plymouth Billiards League player and WEBSF participant Barry Russell, who was enjoying his longest run in a World Billiards main event. A close affair between the two, Brookshaw managed to progress by a margin of just 29 points. 

Now matching his semi-final finish from the Scottish Open a few years ago, Brookshaw was denied a maiden final appearance by in-form world number one Peter Gilchrist after a 794-180 defeat. Singaporean representative Gilchrist went on to lift his fourth trophy in a row and sixth of the season when seeing off Martin Goodwill – another former WEBSF entrant in the final. 

During what was a fine weekend for several players of the Foundation, Chris Coumbe also recorded his joint-best outcome after reaching the last eight where he bowed out to Goodwill.

Alongside the aforementioned Harvey, West of England Billiards champion Ryan Mears’ hopes ended in the last 16 when he was stopped by Gilchrist. Terry Azor, Geoffrey Lingard, Mark Hill and Michael White all qualified from the groups to reach the knockout phase where they lost in the last 32.

Gold Series Overall Winner Alan Tunney 2018-19 With Totally Reward Sponsor

Alan Tunney receiving his trophy

Before the commencement of the WEBSF Gold Masters at Frames Snooker & Pool Club, Weston-Super-Mare. Alan Tunney, the overall winner of the WEBSF Gold Series, was presented with the Gold Series trophy by Silvia Mondello of Totally Reward (Gold Series and Gold Masters sponsor).

Ladies Snooker Open 2019 - The Players & Referees

Women’s Snooker on the Rise

A fantastic day of snooker at the Exeter Snooker Club came to a conclusion with Traci Wannell being crowned champion. During the event the WEBSF also announced that they are “working on ideas to raise the profile of the female game and increase participation by running further tournaments.” Go to Ladies Snooker for a full report.

Gold Series Overall Winner Alan Tunney 2018-19

Tunney Takes Top Title

Alan Tunney from Torquay is the 2018-19 Overall WEBSF Gold Series Champion. To see how he did it go to the Gold Snooker Series 2018/19. A presentation will take place at Frames Snooker & Pool Club, Weston-Super-Mare on the 6th April 2019 following the conclusion of the Gold Masters. The Gold Series and Gold Masters are Sponsored by Totally Reward