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 ReardonMBE.
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…..
The West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation – Billiards and Snooker for all. Here’s to the next 15 years and beyond!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
In preparation for the 2017-18 season, dates have been decided and venues have been secured. Go to the WEBSF Calendar of Events and make sure you put our tournament dates in your diary. The first two events are already open for registration. The WEBSF English Billiards Open on the 2nd September 2017, this is a new event in our calendar in memory of Pops. This is followed by the West of England Snooker Open later in September on the 16th.
The Gold Snooker Series, Gold Masters and Bronze Snooker Open (U17’s) all might have a little something extra this season, which you really won’t want to miss, so be sure you get in some practise and keep the dates free…