Sam Baird – Overall Winner
Silver Waistcoat Tour – Event 1
THE ICE MAN RETURNS TO WINNING WAYS
14th October 2006
Grant Cole the 18 years old snooker prodigy from Plymstock, Plymouth started his challenge for the coveted 2006 under 21 West of England Silver Waistcoat Snooker Championship by winning the first tournament of the season. Cole beat 17 years old Darren Bond from Tiverton who recently represented England in the 2006 home internationals. Bond soon got into is stride, winning the opening frame with the aid of a 40 break. He continued this good form with a 45 break to start the second frame, a one-sided match looked on the cards. However, Cole, known as the ‘Ice Man’ due to his cool measured approach to the game, had other ideas. He gradually pegged the score back to take the second frame on the black. This turned out to be the turning point of the match with Cole becoming more confident he took control of the match finally running out a 3-1 victor. For Cole the path to the final was not without some nervous moments. His semi-final encounter with Sam Baird, Halberton saw Cole take the first frame with a break of 54 and a colours clearance to pinch the frame on the black. Baird took the second frame with a 38 break and begun the final frame with a 42 break. It looked like Cole was done for, however, as he often does, Cole hung on and finally cleared up with some fine potting to win another black ball frame.
GRINSTED SHINES ON HE DEBUT
15 years old Mitchell Grinsted from Plymouth was the outstanding newcomer to the competition. He reached the semi final at his first attempt posting some fine results on the way. In his semi-final he was not phased by the prospect of playing England International Bond, in fact he seem to relish the challenge only just losing by the narrowest of margins. Bond said “Mitchell will be one to watch out for in the future”. In the quarter finals Grinsted defeated the much fancied Cornish potting machine Jamie Read, Reduth 2-0 aided by a 54 break. In the other quarter final matches Bond, beat another Cornish star, Bobby Southworth, Falmouth 2-0 posting a 57 break. Sam Baird won by the same margin against another promising youngster 15 years old Thomas Vanstone from Plympton. Cole beat Rob Charman, Reduth 2-0. Charman had recently made is first century break in practice earlier in the week. The group matches did not disappoint onlookers with no less than seventeen breaks of 45 or more, the highest of the day being a 78 by Bond who also made a 50 in the same frame. Group 1 was always going to tough for the younger players Dale Branton, Plymouth the current 2005 WEBSF Bronze Waistcoat Regional Champion and Luke Veale, Tiverton. Both struggled to keep up with the standard set by the seasoned campaigners. Baird topped the group without a loss posting breaks of 75 ,64 & 46. Read came second with a 2-0 win over Cole. Cole was third making breaks of 61, 61 & 46.The final qualifier from group 1 was Southworth with breaks of 63, 51, 47 & 44.
Group 2 proved to be a one way traffic for Bond as he ploughed through the field posting 2-0 wins in all his matches making breaks of 78, 50, 49 & 40. Charman came in a consistent second, Grinsted third and Vanstone the fourth qualifier going into the knock-out stages. Keith Milliard Tournament Director said “We at the WEBSF are delighted to have played a small part in helping Darren to realise the dream of playing for his country. I am sure this will serve to encourage others in the region to follow in his footsteps”. The next Silver Waistcoat tour is scheduled for November. Details of this tour and other tournaments which are organised by the West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation can be found on websf.co.uk or by contacting Roger Cole Mobile 07850882770.
Report by Roger Cole
Silver Waistcoat Tour – Event 2
(Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth)
BAIRD RAISES THE BAR
3rd February 2007
Sam Baird won the 2nd West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation Silver Waistcoat tournament of the season in classic style at the Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth. This prestigious under 21 snooker tour is the benchmark for all aspiring young snooker stars. The standards of conduct and play being shown is surpassing all the expectations of the WEBSF management team and coaches. Baird tops the rankings and has raise the bar to new heights with his own personal show of exceptional break building and potting ability. The in-form Michael Day, Plymouth was Baird’s latest victim in a one sided final in which Baird’s class took him to a 2-0 win in a match where Day hadn’t played a bad shot. The first frame Day lead 49-1 when Baird potted a superb long red followed by a tremendous clearance of 66 to win the frame. In the second frame Baird constructed a very good break of 74. Day was heard to said “I have not played a poor shot but I’ve been blown away!”.
