Spirited Mears Holds On to Double Up

Ryan Mears became the first player for over five-and-a-half-years to claim consecutive WEBSF Gold Series event titles following his comeback victory last weekend in Torquay.

Familiar tour stop Galaxy TQ was the host for the second event of this season’s prestigious series, as 28 players from across the region and beyond lined up for the honours and a slice of the 100% entries in prize fund.

The Groups

In a tight finish to Group A, local cueist James Lee and Darran Lock both qualified after each winning four out of six matches. 

Going into the final round of fixtures there were several permutations still possible. This season’s West of England Open Snooker finalist Lee topped the pool despite losing his final game to Alex Mucklow and Lock only went through after seeing Huw Carpenter lose to James Height in a deciding frame. Height and Mucklow also ended on four wins apiece, although Carpenter – who bagged three wins – achieved third spot due to frames won and then frame difference. An effort of 88 from Height enabled him to pocket the non-qualifier highest break prize. 

Continuing the good form from his maiden tour triumph at Jesters Snooker Hall in Swindon last month, Mears headed Group B, dropping just one frame in the process and making a 119 break; at the time, the tournament benchmark. 

He was joined in the last eight by former Gold Series champion Greg Batten. Batten, who has only just made his return to competitive action this campaign, proved correct the adage that ‘class is permanent’ when he conjured up a 135 total clearance, the highest break of the day, during his progress in second place with five wins. 

Haydon Pinhey was irresistible in topping Group C, winning all six of his fixtures 2-0. The Plymouth potter made his intentions clear early on, registering the first ton of the day with exactly 100 in his opening match.  

Wales’ Andy Rogers – a former Gold Series event winner in the past – made the trip to South Devon worth his while as he advanced to the quarter-finals in second. 

Another Plymouth baizeman in Chris Coumbe won Group D, and he was joined on five wins by Chay Mearns who came second having taken one less frame than Chris. 

Finalists Ryan Mears and Darran Lock with tournament referee Nick Harry

The Knockouts

Rogers eliminated Lee 2-0, while Mears chalked up runs of 63 and 79 in dispatching Mearns by the same scoreline. Lock, who said he was fortunate to get through the groups, ousted Pinhey 2-1 on the colours, despite his opponent fashioning an 85 break to take the tie to a third frame. Batten received a walkover after Coumbe withdrew from the competition (Chris was OK, by the way!) 

Mears ended the hopes of Rogers in the semi-finals 2-0 and after being taken to a final frame, Cornishman Lock once again held his nerve there to deny Batten a return to the winner’s circle. 

WEBSF tournament stalwart Lock was aiming for a deserved, first gold event title, and it looked as if it was coming when he went 1-0 up and was carefully minding his work in frame two. However, in getting to the position of requiring just one further ball to leave his opponent needing penalty points, Lock failed at a couple of attempted pots. Plucky Mears remained ‘hang tough’ and compiled a gutsy 35 clearance to force a decider. 

Having come so agonisingly close in the previous frame, it appeared difficult for Lock to gain any momentum in the third. In what was a scrappy frame, Aldershot star Mears held the advantage pretty much throughout, eventually getting across the line to emulate Andy Neck who last collected back-to-back Gold Waistcoat/Series events towards the start of 2014. Mears also had the satisfaction of being the last WEBSF snooker event winner of the decade. 

Event three of the 2019/2020 series takes place on Saturday January 4th, 2020 at Top Q Snooker Club in Gloucester. Entry is open, although spaces are limited. For information on the event and how to enter, please see here.

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. 

WEBSF Grand Draw & Exhibition

Donated Prizes are starting to mount up for the WEBSF Annual Grand Draw. The draw will take place on the 26th May in Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon during an Exhibition of snooker, sponsored by Totally Reward, by none other than the ‘Spaceman’ (Dominic Dale).

There will also be an auction of a Snooker Cue that has been signed by several top professionals.

If you would like to donate prizes to the draw and have your company promoted via our website and social media, purchase draw tickets or buy tickets for the exhibition, contact the WEBSF.

Poster - Dominic Dale Exhibition 2018

WEBSF Tournament Calendar 2015/16

To view the 2015/16 WEBSF tournament calendar select Calendar of Events. These events are subject to change so please join and follow the WEBSF Facebook Group.

September:

The Bronze Waistcoat Open Championship. This season the age limit has been reduced to those youngsters that were under 16 on the 31st December 2014 and the tournament will be completed in a day. Thanks to Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon Who will be hosting the event.

The start of the 2015/16 Gold Waistcoat Tour.  This season sees a re-vamp of the ranking points system that should see more players in the running for the overall title. Furthermore the top 16 ranked players at the end of the season will be invited to play in a Gold Masters with £1000 prize money thanks to sponsor M.J.H. Devon Paving Ltd..

October:

The West of England Open Snooker Championship. Potential sponsor(s) email websf_uk@yahoo.com or phone Wayne on 0798 0788484.