Sam Baird – Overall Winner
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 1
Baird Wins Gold
Players from around the region travelled to Plymouth to compete in the first Gold Waistcoat event of the season. Sam Baird (Halberton) took the top prize with Steve Brookshaw (Plymouth) coming runner-up, Baird made breaks of 60 & 51 in the 2-0 win. In the semi finals Baird was pleased to have beaten former professional Andy Neck (Torquay) 2-0 with breaks of 77 & 50. In the early group stages Neck put on a vintage display reeling off a string of breaks, the best being a fantastic 138 total clearance which took the ‘best break of the day’ prize. In the other semi Brookshaw was surprised to be facing 13 year old Dan Legassick (Plymouth). Brookshaw’s vast experience resisted the young aspiring potter to win 2-0 and post a 56 break for good measure. The quarters saw Baird make a 101 break in beating Alan Hurley from Cornwall 2-0 and Neck beat Plymothian Grant Cole by the same score. Legassick took the scalp of Wayne Branton who had an inconsistent day’s play. In almost every match Branton made excellent frame winning breaks in the opening frame only to struggle in the remaining frames. Brookshaw posted a 59 break to beat Darran Lock from Cornwall 2-0 in the remaining quarter final match.
Group A lived up to the label of the ‘Group of Death’ with regard to who would qualify. Baird made breaks of 103,74,74,70 & 2 59’s and dropped just three frames in wining all seven matches to top the group. The remaining places were closely fought out by the rest Hurley and Brookshaw could only be separated on frame difference and Wayne Branton took the fourth qualifying spot over Michael Day by a whisker. Hurley made breaks of 51,50,44 & 40. Wayne Branton made breaks of 80,78,56,49 & 44 and son Dale made breaks of 61 & 87 clearance. Group B was won comfortably by an undefeated Neck that rolled back the years to when he mixed it with the some of the worlds best on the professional circuit. Neck posted breaks of 67,55,47,46,41,40 and that seasons best of 138. Second spot went to Cole edging out Lock on frame difference. Cole made breaks of 57,54 & 41 and Lock made 44 & 41. Surprise package Legassick maximised his chances of qualification with a valuable 2-1 win over tough match player Neil Chiswell. Players played a minimum of six best of three matches for their entrance fee and an amazing 96 percent of this was paid out in prize money.
Spokes person for the WEBSF said “We all know Sam Baird is a class act and is a front runner for taking the overall title but let’s not right off the other players after the first event. We intend to run six events in total and previous seasons have shown that no one player will run away with this tournament. Andy Neck’s 138 total clearance was top drawer vintage snooker from a very experienced player coming back into form, he will be in the mix at the end of the season. If Wayne Branton can find some consistency to compliment his competitive strength he could also be pushing hard at the end of the season. There are also several young up and coming players who are keen to make their mark and cause a few upsets along the way. This season could see a closely fought chase for this prestigious title.” 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 by Rileys, Plymouth and table maintenance company, Baulk Line Snooker South West.
Report by Steve Canniford
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 2
Snooker Postie is First Class
Postman and former professional from Torquay Andy Neck showed he really is first class when he was first past the post against a great line-up at Rileys, Torquay. Players from around the region travelled to compete in this the second West of England Billiards & Snooker, Gold Waistcoat event of the season. Wayne Branton from Plymouth put up a spirited fight-back in the final to draw level but could not find the class that he had shown in earlier rounds. In the semi finals Neck beat Michael Rogers from Taunton with the aid of a 75 break. Rogers at 15, did exceptionally well to reach this stage of the tournament but found Neck a class apart. In the other semi final Branton had a real tussle to beat Alan Tunney from Torquay, Branton made a 63 break. In the quarter finals Rogers beat newcomer to the tournament Paul Standen from Bickington and Neck beat another newcomer Lee Halling from Bideford, Halling made a 48 break and Neck a 78. Branton excelled against former professional Sam Baird to win 2-1 and Tunney had another tussle, this time beating John Halliwell from Torquay 2-1. Halliwell had a 54 breaks and Tunney breaks of 48 & 78.
In the group stages Baird won group A amassing breaks of 51,54,61,61,70 and the best of the day a 109 clearance to take the break prize. Lee Halling finished close behind posting a 46 break to take the second qualifying place. Other players to make breaks where Darran Lock from Cornwall with breaks of 55,59,65,73 & 73 and Tom Kevern with 44,63 and a fine 91. Group B was much closer with Wayne Branton edging Rogers into second spot on frame difference. Branton made breaks of 47,70,73 & 84 whilst Rogers made 50 & 54 breaks. Michael Day the only other player in this group to make breaks posted 41,45 & 57 breaks. Group C saw three new faces, Nick Kenny (Barnstaple), Darren Horsman (Fremington) & Standen. Standen won the group with a 45 break, Halliwell finished in second spot with a 66 break and Kenny made a 55. Neck dropped just two frames to win group D posting breaks of 48,54,60 & 91 followed closely in second place by Tunney who made breaks of 41,64,66 & 68. Adam Halling had a 61 break whilst James Lee made a 55 and Steve Brookshaw made an 80 break.