There were two magnificent centuries recorded on the day. Bobby Southworth, Falmouth who practises with local professional Andy Hicks recorded the first century, a fabulous 122 clearance in the round robin stages against Jonathan Hollick from Plymouth. Southworth had the balls at his mercy in the very next frame but missed the black on 62. The second century came from the prolific break builder Baird after making a 73 break in the first semi final frame against Grant Cole, Plymouth he recorded a superb 127 to win 2-0. Baird made no less than 12 breaks (127, 97, 91, 78, 74, 73, 63cl, 55, 53, 50, 43 & 41) in 15 frames, break building of this calibre in tournament play is on a par with professional play. The second semi-final produced another spectacle of great snooker as Day defeated England International Darren Bond, Tiverton 2-1. Day set the pace with a break of 51 that ended after a bad ball-to-ball contact. Bond replied with a break of 37 and then could only watch as Day took the colours to go 1-0 in front. Bond responded in typical fashion winning the second comfortably to level the match, he then took an early lead only for day to construct a fine break of 51 to clinch the match.
The quarter finals produced an array of breaks as a result of snooker of the highest standard. First up was Cole against the young and improving Thomas Vanstone, Plymouth. Cole demonstrated the level of matchplay the likes of Vanstone need to reach with a fine display recording two breaks, 68 & 42 to run out a 2-0 victor. The next quarter final pitched Day against Southworth. Day won the first frame with the aid of a 60 break and took the lead in the second with a 42 break. Southworth needing snookers showed maturity well above his years by laying two cracking snookers which Day failed to escape from. Southworth laid a third snooker which Day escaped from and was fortunate to fluke a snooker in return. Southworth failed to hit the target and duly conceded the frame and match 2-0. In the third quarter final potting machine Baird faced Darran ‘the grinder’ Lock from Seaton. The highlight of this encounter came in the second frame, after Lock won the first frame to lead, Baird stormed back potting 13 reds and 12 blacks and was looking good for the elusive maximum when he over cut the 13th black to end the break on 97 and level the match. Baird then took the third frame to win the match 2-1. The fourth quarter final was an exciting prospect with Darren Bond matched against another up and coming prodigy from Plymouth, Mitchell Grinstead. These two had played in the previous Silver Waistcoat tournament and had a tremendous tussle. This was to be no exception, as the match had nearly everything, great potting, good safety, nervous twitches and high tension. Bond took a 1-0 lead only to go in-off the black in the second frame to hand Grinstead a life line and bring the scores level at 1-1. It was nerves and tension that showed in the third frame with both players striving to get going. However, after a tense battle Bond ‘fell’ over the line to win the match 2-1.
In the group stages Southworth won group A winning four out of his five matches recording four quality breaks in the process 122, 69, 62 & 50. Vanstone and Ryan Elcombe from Plymouth were joint second with Vanstone qualifying on frame difference. Vanstone recorded breaks of 57 & 44. Elcombe made a creditable 53 break. Group B produced 17 breaks over 40. Baird and Cole finished joint first with Cole given the top spot by virtue of frame difference. Cole recorded breaks of 67, 56, 55, 49 & 46. Baird made breaks of 78, 55, 53, & 43. The highlight came in a spectacle of break building against newcomer to the tour Matthew Atasoy from Wellington. Baird knocked in a 91 & 41 in the first frame. Atasoy responded with an 84 break to level the match before Baird delivered the knockout blow with a fine constructed break of 50 in the decider to win 2-1. Mark Green set off early from Salisbury to compete in this prestigious tournament. Green who has only just turned 15 years old did enough to demonstrate he will do well against such a quality field. He finished a credible third in the group posting breaks of 62 & 55 in a great 2-0 win over Baird. Jamie Read from Redruth pipped Dale Branton, Plymouth by virtue of beating him 2(44)-0 in their match. Branton recorded a break of 63. Lock won group C, his best break was 52 in a 2-0 victory over Tom Casey from Plymouth. Grinstead took the other qualifying spot with breaks 56, 53 & 43. Leon Bullen from Exeter finished third followed by Casey and newcomer Daniel Chanter of Taunton. Group D proved to be a tight affair with first and second, third & fourth place being decided on frame difference. Darren Bond won the group with Day coming second. Bond, who looked a bit out of sorts, had a breaks of 55 and one of 67 against his brother Adrian Bond. Day was involved in a couple interesting moments. Against Darren Bond he had a 54 break in the first followed by a 41 clearance in the second, that included fluking the pink to win 2-0. He then beat the 2006 Exeter Bronze champion Daniel Hine 2-1, Day rattled in a break of 52 to take the lead before Hine, needing three snookers in the next frame, levelled the match 1-1. The deciding frame was a close encounter with Day pinching the frame and match on the pink ball. Hine had a good tournament finishing in third place on frame difference above Adrian Bond and Joel Martin, Exeter who recorded a break of 55 in a 2-1 victory against Adrian Bond.
