Andy Neck – Overall Winner
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 1
Branton Rolls Back the Years
Wayne Branton from Plymouth rolled back the years repeating his victory of the inaugural event of the WEBSF Gold Waistcoat Tour 2004 by winning the first event of this season. Branton beat the 2008 Champion, Greg Batten from Tiverton 2-1 in the final. Batten has returned to the WEBSF tour after a year away, this result, and his 2-1 win over last year’s title contender Andy Neck (Torquay) in the semi-final, proves that he still has the game to compete at this high level. In the other semi-final Branton had a real close call against an in-form Nick Kenny from Barnstaple. Branton won 2-1 but not before Kenny had posted a 64 clearance break. In the quarter finals Kenny defeated newly crowned England International Darran Lock from Seaton 2-1. If Kenny can keep to this standard he is sure to be a serious contender this season. In the other quarter finals Branton beat Steve Brookshaw (Plymouth) 2-0, Batten beat Darren Bond (Tiverton) 2-0 and Neck beat rising star Jay Bullen from Exeter. 17 years old. Bullen fared the best of the young guns on the day.
The tournament started with Andy Symons-Rowe on fire, posting a superb 128 break against newbie Mitch Wood from Barnstaple in group A. Despite further breaks of 72,58 & 48 the former English Amateur finalist had peeked too early and, apart from one other match, the remaining results went against him. Kenny proved that you do not necessarily need to post big breaks to win matches, as he proceeded, in a workmanlike manner, to win all five matches and top the group. Last season’s runner-up Alan Tunney posted breaks of 95,44 & 42 but just missed out to second place qualifier Lock who was aided by a modest 44 break. The other newbie in the group, Ed Armitage from Newton Abbot, like Wood, demonstrated that they both can hold their own against some of the best players in the region and will no doubt be back for more. Group B started with another newbie, Martin Makimen from Newton Abbot making potential qualification difficult for one of the pre-tournament favourites, Darren Bond from Tiverton. An early 2-1 defeat to Makimen meant that Bond had to win the rest of his matches to qualify. This he duly did and won the group, without dropping a frame! Second spot went to Branton aided by a 56 break. Frame count-back separated the rest of the group. In Group C Batten dominated, dropping just one frame and when on a break of 94, he cheekily enquired as to the current highest break before selecting his next shot…..which he duly missed!! Bullen played well very to finish in second place in the group with breaks of 59,49 & 43. The final group D produced most breaks, the best being an 84 by Professional Sam Baird to go with another of 72, small consolation for not qualifying from what was referred to as the ‘group of death’. With 25 players entering on the day, group D was made up of seven players instead of the six in the other groups. And with four of the top five ranked players from last season (Baird, Neck, Brookshaw and Dale Branton) in contention, it was never going to be easy for the rest, nor would it be easy to predict the two group qualifiers. Early matches proved decisive with Branton beating Baird before losing to Brookshaw. Hence the two qualifiers being Neck and Brookshaw. In addition to Baird’s breaks there were breaks from Branton 66, Michael Day 45, Brookshaw 75 & 55, Dan Legassick 56 and Neck 70,63,62 & 55. The WEBSF and players were grateful for the presence of qualified EASB Referee, Nick Harry from Plymouth who was on hand to officiate throughout the day.
A spokesperson for the WEBSF said “We have seen a really good turnout of players from around the region and some cracking snooker here today. If we continue to attract this many quality players the tournament is going to be wide open this season. Players had a minimum of 5 best of 3 matches for their entrance fee and 98% of the entrance fee was paid out in prize money. This is excellent value.” Any players wishing to enter this tournament should contact the WEBSF by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Roger Cole, Mobile 07850882770. This event was sponsored and staged at the premier venue, Rileys, Plymouth.
Report by Steve Canniford
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 2
Walters Class Shines Through
In a field packed with quality snooker players from around the region, Lee Walters (Plymouth) and Andy Neck (Torquay) came through to face each other in the final of event two of the West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation Gold Waistcoat Tour. Andy Neck is becoming a familiar face in the knock-out stages of this premier tour but even he could not stop Walters steady progress through to a resounding victory. Walters posted breaks of 53 & 70 to win 2-0. Neck’s consolation is that this result elevates him to top spot in the rankings. In the semi-final Walters beat Alan Tunney 2-0. Tunney started the day in fantastic form posting breaks of 73, 96 and the best of the day, a superb 120 in his first four frames. In the other semi-final Neck beat Paul Standen from Bickington who achieved a best position for a tour event. The quarters saw the demise of Dale Branton against Tunney; the ever consistent Steve Brookshaw against Standen; Darran Lock, who gave Neck a tough time and Jason Whittaker, who returns to tournament play after some years away. Whittaker, encouraged by his son Jordan, who competes in both the Gold and Silver Waistcoat tournaments, called on his experience as a former professional to take Walters to a deciding frame before losing. In the qualifying group stages Whittaker was second only to Tunney in the breaks department posting 44, 83 & 89.
