Mitchell Grinsted – Overall Winner
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 1
Grinsted Grinds Victory
The West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation flagship tour, the Gold Waistcoat, recently got underway at Rileys Snooker Club, Plymouth. Last season’s champion, Sam Baird from Halberton was facing exclusion from the tour due to him securing a place in the top 98 snooker professionals. Such was the disappointment expressed from members that they would not be able to pit their skills against Baird that the WEBSF rules where changed at the annual meeting on the condition that Baird would give 14 points per frame making his defence challenging. Baird came so close to the perfect start, narrowly losing to Plymouth’s Mitchell Grinsted, 2-1 in an excellent final. Grinsted took the first frame, limiting Baird to just a few clear-cut chances. Baird levelled the match, clawing back a large deficit to win on the colours. Things looked to be going Baird’s way in the decider, with all reds well split and in prime position, Grinsted probably feared the worse. Unexpectedly, Baird missed a relatively simple blue in the middle pocket letting Grinsted in with a great opportunity to make his mark. This he did with a fantastic 80 break to take the frame and match. This is the current Silver Waistcoat Champion’s first Gold Waistcoat event win.
Grinsted booked his place in the final winning 2-0 against last seasons most consistent player and overall runner-up, Dale Branton, Grinsted posting two breaks of 47 in this match. Baird won through to the final against tour veteran from Cornwall, Darran Lock two frames to nil. Lock looked like winning the first frame before making a slight safety error allowing Baird to pot a fantastic long red and set up a 58 break t o snatch the frame. In the second frame, it was much the same, Lock started the best before Baird fired in a quick-fire 61 to win 2-0.
The pick of the quarter finals saw Grant Cole push Baird to the wire. Cole took the first frame, continuing the good form he had shown all day. Never one to roll over, Baird showed why he is now a professional, quickly rattling in two match winning breaks, 83 & 66 respectively to take the match 2-1. Former Gold Waistcoat Champion and England International, Andy Radford from Exeter took on 17 year old, Dale Branton in the other quarter final. With two matchplay tacticians doing battle, this was always going to be a close encounter. With excellent safety being played by both individuals, chances were at a premium. Branton took the first with a 32 break. Radford levelled with a fine 46 frame winning break. In a tense decider, scores were pretty even, before an error from Radford let Branton in for an excellent match winning 48 break. The remaining two quarter finals saw Lock come from behind to beat Darren Bond 2-1, Bond making a 50 break and Lock a 40. Grinsted made a 47 break in a 2-0 win over Wayne Branton.
In the group stages Bond’s potting and break building was outstanding winning all but one match and compiling the highest break of the day, 110 along with others breaks of 103, 88, 72 & 40. Radford claimed second place making breaks of 83, 64 & 56. Third place went to Grinsted 59 & 51. The last qualification spot went to Baird who had breaks of 100, 62, 58 & 46 just edging out Mark Green (66 & 56) from Salisbury on frame count-back. In group B Grant Cole took top spot by virtue of winning all of his matches, making two breaks of 95 and a 54. Dale Branton finished second posting breaks of 63, 60 & 42. Third place went to Wayne Branton, breaks 61, 54 & 53. The last qualifying went to Lock just ahead of Darren Hall by one frame.
Tournament Director Wayne Branton said “Mitchell Grinsted showed nerves of steel to hold himself together to win the final. I feel the decision to allow Baird to continue to compete has been fully vindicated and because of this we could see the bar raised again this season.” Any players wishing to enter this prestigious tournament should contact the WEBSF by email: email@example.com or phone Roger Cole.