Tournament Director for the WEBSF said “This is the first time we have come to Rileys, Torquay and hopefully it won’t be the last! Eight new faces and a great days snooker was had by all, with each player playing between 12 and 18 competitive frames of snooker. After just two events Andy Neck is edging ahead of Sam Baird in the rankings but with three tournaments to go and the worst event discarded, the overall title is still very much open to them all. Each event brings a surprise and apart from the new players adding to the competition Michael Rogers at just 15 years is beginning to come through as a future contender.” 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 by Rileys, Torquay and table maintenance company, Baulk Line Snooker South West.
Report by Steve Canniford
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 3
Unphased Tunney Beats The Baird
Alan Tunney, who plays in the Torbay Snooker League, was not phased by a magnificent 132 clearance from Sam Baird, Halberton in the final of the latest West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation Gold Waistcoat. Tunney won the first frame to which Baird replied with the 132 break, his third century on the day, to secure the highest break prize and level the match at 1-1. In the decider Tunney responded with a solid 41 before missing a relatively easy pot that should have seen him win the match at this visit. However, Baird pulled back the deficit and looked like pinching the frame before getting out of position on the last three colours. Faced with a difficult blue he missed the pot and went in-off. Tunney was left with an easy blue and pink, which he took to win the match.
In the semi finals Tunney disposed of Steve Brookshaw, Plymouth whilst Baird beat Dale Branton, also from Plymouth, who had knocked out one of the favourites, Andy Neck in the quarters. The remaining quarters did not bring forth any breaks of note with Brookshaw beating Grant Cole, Plymouth. Tunney beating James Lee, Torbay and Baird beating Nick Kenny, Barnstaple.
Three players dominated the breaks board in the group matches. Tunney made breaks of 43,44,45,45,54,58 & 61 to win group B on frame count-back over Branton who made a couple of fifty plus breaks to finish in second place. Chris Dobson made a 42 but it was Lee and Cole that took the remaining qualifying places. In group A Neck finished in top spot dropping just one frame in five matches posting breaks of 81,69,59,50,50,42 & 44. Baird finished in second place displaying his class with a string of breaks 40,55,55,89,95 and two centuries, both 109. Third spot went to Kenny aided by a 56 and fourth place went to Brookshaw posting a 48 break. Lee Halling, Bideford had a 54.
Despite losing to Tunney Baird moves into top spot in the overall rankings table with 1680 points after three events, edging Neck into second place on 1600. Tunney jumps into third place on 1180 and Brookshaw forth with 1160 points. The remaining 24 players make up the rest of the rankings.
The tournament director said “We had a reduced field for this event but the quality of play was not affected with three centuries on the day. Every player had at least 15 tough competitive frames of snooker for their entrance fee. Sam Baird and Andy Neck are edging away at the top of the rankings but with two tournaments still to go and the worst event being discarded, the overall title is still far from secure for any player. This event saw Dale Branton back from a lean period mixing it with the top players by reaching the semi final. Sam Baird showed real class in with his break building prowess and Alan Tunney showed he too can consistently make frame winning breaks.”
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 sponsored by Rileys, Plymouth and table maintenance company, Baulk Line Snooker South West.
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 4
(The Plaza, Plymouth)
Brookshaw, Master Cueman
Top Westcountry Billiards player, Coach and now proven Snooker player Steve Brookshaw from Plymouth has won the penultimate West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation, Gold Waistcoat event of the season. In the final he beat the previous event winner Alan Tunney from the Torbay league. This result means that any one of four players can take the overall title at the final event in Rileys, Torquay on the 21st May 2011. Brookshaw sealed his win in the deciding frame with a 71 break in the final. In the semi’s Brookshaw beat ex professional Andy Neck after a tense finish on the black in the deciding frame, where both played several good safety shots before Neck left Brookshaw a long pressure pot to win, which he was relieved to take. Tunney ran out a 2-0 winner against Darren Horsman from Fremington who had qualified having only lost one match in the group stages.
Group A was won by Neck who was only troubled by 16 year old Michael Rogers from Taunton who took him to a deciding frame. Neck posted a string of breaks 43,52,54,75 and the best of the day a superb 110, missing the green with the remaining colours on their spots at his mercy. Second place went to Brookshaw edging out Dale Branton on frame count-back, Branton making the only other break of note in the group a 61. Tunney was a comfortable winner of group B with Darran Lock the only player to put him to the test with a 73 break before losing 2-1. Tunney made breaks of 42,43,48 & 90.