There were two qualifiers from each of the four groups. Walters won group A ahead of Standen by virtue of the final match in which he beat Standen in a deciding frame. Walters made breaks of 53 & 42; Standen 40 & 42; Lee Halling 50 & 52 and Michael Day 40, 40, & 46. Dale Branton got off to a bad start losing 2-0 to Neck, after this defeat he found his form to win the remaining matches without dropping a frame and win the group. Neck finished in second place edging out James Lee and newcomer Gary Weeks (Exeter) on frame count-back. Breaks: Branton 44, 46, 46 & 47; Neck 42,64 & 85; Lee 89; Weeks 80 and Haydon Pinhey 52. Tunney won group C ahead of Lock who piped James Middlemass on frame count-back. Breaks: Tunney 73, 96 & 120; Lock 48; Nick Kenny 61; Mitch Wood 41 and Middlemass 53. Brookshaw was undefeated in group D to take top spot followed by Whittaker senior in second place. The breaks came from: Brookshaw 58; Newbie Jason Pemberton (Plymouth) 68; Darren Horsman 48; Dan Legassick 42; Michael Rogers 53 & 67 and Whittaker 44, 83 & 89.
A spokesperson for the WEBSF said “With the Tiverton players unavailable and the arrival of Lee Walters, Jason Whittaker and Paul Standen we have seen a significant impact on the ranking table positions and the tour is wide open. It’s really good to see experienced players dust off their ‘tournament cues’ and show that there is more to the game than just potting. Our youngsters will benefit greatly from playing seasoned players.” Any players wishing to enter this tournament should contact the WEBSF by email: email@example.com or phone Roger Cole, Mobile 07850882770. This event was sponsored and staged at Rileys, Torquay.
Report by Steve Canniford
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 3
Snooker Shoot-Out in Plymouth
The Torbay contingent dominated the latest event in the West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation’s, Gold Waistcoat tour. The decision was taken by the finalist to play a single frame ‘shoot-out’ in the final, so as not to miss the train back to the Devon Riviera. The match was over almost as soon as it had begun! with former Professional Andy Neck from Newton Abbot the winner on the black. Neck racked-up an incredible tally of 17 frames won, to just 1 frame lost after a full days competition. Runner-up, Alan Tunney (Torquay) produced some scintillating snooker during the day, his smooth cue action and relaxed approach made his games a joy to watch. In the semi-finals Tunney beat Haydon Pinhey (Plymouth) with breaks of 73 & 54 whilst Neck was taken to a deciding frame by Michael Day (Plymouth). In the quarters Neck produced a lovely 101 break to beat newbie Sheridan Tetley from North Devon. Tunney (41 break) beat Grant Cole, Pinhey (41) beat Gary Weeks (Exeter) and Day beat James Lee (Torbay).
In the group stages, group A produced the pick of the break builders with group winner Tunney in full flow, making a string of breaks (60, 55, 55, 50, 46) plus two centuries 101 and 109, the latter being the best on the day. Day (59 & 89) edged out Wayne Branton (43 & 75) (Plymouth) to secure the second qualifying spot on frame count-back. The other break maker was newbie Jake Frank (Plymouth) with a 46. A three way tie in group B saw Lee come top and Cole in second which was decided on frame count-back. Other breaks; Lee 46, Cole 64 & 96, Nick Kenny (Barnstaple) 46 and Ed Armitage (Paignton) 40, 41 & 52. Neck dominated group C with breaks of 40, 45, 54 & 77 clearance. Second place went to Weeks (66) on frame count-back over Lee Halling (Bideford) who had two 47 breaks. Further breaks came from Plymothians Chris Coumbe 56 and Steve Brookshaw (40 & 45). For Brookshaw, fourth place in the group was less than could be expected as he came into the tournament having made a 147 maximum break just a week previous. This was truly a magnificent feat which can only be achieved with precision potting, expert touch and deep concentration which is clearly not an easy one to repeat! In the final group Tetley (breaks of 40 & 47) pipped Pinhey (48) for top spot on frame count-back. Other breaks were made by; Jason Pemberton (Plymouth) (63), Mitch Wood (Sticklepath) (49 & 61) and a fine 83 from Joe Graham (Plymouth).
