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