Report by Steve Canniford
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 2
(The Plaza, Plymouth)
Bond Wins Best Ever Gold
Darren Bond wins series of five West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation Gold Waistcoat events. This win sees Bond at the top of the ranking table followed in hot pursuit by other young guns Mitchell Grinsted and Dale Branton. The final turned out to be a real corker, the match was poised at 1-1 after Bond had one the first frame and former champion Greg Batten replied with a 56 to draw level. Batten the made himself favourite to win by starting the deciding frame with a 58 break to compliment a break of 56 he had in an earlier frame. Victory would bring an extra £95 in prize money and an additional 100 ranking points to the winner and Bond was hungry to win. His response to Batten’s excellent start was clinical and spectacular, having potted everything in sight all day he continued with this theme to clear the table with a superb 61 break to take the frame 62-59 the match and the spoils. Whilst both players made this final one of the best ever seen at these events, their exploits in the early rounds were even more remarkable… In the semi finals Dale Branton lost 2-0 to Bond but once again showed consistency in getting to the final stages of the tournament, picking up valuable ranking points. In the other semi final Batten found Steve Brookshaw a bit of a handful scraping past to an unconvincing 2-1 win. The quarter finals brought forth some excellent snooker, Dale Branton beat last event winner, the in-form Mitchell Grinsted, Branton posted breaks of 61 & 73 to win 2-0. After a long spell away from top class tournament play ex professional Andy Neck is re-kindling his desire to compete in tournaments, having had a very good run in the group stages he found Bond in startling form losing 2-0, Bond making breaks of 49 & 95. Batten beat Grant Cole 2-0 and in doing so matched the best break of the day a magnificent 131 clearance to share the break prize. In the last of the quarter finals Wayne Branton and Steve Brookshaw had a real tussle Brookshaw coming out on top 2-1. Branton made a 48 break and Brookshaw a 57.
In the group stages Grinsted started as ha left off in event 1 by wining all his matches in group A. He topped this performance with the first century of the day 101 and other breaks of 68,53 & 40. Brookshaw took second spot, James Lee just missed out on qualifying as did Silver player Jake Stewart who made a 51 break. Bond powered his way to the top of group B also wining all his matches and posting breaks of 87,56,55,52,49,44 and a magnificent 130 clearance. Grant Cole finished in second place with breaks of 66,56 & 56. Michael Day finished in third place and Plymouth Bronze champion Haydon Pinhey made a 49 break. Group C produced an array of breaks, the likes of which has not been seen to date in this tournament. Neck won the group with a 100% record making breaks of 59,59,47,40,64 a trio of 70’s and a very well crafted 109. Batten came second with breaks of 43,49,64 five 70’s and a lovely 116. Professional Sam Baird, giving 14 points per frame start, just missed out on qualifying from this ‘group of death’ despite making breaks of 70,67,62,55,53,50 plus two centuries, 106 and a magnificent 131 clearance. Gold Waistcoat regular, Darran Lock made breaks of 66,58 & 55. Wayne Branton won the final group D wining all his games, making breaks of 67 & 55. Second spot went to Branton Jnr., Dale with breaks of 69,60,55 & 56. Roger Cole and Mark Green made breaks of 43 and 46 respectively.
The WEBSF Head of Coaching said “This Gold Waistcoat event held here today must rank amongst the best ever in regard to the overall standard of play and the number of high breaks. It just goes to show that we have an abundance of talented players here in the West Country and when they are presented with quality opposition and good conditions like we have here at the Plaza Snooker Club. They will produce a real spectacle of snooker”. Any players wishing to enter this prestigious tournament should contact the WEBSF by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Roger Cole
Report by Steve Canniford
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 3
Neck is Back
Andy Neck from Paignton in just his fourth Gold Waistcoat tournament event since coming out of spell away from top class snooker, demonstrated that he can still mix it with the best in the region. After reaching the quarter finals in the previous event he went all the way this time to beat Grant Cole 2-1 in the final. With ranking table leader Darren Bond absent, Mitchell Grinsted seized his chance to return to the top spot followed by Dale Branton and Grant Cole in second and third place. In the semi finals newbie Alan Tunney from Torquay made his mark earlier by winning his group before losing out to Cole who made a 63 break. In the other semi final Neck made a 52 break in his win over Wayne Branton. Mark Green from Salisbury took a well earnt frame off Neck before Neck ran out a winner with breaks of 45 and a 63 clearance. In the quarters Tunney made quick fire breaks of 49 & 76 in beating Grinsted 2-1 and Cole beat Dale Branton 2-1. Wayne Branton played solid snooker to beat Steve Brookshaw who had earlier posted the best break of the day, a fine 94.