After three events Neck holds on to the top spot in the rankings with Tunney moving up 5 places into 2nd. Other big climbers were; Day up 7 places, Lee up 6, Pinhey up 15 and Weeks up 9. With 38 players ranked, newcomer Tetley and Grant Cole did well to come in at 19 and in at 22 respectively. 98% of the £310 entrance fees were distributed as prize money. Roger Cole, spokesperson for the WEBSF said “The Torbay duo Neck and Tunney are very much in-form and have ‘thrown down the gauntlet’. However, we are only half way through the season and with one event result being discounted in the final ranking points tally, there is still all to play for. The friendly rivalry throughout the region is making this tour very interesting as each event unfolds.” Any players wishing to enter this tournament should contact the WEBSF by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Roger Cole, Mobile 07850882770. This event was run by the WEBSF, and sponsored by Rileys, Plymouth.
Report by Steve Canniford
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 4
Batten is Back on the Scene with a Win
Greg Batten from Tiverton has only entered two of this season’s WEBSF Gold Waistcoat Tour events but he has certainly made an impression. After finishing runner-up to Wayne Branton (Plymouth) in event two he went one better in this event to beat ranking table leader Andy Neck (Torquay) 2-1 and has risen nine places into second spot. With only two events to go, runner-up place in this event should see Neck secure this year’s title simply by turning up to play the remaining events. Once again 14 year old Dan Legassick is in the spotlight. After winning his group he beat ex Professional Lee Walters (Plymouth) 2-0 and let slip a second big scalp, Neck, in the semi-final. Neck was grateful for the chance to clear to win 2-1 when Legassick missed match ball. After the match Neck had nothing but praise for the talented youngster. In the other semi-final Batten made short work in beating Lee Halling from Bideford aided by breaks of 57 & 65. It was good to see another Tiverton player, Adrian Bond back on the scene and reaching the quarter finals. Bond, sporting a new cue of the finest quality, finally fell to the in-form Batten, who had a 52 break in the process. Other quarter final matches saw Neck post a 71 break to beat another talented youngster Michael Rogers from Taunton and ex Professional, Jason Whittaker (Torquay) was narrowly beaten by Lee Halling.
The group stages saw Batten storm into top spot in group A with breaks of 119, 62, 51, 44 & 41. Jason Whittaker called on his experienced match-play prowess to finish second with a single break of 50. This edged out James Lee (Torbay) despite Lee making breaks of 70, 48, 47, 42 & 41. James Middlemass (Chivenor) made breaks of 59, 47, 42 and Jake Frank (Barnstaple) 51 & 40. Pick of the breaks in group B came from Steve Brookshaw (Plymouth) with a fine 112 clearance, his usual consistency deserting him this event, as he failed to qualify. Top spot went to Legassick, potting his way to breaks of 47, 51cl & 59. Bond had a brace of 57 breaks to edge out Paul Standen (66 break) on frame count-back. Other breaks came from; Wayne Branton (51 & 61); Sheridan Tetley (Barnstaple) 68 & Darren Horsman (Fremington) 48. Neck was dominant in group C producing a string of breaks, 54, 44, 44, 40 and a superb 133 clearance which took the event break prize and is the top break of the tour the season. Halling finished in second place with an 82 break. Other breaks came from Darran Lock (Seaton) 43 and Chris Coumbe (Plymouth) 40. A barrage of breaks where made in group D. Rogers won the group with breaks of 41, 45 & 67, Walters came second with a string of breaks (82, 69, 69, 66 & 46), Dale Branton had breaks of 82, 52, 49, 46 & 41, Nick Kenny (Barnstaple) breaks of 70, 47, 46 & 42 and a 54 break was posted by Ed Armitage (Paignton).