WEBSF Champion, Roger Cole said “To be able to play snooker to the high standard that we have seen here today requires dedication and commitment to practice. All 22 players have shown discipline and skill that, at times, takes your breath away. The WEBSF Management works hard to provide coaching and tournaments like today, for no financial gain. Reward is what we have seen today.”
Report by Keith Millard
Silver Waistcoat Tour – Event 3
(Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth)
SAM THE DEMONLITION MAN
3rd February 2007
Sam Baird, Halberton has won the third West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation, Silver Waistcoat tournament, which was held at the Victoria Snooker centre, Plymouth. This makes it back-to-back Silver wins for Baird, proving he is the man in-form. Baird the current regional Champion extends his lead at the top of this years ranking table and must be favourite to successfully defend his crown. Baird opponent in the final was newcomer to WEBSF tournaments Chris Batey from Plymouth who after playing well in reaching the final lost 2-0 to stylish power play from Baird. In the first frame Baird opening score was a modest break of 35, which ended with a safety shot. After a brief safety confrontation Baird produced a break of 59, missing the second to last red whilst trying to work the balls towards a possible century break. The final score Baird 94 Batey nil. The second frame looked like it could be a closer match with Batey holding a slim lead, when Baird constructed a frame and match winning break of 64 2-0. In the semi finals Baird had a 67 break to help beat Grant Cole (Plymouth) 2-0. Batey had a tough semi-final against Bobby Southworth (Falmouth). The score line of 2-0 to Batey disguised a close match with Batey steeling the first frame by taking the last red and clearing to the pink. In the second frame was just has close until Batey fluked the blue and then potted a difficult pink to win 2-0.
The first quarter final between Batey and England International Darren Bond from Tiverton went 2-0 in Batey’s favour. This avenged an earlier defeat in their group match. Batey made a break of 46 in the first frame. The second quarter final between Baird and Mark Green from Salisbury. Green took the first frame only for Baird level at 1-1. Green was resigned to his seat in the final frame while Baird made the highest break of the day a superb 90 that finished when he missed an easy brown. In the third quarter final Cole was matched with rising star Dale Branton, Plymouth. Cole won the first comfortably aided with a 68 break, but was taken to a black ball in the second which he potted to win 2-0. The last quarter final match was between Southworth and Michael Day, Plymouth. Southworth won 2-0.