The ranking table is headed by Neck on 2100 points, Brookshaw moves into second place on 1840 points, Tunney is third on 1780 points and Sam Baird, missing this event, is fourth on 1680 points. With the worst event being discarded and bonus attendance points available, any one of the four can take this prestigious title.
Tournament director said “This has to be the closest contest leading up to the final event we have had in the six years of tournaments. The competition will be fierce and the atmosphere electric at the final event of the season. It will be down to who ever deals with the pressure the best.” 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 sponsored by The Plaza, Plymouth and table maintenance company, Baulk Line Snooker South West.
Report by Steve Canniford
Gold Waistcoat Tour – Event 5
Bond’s Return Influences Overall Title Result
Tiverton potting machine Darren Bond’s appearance at the final event of this seasons West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation, Gold Waistcoat Tour proved decisive in determining the overall regional champion. Four players; Andy Neck (Torquay), Sam Baird (Halberton), Steve Brookshaw (Plymouth) and Alan Tunney (Torquay) were all in with a chance to take the overall title. The first half of the tournament comprised of two groups from which eight players would qualify for the knockout stage. Two of the main contenders, Baird and Tunney were drawn in group A which finished with three players level on points in top spot. On frame count-back Baird took first place, James Lee (Torquay) second place and Bond third. Tunney was the forth qualifier. The best break of the group was made by, the much improved, James Lee (Torquay) posting a 100 break with an 86 for good measure. Baird made breaks of 71,74 & 98, Bond an 89 and Tunney a 60 break.
Neck, who was the ranking table leader going into the last event, was in ominous form, wining the group with breaks of 48,56 and three centuries 107, 120 and a superb 129 total clearance. Dale Branton (Plymouth) finished in second place edging the remaining overall title contender Brookshaw into third place with breaks 51,45 & 42. The final qualifying spot went to the ever improving youngster, Michael Rogers from Taunton. All the main title contenders qualified for the knockout stage but as they were drawn against one another, two would fall by the wayside in the first round. Brookshaw put up a brave fight before losing to Baird (85 break) 2-1. Next to fall was rejuvenated ex professional Neck who lost to Tunney in another closely fought match 2-1. Neck’s consolation was ‘another’ event highest break prize and winner of the overall highest break of the tour, a magnificent 138 total clearance. The other two quarter final matches finished with Bond beating Branton 2-1 and a great 2-0 win for Rogers against in-form Lee. In the first semi final Baird made light work beating Rogers 2-0 but as Bond ran out a 2-0 victor over Tunney in the other semi the overall title was handed to Baird. The event final did not see the potting and break building prowess that both these talented players are renown for as Bond won 2-0. Tunney finished overall runner-up, Neck third and Brookshaw fourth.
Tournament director Steve Canniford said “Another great season where we have seen top players from around the region displaying their talent. Nobody dominated the tour this season, each event saw a different winner. Well done to Darren Bond, back to wining ways after missing the early rounds of the tour, his talent and attacking style of play is always a pleasure to watch. Congratulations to Sam Baird who won the tour for the second time in three seasons. This season also saw Sam return to the professional ranks by virtue of winning the English Amateur Association’s Pro Ticket Tour for the second time in three years, he also had a great run in the early rounds of the World Championships, great achievements! The Professional Circuit promises many more tournaments next season which will probably take Sam away from playing on the Gold Tour….we all wish him well. The tour has also attracted new players from around the region who have enriched the tour. They have benefited from the competition and will come to the fore next season. The South West is blessed with talented snooker players and the Gold Waistcoat Tour is a great platform for them to improve and push on to the next level”. 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 sponsored by Rileys, Torquay and table maintenance company, Baulk Line Snooker South West.
Report by Steve Canniford
Adam Halling – 61
Alan Hurley – 51,50,44,40
Alan Tunney – 90,78,68,66,64,61,60,58,54,48,48,45,45,44,43,43,42,41,41
Andy Neck – 138tc,129tc,120,107,110,91,81,78,76,75,75,69,67,60,59,56,55,54,54,52,50,50,48,48,47,46,44,43,42,41,40,40
Dale Branton – 87cl,61,61,54,53,51
Darren Bond – 89,5145,42
Darran Lock – 73,73,72,65,59,55,44,41
Darren Hall – 54,45,42
Grant Cole – 57,54,41
James Lee – 100,86,55
John Halliwell – 66,54
Lee Halling – 54,48,46
Michael Day – 71,57,45,41
Michael Rogers – 54,50,40
Nick Kenny – 56,54,50
Paul Staddon – 45
Sam Baird – 132,109cl,109,109,103,101,98,95,89,85,77,74,74,74,71,71,70,68,61,61,60,59,59,55,55,54,51,51,50,48,40
Steve Brookshaw – 80,71,59,56
Tom Kevern – 91,60,59,56,44
Wayne Branton – 84,80,78,73,70,63,56,49,48,44