With just two events to go Neck holds the whip hand and is odds on favourite to win the tour. Batten jumped 9 places into second place. Other big movers where; Legassick up 7; Halling and Rogers up 13 and Bond up 12 places. 98% of the £580 entrance fees were distributed as prize money. Spokesperson for the WEBSF said “The Gold Waistcoat Tour is consistently producing high quality snooker. The experienced players are providing top quality competition for the up-and-coming youngsters in the region. The result of this recipe has been recognised nationally with a number of WEBSF players representing England in the Home Internationals. In addition to this, Sam Baird, professional from Halberton, recently reach the last 32 of the Welsh Open, narrowly losing to world number one Mark Selby. Sam has also qualified for the last 48 of the HAIKOU World Open to be held in China later this month. Sam has been a regular competitor on the WEBSF Gold and Silver Waistcoat tours for some years and we are very proud of his achievements to date and believe he can establish himself as a force to be reckon with in the professional ranks.” Any players wishing to enter this tournament should contact the WEBSF by email: email@example.com or phone Steve Canniford, Mobile 07891940995. This event was run by the WEBSF, and sponsored by Rileys, Torquay.
Report by Steve Canniford
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 5
Talent Runs Deep in the WEBSF
James Lee from Torbay played solidly all day to take the penultimate event in the West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation Gold Waistcoat Tour. In the final Lee beat ‘Mr Consistency’ Lee Walters 2-0 from Plymouth who is currently ranked second in the overall rankings. The day was full of surprises with three youngsters displaying their future potential, and overall title chasers feeling the pressure. One such youngster to reach the semi-final stages was Michael Rogers from Taunton. Rogers, nursing a back injury, qualified from a really tough group that included eight of WEBSF’s finest players, he then went on to beat former Gold Waistcoat champion Greg Batten from Tiverton 2-1 in the quarter finals, before losing 2-0 to Walters in the semi’s. In the other semi-final another young, but more established talent, Dale Branton (Plymouth) narrowly lost 2-1 to Lee, Branton made a 56 break. In the quarter finals Branton was made to work hard to beat Cornwall’s Darran Lock, WEBSF’s most prolific tournament competitor. Branton made a 56 break whilst Lock made a 67. Walters was pleased to overcome Plymouth’s finest exponent of Billiards, Steve Brookshaw 2-1 in the quarter finals. A third young player to make his mark on the day was Haydon Pinhey from Plymouth. Pinhey rose to second place in the ‘tough’ group after brushing aside players with significantly more experience and achievements to their names. However, he found Lee’s form to good and went out in the quarter finals.
Numbers where down for this event, due mainly to the absence of the North Devon contingent, which meant two groups, one of seven and one of eight. In group A Walters finished top with six out of seven wins, posting breaks of 45,47 & 71. The remaining three qualifying places where so close they could only be determined by frame count-back as five players finish level on matches won. Pinhey was second with a string of modest breaks, 41,41,44,45,50 & 53 clearance. Batten finished in third place aided by 71 & 77 breaks and Rogers fourth with a 64 break. Those that narrowly missed the ‘cut’ where ranking table leader, Andy Neck and fellow title chaser, Alan Tunney from Torquay. Neck posted breaks of 51 and had clearances of 92 and 120, the best break of the day. Failing to qualify ended Neck’s superb run of nine consecutive qualifications to the knock-out stages. Alan Tunney made breaks of 43,45,46,59 & 86 clearance. Other break makers where Plymouth players, Dan Legassick 61 and Wayne Branton 53 & 62. Group B may not have seen so many of the ‘title chasers’ in action but it was no less competitive. Dale Branton topped the group helped with breaks of 62,63 & 75. Brookshaw finished in second place, Lee in third with breaks of 45 & 49 and Lock, the fourth qualifier, assisted with breaks of 43,48,57 & 74.
Providing Neck turns up for the last event of the season he should take the overall title, such has been his overall consistency and competitive determination to succeed this season. Batten is ruled out as he will be in Qatar providing ‘quality’ opposition for the Qatar national squad in preparation for the Asian games. Spokesperson for the WEBSF said “It is great to see our talented youngsters holding their own and bringing out the best from experienced players Andy Neck, Lee Walters, Greg Batten, Alan Tunney, Steve Brookshaw & Wayne Branton. These excellent players relish the challenge of keeping the talented youngsters at bay, and the knowledge that their experience and matchplay skills will eventually transfer, thereby contributing towards the development of young talent and the game in general in the region. Any players wishing to enter this tournament should contact the WEBSF by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Steve Canniford, Mobile 07891940995. This event was run by the WEBSF, and sponsored by Rileys, Plymouth.