The group stages were closely fought with frame difference being brought into play to determine all but three of the final group placings. Dale Branton with a 54 Break finished top of group A, edging Cole into second spot. Cole made breaks of 56,48,47 & 42. Third spot went to Wayne Branton making breaks of 79,55 & 47 and the fourth qualifying place went to Steve Brookshaw. Tunney with breaks of 70 & 49 was out in front in group B followed closely by Green who made breaks of 63 & 60. Third and fourth place qualifying positions was decided on frame count-back between Neck with breaks of 63,43,46 & 41, Grinsted and Darran Lock. The latter missing out despite breaks of 53 & 49. Other break makers were Tom Kevern 45 & 40, James Lee 63, Michael Day 68 & 54 and Roger Cole 63 clearance.
The WEBSF Tournament Director said “With a few players absent this event the ranking table has closed up making the remaining events all the more crucial”. Any players wishing to enter this prestigious tournament should contact the WEBSF by email: email@example.com or phone Roger Cole.
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 4
(The Plaza, Plymouth)
Bond, Cool as Ice
Players from around the region braved to icy conditions and travelled to Plymouth to compete in event 4 of this prestigious tournament. Tiverton hot shot Darren Bond, took the top prize for the second time this season to put himself in the hunt for the overall title of WEBSF Gold Waistcoat Champion. Greg Batten, fresh from qualifying for the English Amateur finals, posted the best break of the day a superb 141 total clearance. In the final Bond beat another talented young player from Plymouth, Mitchell Grinsted 2-0. The semi finals saw Bond beat Dale Branton, who continues to put in consistent performances to reach the qualifying stages. In the other semi final Grinsted beat westcountry professional Sam Baird 2-1, Baird conceding 14 points per frame. In the top half of the quarter finals Branton, aided by a 68 break beat Steve Brookshaw 2-0 and Bond beat fellow Tiverton player Batten 2-1. In the bottom half Baird was in fine break building form wining 2-0 with breaks of 108 & 72, and the final match of the round saw Grinsted beat Grant Cole 2-0.
In the group stages Batten won all of his matches to take top spot in group A. He did so making breaks of 40,55,58,60,69,73 and the record breaking 141 clearance. Cole was the other qualifier finishing in second place with breaks of 49,51,52,75 & 77. There was a three way tie in group B that saw the last event winner Andy Neck (Newton Abbot) loose out to Grinsted on frame count-back. Bond made breaks of 40,49,51,54,73,80 & 92. Neck made breaks of 72,61,60,46 & 45 and Grinsted 58 & 54. Branton won group C with breaks of 45,64 & 68, Brookshaw finish second with a break of 67 and Alan Tunney from Torquay could consider himself unlucky to miss out in qualifying with the best string of breaks of his group of 49,65,82 & 113. In the final group Baird turned in his usual array of breaks 52,72,81,88,96 & 105 to win the group but not before edging Darran Lock into second place on frame count-back and losing to Michael Day who used his experience to take full advantage of the 14 point start to beat him 3-1. James Lee was left pondering why, after a solid days snooker which consisted breaks of 42,45,49,51 & 52, he only finished in fourth place. Consider this, and the fact that Grinsted only posted three 50 plus breaks yet still reached the final! This suggests snooker is not always about making large breaks.
The top of the ranking list sees any one of four players poised to take the overall title going into the final event in March. The WEBSF Tournament Director said “This season has seen a few players drop out due to other commitments which has seen young talented players step up to the plate and other older players return to play top class snooker. This can only bode well for all concerned especially those have their sights on competing with the best in the country”. Any players wishing to enter this prestigious tournament should contact the WEBSF by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Roger Cole, Mobile 07850882770.
