Grant Cole – Overall Winner
Silver Waistcoat Tour – Event 1
(Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth)
FORMER CHAMPIONS DO BATTLE
15th September 2007
The West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation Silver Waistcoat Tour got underway this week at the Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth. The tour is now in its fourth year, and is now confirmed as the premier junior U21 tour in the southwest. Event 1 saw a slightly reduced field, as a large number of players were away on International duty, representing England in the Home Internationals. Nevertheless, the standard of snooker displayed certainly proves that there is strength in depth within the West of England.
The final saw the 2005 Silver Waistcoat Champion Grant Cole, Plymouth come up against a two times Bronze Waistcoat Champion Dale Branton, also from Plymouth. With ‘revenge’ in mind, Branton started the strongest, winning the first frame 81-26, making a 47 break to win. Cole looked like he was heading for defeat before capitalising on a mistake by Branton to snatch the second frame to level at 1-1. In the deciding frame Cole opened up an early lead whilst Branton found it hard to obtain a good position, making scoring difficult. Cole went on to pot freely to take the frame, and win the match 2-1. Both players demonstrated that consistency throughout the day reaps it’s rewards. They were by far the most consistent players posting a string of breaks right up until the final. Both Cole and Branton won 2-0 in the semi-finals. Cole beat the improving Mark Green from Salisbury whilst Branton made short work of Chris Batey (Plymouth), stringing a series of 20 & 30 breaks to romp over the line.
The round robin stages got off to a flying start early in the day, with two current Devon Champions coming head to head. Mitchell Grinsted, Plymouth the U19 Champion versus Branton the U16 Champion. Grinsted played solidly in the first frame winning comfortably. Branton won the next two frames with the aid of 67 breaks in both frames, Branton went on to win a tense 4th frame to win the match 3-1.
VANSTONE SHOWS COURAGE
Tom Vanstone from Plymouth, although suffering from a neck injury, showed courage to complete all his frames throughout the day. In obvious pain he competed strongly in his first match against Green who was flattered in victory by three very close frames that went in his favour to win 3-0. Cole’s first match saw him go 1-0 down against Tom Kevern from Plymouth after a 35 break. Cole showed some tenacity in the remaining frames to win 3-1. Grinsted, for the second time went 1-0 up against Green, only to see a repeat of his previous match, by losing the next three frames to go down 1-3. Branton made short work of Vanstone, winning 3-0. Branton opened the first frame strongly. On a break of 46 he potted the black, only to see the cue ball knock a red into the middle pocket for a foul. Putting this disappointment behind him he went on to pot a superb long red to romp home with a 60 clearance. Kevern was involved in a mammoth battle against Tom Casey, Plymouth. After going 2-0 up Casey was resign to the sidelines as Kevern stole the match by taking the next three frames to win 3-2. Vanstone, again showed real determination in his match against Grinsted. After sharing the first 4 frames the match went to a deciding frame on the colours. Vanstone, expression said it all as Grinsted snatched a 3-2 win. An excellent tussle saw Green against Batey. Green raced to a 2-0 lead, making a 40 break along the way. Looking dead and buried, Batey came through a scrappy third frame to make it 2-1. This seem to spark Batey into a potting frenzy, winning the next two frames at a canter to win 3-2.
Without a doubt, the match of the day came early on in these qualifying stages between the eventual finalists Cole and Branton. Branton opened up a 1-0 lead with a superb 61 break. He won the next to take him to 2-0. Cole then got into his stride taking the next three frames, making breaks of 80, 61 & 51 to snatch a well earned win. Cole followed this with another match that went the distance, against Green. With the match at 2-1 in favour of Cole, Green levelled at 2-2 with a fine 70 break. Cole quickly settled himself to win the decider comfortably, to seal a 3-2 win. The highest break of the day came in Cole’s next match against Grinsted. Cole was soon 2-0 up in the match and in no mood to let another go the distance. Early in the third frame he seized the imitative by potting a long opening red followed by excellent cue ball control before the break finally broke down on 104. In the last of the group games, Vanstone was 2-0 down against Casey and looking dejected, with determination he hauled himself back into the match to level at 2-2. In a tense decider Vanstone was again just off the pace as Casey snatched the match 3-2.
