Gold Snooker Series – Event 1
Stamina rewarded with a victory
27th October 2018
The first in a series of five top amateur snooker tournaments got underway at Frames Snooker & Pool Club, Weston Super Mare. This prestigious series is promoted by the West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation (WEBSF) and sponsored by Totally Reward. This was the first event that the WEBSF has held at the Weston Super Mare club and the players could not have been more complimentary about the presentation of the tables and the service provided by the staff.
The tournament began with four groups of seven players playing a round robin format to find two qualifiers from each group that would qualify for the knock-out stage. Group A was dominated by a newcomer to the series, Mike Hodge from Newport, Wales. Hodge won the group undefeated, dropping just one frame. Hodge made breaks of 60 & 93. Haydon Pinhey (Plymouth) finished in second place. After losing his first match 2-0 Pinhey found some form to win all his remaining matches with breaks of 50,51,70 & 101. Jed Mann (Hereford) was the other break maker in this group posting breaks of 73 & 77.
Alan Tunney from Torquay won though from group B, also undefeated and making a fine 91 break in the process. The other qualifier from the group was James Lee, also from Torquay. Lee made breaks of 50,57 and two 68’s. Andy Neck, Newton Abbot and Andy Smith Worcestershire made breaks of 81 & 82 and 61 & 71 respectively.
Group C saw two Plymouth players qualify; Dale Branton wining the group with Steve Brookshaw in second place, Brookshaw had just returned from the World English Billiards championship where he took the scalp of former multi-world champion Geet Sethi, in a 45-minute game.
The final group D saw the pick of the group stage breaks; Billy Ginn took the highest non-qualifier break prize with a 95; Andy Symons (Tavistock) 64,78 & 82; Aidan Murphy (Bristol), at just 14 years old, 65,76,76 & 79 and Jason Whittaker 50,53,70 and the highest of the tournament 103. Symons won the group with Whittaker in second place.
The knock-out stage began with quarter finals; Hodge (60 break) dispatched Brookshaw 2-1; Tunney beat Whittaker (53 break) 2-1; Pinhey beat Branton 2-0 and Symons beat Lee 2-0. The semi-finals saw two closely contested matches taken to deciding frames; Tunney edged out Hodge and Symons (73 break) accounted for Pinhey. After a full day of snooker, lasting some ten hours, Symons had the edge over Tunney in the final, posting two frame-wining contributions of 72 & 57 to take the spoils and head-up the ranking table. The top 16 players at the end of the Gold Snooker Series will be invited to play in the Gold Masters later in the season.
WEBSF Tournament Director said, “Adding Frames Snooker & Pool club to our list of tournament venues has proved a real winner. The high quality of match-play snooker seen here today is reflective of the conditions and the atmosphere of the venue. We will be returning here again in January for an Open Billiards & Snooker coaching day, where help and advice will be available free of charge to anyone that comes along.” Anyone interested in attending the Open Coaching Day can book a place on the WEBSF website or contacting the club. Players interested in entering WEBSF events or potential volunteers willing to get involved with the work of the WEBSF they should contact Steve Canniford, Mobile 07891940995 or visit http://www.websfsnooker.com or WEBSF Facebook. Thanks to Frames Snooker & Pool Club, Weston Super Mare for hosted this event.
Report by Steve Canniford
Gold Snooker Series – Event 2
Brookshaw The Master Cueman
17th November 2018
Just a week after retaining the West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation (WEBSF), English Billiards Open, Plymouth’s master cueman Steve Brookshaw switched to snooker to win the second event of the WEBSF Gold Snooker Series. This prestigious series of snooker tournaments, sponsored by Totally Reward, is played-out over five events in venues around the West of England region. The venue of choice for this event was the 147 Snooker Club, Swindon and after a full day of competitive snooker Brookshaw was met in the final by Connor Benzey, an up-and-coming snooker prodigy from Hampshire. At just 16 years old Benzey is the youngest player to have reached the final of a Gold Series event in the fourteen years the tournaments have been running. In a closely contested final Brookshaw called upon his experience to restrict Benzey, from demonstrating his prolific break building prowess, to win by a deciding frame.
In the semi’s Brookshaw beat event 1 winner and recent winner of a tournament at the South West Snooker Academy, Andy Symons from Devon. In the other semi-final Benzey edged out the current West of England Open runner-up, James Height from Bristol. The remaining players that qualified from the group stages were; Billy Ginn (Devon), Darran Lock (Cornwall), Andy Neck (Devon) and Daniel Hall (Swindon). The best breaks in the knockout stage came from Symons 56, Brookshaw 54 and Benzey 68, the latter taking the highest break prize made by a qualifier.
The group stages produced the highest no-qualifier break of the day, a superb 121 clearance by Ryan Mears from Hampshire. Like Brookshaw, Mears also excels at both English Billiards and Snooker having contested the billiards final against Brookshaw last week. Although played on the same table, few players excel at both disciplines.
Ranking points are gained each time a frame is won throughout the tournament and these are the basis for determining the top sixteen players who will be invited to play in the end of season finale, The Gold Masters, also sponsored by Totally Reward, so every frame counts. After two events Symons holds on to the top spot with Brooks111haw closing in by virtue of this victory. Other high risers include James Height, moving up 14 places, Daniel Hall and Billy Ginn up 10 places and Connor Benzey in at 13th, 22 places above the bottom spot!
WEBSF Tournament Director said, “Good performances from Steve Brookshaw for his win and Ryan Mears for his superb break. Both players are excellent cueist. Connor Benzey is certainly one to watch. He is the current holder of our youth event, the Bronze Snooker Open and it’s good to see him step-up to compete against the more established players and do so well. Aidan Murphy is also another youth player to watch, he narrowly missed out on qualifying again for the second event running but at just 14 years he too is one to watch.”
Players interested in entering WEBSF events or potential volunteers willing to get involved with the work of the WEBSF they should contact Steve Canniford, Mobile 07891940995 or visit http://www.websfsnooker.com or WEBSF Facebook. Thanks to 147 Snooker Club, Swindon for hosted this event.
Report by Steve Canniford
Gold Snooker Series – Event 3
(The Galaxy Centre, Torquay)
12th January 2019
Gold Snooker Series – Event 4
(Top Q Snooker Club, Gloucester)
9th February 2019
Gold Snooker Series – Event 5
(Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon)
9th March 2019