Cole won group A winning 6 of his 7 matches, he recorded eight breaks over 40 the highest being 67 in his 2-0 victory over Thomas Vanstone, Plymouth. Darren Bond did well to win 5 of his 7 matches to finish runner up, given that he is struggling to produce his usual high standard of play we’ve been accustomed too over the past couple of years. In a match against his older brother, Adrian Bond, Darren produced a break of 64. There were three players tied for third place Baird, Batey and Adrian Bond. Under the European criteria for dealing with ties frame difference is used to separate the players. Baird was awarded third place and the fourth qualifying spot went to Batey by virtue of him wining one frame more than Adrian Bond. Darren Lock, Seaton finished sixth with Joel Martin, Exeter and Thomas Vanstone, Plymouth bringing up the rear. Vanstone learnt a lot from being in such a tough group and took heart from a fine 2-0 victory over the seasoned player Lock that included a creditable 52 break from Vanstone. Lock’s highest break of the day was 53 in a 2-0 victory over Martin. Martin recorded a break of 41 in his first frame against Cole only to watch Cole steal the frame with a 59 break. With the scores level at 38 a piece in the second Martin must have thought he was in with a chance but Cole had other ideas, clearing the table with a 63 break. Cole recorded breaks of 55 & 44 in a 2-0 victory over Batey and against his old adversary Baird, Cole played his part in a high quality match. Cole made a 41 break to take the lead before Baird replied with an 81 break to level the match. Baird then knocked in a break of 52 in the decider to win 2-1. Batey recorded a 52 break in the deciding frame against his practise partner Vanstone. Batey also recorded breaks of 40 & 50 in a rare 2-0 victory over Baird. Baird recorded the highest break in the group stages a 89 in a 1-2 defeat by Lock.
Group B was won by Southworth, recording 5 wins out of his 6 matches. Southworth highest break was 45 in a 2-0 victory over Branton. Three players finished equal second and could only be separated by frame difference. Green leap frogged into second place by securing qualification in his last fixture beating Mitchell Grinstead, Plymouth 2-1. This result pushed Grinstead into fifth spot and out of the tournament. Third place went to Day and Branton took the final position qualifying place. Grinstead posted the highest break in group B, a fine 54. This came in the first frame of his match against Day who took the second frame with a 45 clearance and the third to win 2-1. Branton was involved in a couple of cracking matches. Against Green he won 2-1 with the help of a break of 46 in the first frame. In the second Green replied with a break of 47 to level the match. Branton then won the decider aided by a break of 51. Against Danny Wicks from Plymouth, Branton made a trio of breaks 41,34 & 34 to win 119-9 in the first frame. Wicks remained undeterred and levelled the match making a fine 46 break. Branton won the decider easily recording a 44 break. Leon Bullen, Exeter brought up the rear after a ‘bad day at the office.
Roger Cole WEBSF Champion said “After last months tournament where the standard of play was outstanding resulting in a string of frame winning breaks that included two centuries by Baird and Southworth. It was always going to be difficult for the players to move up to a higher level. Having said that the standard over the 3 year period that we’ve been running these tournaments has risen considerably. This is a credit to the players and coaches who put in long hours on the practice table”
Report by Keith Millard
Silver Waistcoat Tour – Event 4
(Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth)
BOND RISES TO THE CHALLENGE
14th April 2007
Darren Bond (Tiverton) 16 year old English Junior International defeated Sam Baird (Halberton) 3-2 in the forth event of the West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation under 21 Silver Waistcoat tournament. The final was full of drama and could have gone either way with both players playing attacking snooker. Bond, when 2-0 down, held is nerve and bounced back to reel of the next three frames to take the winners spoils. In the semi finals Bond was taken the distance by an in-form Grant Cole from Plymouth. Bond winning 3-2 aided with breaks of 64 & 40. In the other semi final Michael Day, Plymouth put up a spirited performance against Sam Baird (Halberton) before losing 3-1. Baird made the highest break of the day, a fine 89 clearance and a 52.
VANSTONE’S BIG BREAK
The best of the group matches saw Tom Vanstone, Plymouth craft an excellent 87 break in his match against fellow Plymothian Dale Branton. This was only to win him the one frame as rising star Branton took the initiative to win 3-1. Other performances of note came from Mark Green who took Bond all the way before losing by the odd frame. Green had made the trip from Chandlers Ford to compete in the championship. Local player Mitchell Grinstead who finished a respectable forth in what proved to be a very tough group.
With one Silver Waistcoat event remaining in the series Baird looks like the champion in waiting as favourite to retain the title. His performances throughout this season have raised the bar and there is no doubt he has set the standard for others to aspire to. The final event in the series is on 12th May 2007 at the Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth.