The Tournament Director reported “Even though the standard of snooker and the relentless determination to win demonstrated by these players never ceases to amaze me, the spirit and level of sportsmanship with which the matches are played is a credit to themselves and the Foundation they represent”. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the WEBSF, or even entering the tournaments can find all the details on the WEBSF website http://www.websf.co.uk The next event will be held at the Rileys Snooker Club, Plymouth on Saturday 17th November 2007.
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 Wayne Branton
Silver Waistcoat Tour – Event 2
PLYMOUTH’S FINEST BATTLE IT OUT
17th November 2007
The West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation Silver Waistcoat tour rolled into Rileys, Plymouth for the second stage. Players came from afar a field as Taunton and Salisbury in order to compete against the some of the best under 21 players in the region in pursuit of the West of England Championship crown.
Group A saw event 1 winner Grant Cole (Plymouth) start in fine form winning 2-0 against Haydon Pinhey (Plymouth), just 11 years of age. Pinhey, who recently qualified for the last 16 in the English under 14 championship, found the going tough against seasoned Silver campaigner, Cole recorded a 75 break to win the second frame. In Cole’s second match he was up against Mark Green from Salisbury. The first frame was close. With Green leading and looking to take the frame he made a mistake to let Cole in to take the frame on the colours. In the second frame Green ran out of position when on just 14 points, this allowed Cole to clinch the frame and match 2-0 with a superb 80 break. Cole continue to pot freely in his next match against tour debutant Daniel Stevens, Plymouth by winning the first with a 74 break and the second with a 47.
Stevens was next up for ‘the Pocket Rocket’ Pinhey. The first frame could have gone either way but it was Pinhey that finished the stronger with a 22 clearance to take a 1-0 lead. Pinhey kept the potting going with a number of modest breaks in the second frame to with his first tour match 2-0. Plymouth duo Mitchel Grinsted and Tom Kevern where the next pairing. Kevern started the stronger taking the first frame comfortably and looked like winning the match in the second until he failed to capitalise on a match wining chance. This allowed Grinsted to sink the pink to level at 1-1. After a close start to the final frame Kevern seized on a chance to clinch the match with a 49 break to win 2-1.
Mark Green from Salisbury made quick work in dispatching Stevens from Plymouth 2-0 but found Grinsted in his next match a tougher opponent. These two players often have close matches and this proved par for the course. Green won the first frame with a fine 49 break only for Grinsted to battle in the next to level at 1-1. In the deciding frame Grinsted looked to be in control with a 21 lead on the colours before he missed using the rest to let Green in the clear the colours to win 2-1. Kevern faced Pinhey in the next match and after losing the first frame 101-12 Pinhey looked dejected. However, he kept it together to win the second frame to level 1-1. With confidence restored Pinhey took his chances in the final frame to record a fine 2-1 win. This put Pinhey in a strong position to qualify with two wins but despite being full of confidence he found seasoned campaigner Green too strong in his next match losing 2-0. It was crucial for both Kevern and Stevens to win their match as both were fighting to secure a qualifying position. It was Kevern that dug the deepest running out a 2-0 winner. Cole won his last match against Kevern 2-0 to top the group without dropping a frame, the other qualifiers where Kevern, Green & Grinsted.