Report by Steve Canniford
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 5
Grinsted Gold Waistcoat Champion
Mitchell Grinsted from Plymouth reached the quarter finals of the final event of the season to hold on to his lead at the top of the rankings and take the title of WEBSF Gold Waistcoat Champion 2009/10. Dale Branton just ran out of steam after a valiant attempt to pip Grinsted to the post after losing to Sam Baird in the semi’s. Baird, conceding 14 points in each frame due to his professional status, went on to win the event beating Michael Day in the final.
Alan Tunney topped group A in the pre-qualifying stages edging Grinsted into second position on frame difference, Tunney made breaks of 60 & 41 and Grinsted 48,48 & 42. Day finished third and Dale Branton fourth to make up the four qualifiers from the group. Other breaks where Branton 65, Darran Lock 67. Group B produce more breaks and a much closer competition for the four qualifying places. Baird, in a three way tie with Steve Brookshaw and Wayne Branton, won the group on frame difference posting breaks of 72,70,60 & 50. Branton finished in second place with breaks of 61 & 55. Third place went to Brookshaw who made breaks of 51 & 48 and the final qualifying spot went to Greg Batten, who could not get close to surpassing his previous best break of the tour this season, a magnificent 141 total clearance, but he did make breaks of 65,55,48 & 45.
In the first of the quarter final stages Tunney beat Batten 2-0 to set up a match with Day in the semi final who had previously beat Grinsted by the same score line. Day booked his place in the final with a 2-0 win over Tunney. In the other half of the finals son Dale Branton beat father Wayne 2-0 to meet Baird in the semi final. Baird had previously beat Grant Cole 2-0 and was homing in on the prize money! Branton needed to win this match against Baird to pip Grinsted to the title so Grinsted watched with interest. Branton’s attempt was ended as Baird won the match 2-0. The final was won comfortably by Baird with breaks of 73 & 53 clearance. Grinsted and Branton are both young players that have benefited from the support of the WEBSF in their efforts to realise their potential as top class snooker players. Following close behind are a number of other aspiring youngsters that will ensure that growth at grass roots level in the region continues to flourish. Any potential sponsors that can help with the work of the WEBSF or players wishing to enter any of the WEBSF prestigious tournaments can find out more by visiting web site http://www.websf.co.uk or by contacting the WEBSF by email: email@example.com or by phoning Roger Cole. Thanks to Rileys Snooker Club, Plymouth and Baulkline Snooker who sponsored this event.
Report by Steve Canniford
Alan Tunney – 113,82,76,70,65,49,49,49,42,41
Andy Neck – 109,79,79.78,75cl,72,72,64,63cl,63,63,61,60,59,59,52,40,47,46,46,45,45,44,43,41
Andy Radford – 83,46
Dale Branton – 73,69,68,68,65,64,63,63,61,60,60,58,56,55,54,50,48,45,42,42
Darran Lock – 67,66,58,55,53,53,49,40
Darren Bond – 130cl,110,103,95,92,88,87,80,73,72,61cl,59,56,55,54,52,51,50,49,49,49,44,40
Darren Hall – 68
Grant Cole – 95,95,77,75,66,63,62,56,56,56,52,51,49,48,47,42
Greg Batten – 141tcl,131cl,116,77,76,74,73,72,73,69,65,64,60,58,58,56,55,55,43,49,48,45,40
Haydon Pinhey – 49
Jake Stewart – 51
James Lee – 63,52,51,49,45,42
Jay Bullen – 48
Mark Green – 66,63,60,56,46,43
Michael Day – 68,54
Mitchell Grinsted – 104,80,68,67,58,57,55cl,55,54,53,49,48,48,47,47,47,44,43,42cl,42,41,40
Roger Cole – 60cl,43
Sam Baird – 131cl,108,106,105,100,96,88,83,73,72,72,72,70,70,67,66,62,62,61,60,58,58,55,53,52,50,50,46
Steve Brookshaw – 94,67,59,57,51,48
Tom Kevern – 45,40
Wayne Branton – 79,67,61,61,60,55,55,55,54,53,49,48,47,47