Report by Steve Canniford
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 6
Six Events Six Winners
Preceding this months Gold Waistcoat tournament was a short ceremony to officially congratulate Darran Lock from Seaton, Cornwall on his superb achievement, which took place last September, where Darran played for the England Senior Team in the Home Internationals. WEBSF Head of Coaching, Steve Canniford presented Darran with a cheque to subsidise the expense he incurred. Well done Darran!
The Gold Waistcoat tournament draw saw Dale Branton from Plymouth avoid the big names in the group stages but when put to the test in the knock-out stages he continued his winning ways. He went on to beat Michael Day (Plymouth) posting a 62 break in the quarters, Lee Walters, also from Plymouth in the semis and Andy Neck from Torquay in the final to win the final West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation Gold Waistcoat tour event of the season. Branton became the sixth different winner in six events. However, it was Neck that stole the show amassing a fantastic 3200 points to win the overall title and take the overall highest break, a magnificent total clearance of 133. Walters rose 7 places to finish in second place with 2180 points and Dale Branton 14 places into third spot with 1900 points. Neck beat Darran Lock from Seaton in the semis and Jake Frank from Barnstaple in the quarters. the remaining quarter final results saw Walters beat Steve Brookshaw (Plymouth) aided by a 72 break and Lock beat Haydon Pinhey.
In the group stages Brookshaw won group A undefeated, with a string of breaks (44,54,63,96 and a superb 106). Second qualifying spot went to Day, aided by a 48 break. Paul Standen made breaks of 43 & 52 and Michael Rogers played well in making breaks of 41 and the best on the day a well-crafted 109 clearance. Walters finished top in group B with breaks of 48,52 & 70. Youngster Pinhey realised some big wins to earn the second qualifying spot aided by breaks of 52 & 79. Wayne Branton had a ‘bad day at the office’ despite breaks of 44,51 & 55. Last Gold Waistcoat event winner James Lee was the only other break maker in the group with a 49. Neck dominated group C without dropping a single frame and making a string of breaks (52,66,76,84 clearance & 90). Lock finished in second place with a 51 break. Frank, 45 break, won group D ahead of Dale Branton, 43 & 56 breaks.
Spokesperson for the WEBSF said “Andy Neck narrowly missed out last season finishing in third place in the rankings. This season he has gone back to the practice table and worked even harder. The result of his labours has seen him rekindle the consistency that took him to the professional ranks in the nineties and a deserving overall Gold Waistcoat Champion title. This sets an excellent example for his peers, especially the talented youngsters that have also made their mark this season, with big scalps and high ranking table places.” Any players wishing to enter this tournament should contact the WEBSF by email: email@example.com or phone Steve Canniford, Mobile 07891940995. This event was run by the WEBSF, and sponsored by Rileys, Plymouth.
Report by Steve Canniford
Adrian Bond – 57,57
Alan Tunney – 120,109,101,96,95,86cl,73,73,60,59,55,55,54,50,46,46,45,44,43,42,41
Andy Neck – 133cl,120cl,101 92cl,85,77cl,71,70,64,63,62,55,54,54,51,4,,44,44,42,40,40
Andy Symons-Rowe – 128,72,58,48
Chris Coumbe – 56,41,40
Dale Branton – 82,75,66,63,62,56,56,52,49,47,46,46,46,44,41
Dan Legassick – 61,59,56,51c,47,42
Darran Lock – 74,67,57,48,48,44,43,43
Darren Horsman – 48,48
Ed Armitage – 54,52,41,40
Gary Weeks – 80,66
Grant Cole – 94,64
Greg Batten – 119,94,77,71,65,62,57,52,51,44,41
Haydon Pinhey – 53cl,52,50,48,45,44,41,41
Jake Frank – 51,46,40
James Middlemass – 59,53,52,47
James Lee – 89,70,49,48,47,46,45,42,41
Jason Pemberton – 68,63
Jason Whittaker – 89,83,50,44
Joe Graham – 83
Jay Bullen – 54,49,43
Lee Halling – 82,52,50,47,47
Lee Walters – 82,71,70,69,69,66,53,53,47,46,45,45,42
Michael Rogers – 67,67,64,54,53,41
Michael Day – 85,59,46,45,40,40
Mitch Wood – 61,49,41
Nick Kenny – 70,64cl,61,47,46,46,42
Paul Standen – 66,42,40
Sam Baird – 84,72
Sheridan Tetley – 68,47,40
Steve Beer – 73
Steve Brookshaw – 112cl,75,58,55,45,40
Wayne Branton – 75,62,61,56,53,51,43