Tom Casey, Plymouth opened group B against Matthew Atasoy, one of two players Taunton. Casey played solidly to win 2-0. Next up were Plymouth team mates and real prospects for the future, Tom Vanstone and Branton, last months runner-up. It was honours even after the first two frames went the distance. The decider proved the same with both players sharing the lead and squandering chances to score heavy, such was the tension. It was Branton that stumbled over the line to win the match 2-1. Vanstone had little time to ponder over what might have been as he was back on the table against Atasoy. In a close fought contest Vanstone edged out Atasoy 2-0. Next up for Atasoy was travelling companion Ben Holley. With both players knowing each others game one could expect a close contest. This was far from the case as Atasoy opened up with a 74-0 points victory in the first followed by another quick frame to win 2-0. Casey’s second match against Holley was another quick-fire match as Holley fresh from defeat turned it around to make light work of Casey with modest breaks in the thirties to win 2-0. Branton was Casey’s next opponent and Branton was quick into his stride winning the first frame followed quickly by the second to win 2-0. Branton’s next opponent put up sterner opposition as both players displayed excellent safety play before Branton nicked the first frame to lead. The second frame was a repeat of the first with Branton wining the match 2-0. With 3 defeats Grinsted was in need of a win, he did not disappoint as he beat Stevens 2-0. Casey won the first frame against Vanstone on the colours only for Vanstone to level after a titanic battle on a re-spotted black. Vanstone kept the momentum as he won the deciding frame to win 2-1. Qualifiers going into the knock out phase were group winner Branton followed by Vanstone, Atasoy & Holley.
In the Knock-out stages Atasoy repeated his earlier victory over Holley before he was destroyed by Grinsted who found some excellent form with breaks of 74 & 60 in the semi final. Grinsted had a narrow 2-1 victory over Green to meet Holley. In the other semi final Branton was also in break building form with breaks of 65 & 39 against Cole. In the previous round Kevern took Cole to 2-1 and Branton beat Vanstone 2-0. The final brought together two of Plymouth’s finest young prospects Branton and Grinsted. There were no breaks of note but the match went all the way with Branton going one better than last month by wining 2-1 to win event 2.
The Tournament Director reported “It’s good to see players from Salisbury and Taunton competing on this tour. Anyone interested in pitting there skills against the best in the west should contact the WEBSF via the website http://www.websf.co.uk”. The next event will be held at the Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth on Saturday 2nd February 2008.
Report by Wayne Branton
Silver Waistcoat Tour – Event 3
(Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth)
GRINSTED GRINDS OUT VICTORY
12th January 2008
The West of England Billiard & Snooker Foundations U21 Silver Waistcoat tour rolled in to the Victoria Snooker Club, Plymouth and resulted in yet another different winner causing the ranking points table to become congested at the top. The latest player to stake their claim as a contender for the overall title is 16 year old Mitchell Grinsted from Plymouth. Grinsted defeated Grant Cole also from Plymouth 2-1 in the final to put gain maximum points and elevate him to third spot in the rankings. Fatigue played a big part in the final, and never really ignited into a free flowing After a long day’s snooker fatigue set in to both players which produced a close fought contest. Both players shared the opening two frames before Grinsted came through in the decider to take his first Silver victory.
GREENS PERSONAL BEST
Cole started the day in second place in the rankings and despite losing the final still he leap frogged Dale Branton (Plymouth) to take top spot. Branton stumbled in the semis, losing 2-0 to Cole in a match closer than the score line suggests. In the other semi final Grinsted avenged an earlier defeat at the hands of Mark Green (Salisbury) beating him 2-1 to book his place in the final. The highlight of the day came in a quarter final match between Ben Holley (Taunton) and Green. During a 2-0 nil victory over Holley Green set a personal best break of 98, the highest of the day, well done Mark! Branton came from 1-0 down to win 2-1 in his quarter final match against Tom Casey. Cole and Grinsted both eased through their matches with 2-0 wins over Tom Vanstone (Plymouth) and Matt Atasoy (Taunton) respectively.