Report by Roger Cole
Silver Waistcoat Tour – Event 5
(Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth)
BAIRD’S TOP OF THE POTS
12th May 2007
19 year old Sam Baird from Halberton demonstrated why he is considered by many as one of the most promising snooker players on the under 21 Snooker circuit by winning the title of West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation Silver Waistcoat Champion for the second year in succession.
Darren Bond, Tiverton won the final event in the series, but this was not enough to prevent Baird from finishing top of the rankings. Bond, aided by an 88 break, played well in the final to beat practice partner Baird 2-0. On the day Grant Cole (Plymouth) proved to be the biggest test for Bond in the semi final. Cole opened the match with a superb 92 break in the first frame and looked to be in command. However, Bond rallied in the second frame with an opening break of 52 only to see Cole peg him back with 43 break. Bond held is nerve and went on to win the frame. Cole then took control of the deciding frame, leaving Bond needing a snooker on the colours. The match seemed to be over until Cole played a cross double only to watch the cue ball go in-off to give Bond the life-line he needed. This he took, wining the frame and match on the black. In the other semi final Baird comfortably disposed of Chris Batey from Plymouth 2(52)-0. The aggregate match score for the two frames was 157 to Baird and just 8 to Batey. Despite this severe defeat, Batey is not to be considered lightly. In the short time he has played on the tour he is posing a real treat to the big guns!
In the quarter finals Batey recorded a fine 2-1 win over Bobby Southworth from Falmouth. The in-form Cole easily beat Ben Pike from Honiton 2-0. Bond defeated the fast improving Mitchell Grinstead from Plymouth by the same margin aided by a 49 break. The last match in this round saw Dale Branton, Plymouth lose 2-0 to Baird, but not before matching the champion for breaks in what turned out to be a close fought match.
Cole headed-up group A dropping just the one match to Michael Day, the former posting a 52 break. Second spot went to Southworth who made breaks of 49,44 & 40. Third place went to Batey who played solid snooker throughout the day. The final qualifier from group A was Branton who posted the best breaks of the group; 58,55 & 41 and took the tough scalp of Southworth 2-1.
Baird and Bond dominated group B, Baird finish top with his usual array of breaks; 65,61,59,57,48,48,46 & 40. His only loss was to Bond who made a break of 54. Pike finished third and Grinstead fourth, the latter posted breaks of 58,57 & 40 and looks every part a contender for next season.
25 players, some from as far field as Salisbury played on the tour this season. The top four in the final rankings are 1st Sam Baird, 2320 pts, Darren Bond, 2060 pts, Grant Cole, 1780 pts and Michael Day, 1380 pts. The highest break prize of the season went to Sam Baird for a magnificent 127. Head of Coaching for the WEBSF Steve Canniford said “The Silver Waistcoat Tour is now firmly established as the premier event in the region for the under 21’s. This season has seen the standard of play continue to improve with the likes of Baird, Bond & Cole going on to make an impression on the national scene and young players like Branton, Grinstead & Vanstone coming through as great prospects for the future.” Anyone wishing to learn more about the Silver Waistcoat Tour and other Billiards & Snooker events in the region visit http://www.websfsnooker.com
Adrian Bond – 43,40
Bobby Southworth – 22 69,62,50,49,45,44,40
Chris Batey – 52,50,46,40
Dale Branton – 53,58,55,42,41
Danny Wicks – 46
Darran Lock – 53,52,47
Darren Bond – 88,67,64,64,60,55,54,52,43,40
Grant Cole – 92,68,68,67,67,63cl,61,59,56,55,55,52,52,49,46,44,43,43,42,42,42,41
Jamie Read – 62,44
Joel Martin – 55,41
Mark Green – 62,55,49,47
Matthew Atasoy – 84
Michael Day – 61,60,54,52,51,51,47,45cl,45,44,41cl
Mitchell Grinstead – 58,57,56,54cl,53,44,43,40
Ryan Elcombe – 53
Sam Baird – 127,97,91,90,89cl,89,81,78,74,73,71,67,66cl,65,64,63,62,61,59,59,58,57,56,56,55,53,52,50,49,48,48,46,45,43,41,40
Tom Vanstone – 87,57,52,44