In the group stages, Cole eased passed his first three matches, racking up three 3-0 wins over Casey, Holley and Chris Batey (Plymouth), posting breaks of 64,57,54,47 & 42 along the way. Things got a little tougher, being taken all the way in his final two matches. He shown character to come back from 2-1 down against Branton to win 3-2, and 2-0 down against Tom Kevern to win 3-2. This ensured him of top spot with 5 wins. Second spot went to Branton after 3-0 victories over Kevern & Batey, and 3-2 victories over Casey & Holley. Branton making breaks of 67, 57 & 46. Third spot went to Holley, with wins over Batey & Kevern; a 43 break was his best of the day. Fourth place was between Casey and Kevern, with Casey needing to win his last match against Holley, failure would see Kevern progress to the knockout stages. The match was a gruelling encounter, especially for Kevern watching in the wings. With Holley leading 2-1 and having a 47 point lead in the fourth, Kevern looked favourite to progress with only 58 points available. However, Casey was working to another script and kept chipping away eventually winning the frame by rolling the final black down the rail to level at 2-2, he celebrated this great effort with a Peter Ebdon like cheer of satisfaction. With Casey’s confidence growing and Kevern’s fingernails diminishing, Casey eventually snatched a 3-2 win to oust Kevern out of the competition on frame difference.
Group B proved very close with positions being decided on frame difference, Grinsted secured top spot opening up with a solid 3-0 win over Plymouth team mate Vanstone. He followed on with another 3-0 over the ever improving youngster Haydon Pinhey (Plymouth). Atasoy also fell to Grinsted, losing 3-1. Grinsted’s only defeat in the group was to Green 3-1. Grinsted, normally a polished break builder had to resort to grinding out wins, his best break of the day was a modest clearance of 40. Second spot went to Green, also with three wins. He opened the day with a 3-1 win over Pinhey & Grinsted. His Green’s only defeat against Atasoy, losing 3-1. Third place went to Atasoy, again winning three matches. Vanstone took the remaining qualification spot, securing it with a 3-1 win over Pinhey.
The Tournament Director reported “With Grinsted the third player to win an event this season it looks like the overall title may not be decided until the last event. This helps keep the tournament intense both for players and spectators alike. It’s also good to see players like Pinhey who is just 11 years old mixing it with better players in order to improve their game and gain invaluable experience. He also mange to take a couple of frames today that hasn’t gone unnoticed. Anyone interested in entering should contact the WEBSF via the website http://www.websf.co.uk”.The next event will be held at Rileys, Plymouth on Saturday 15th March 2008.
Report by Wayne Branton
Silver Waistcoat Tour – Event 4
BATEY TAKES SILVER
15th March 2008
Riley’s, Plymouth played host to the latest leg of the West of England Billiard & Snooker Foundation, Silver Waistcoat tour, and with only one event left, it’s still anyone’s title. This event brought forth yet another different winner. Chris Batey, a talented 17yr old from Plymouth won 2-1 in the final against current tour leader, Grant Cole also from Plymouth.
In the final, Batey won the opening frame, winning on the colours. Cole levelled the match with the aid of a fine 47 break. The deciding frame could have gone either way, as chances were kept to a minimum. Batey, clinching the frame on the colours, finally won the match. Batey booked his place in the final, following a tense semi final win over Salisbury’s Mark Green. After sharing the first two frames, it went to a decider. It was another nail biter, that went all the way. Batey held his nerve the best, to win on the black. Cole also had to fight for his place in the final, after going 1-0 down against tour debutant, current Bronze Waistcoat champion Jake Stewart from Cornwall. Stewart showed little sign of nerves in easily winning the first frame. In the second the score was close, before a timely 53 break from Cole was enough to level at 1-1. Experience at this level paid off for Cole as he dominated the deciding frame, limiting Stewart to few chances, Cole winning 2-1.
The Quarter finals saw another player stepping up from the Bronze Waistcoat, Dan Hine from Exeter, making a fine debut to the tour, Hine coming to an end against eventual winner, Batey, 2-0 in the Quarters. Mitchell Grinsted, Plymouth faced Green in probably the closest match of the day. Green came from behind in both frames to snatch victory on the black, and progress to the semi finals with a 2-0 win. Number 2 in the rankings, 16yr old, Dale Branton, Plymouth was drawn against top seed Cole in the quarter finals. Branton had the added pressure of knowing a victory would probably see himself leapfrog Cole in the rankings. This seemed to help Cole who played solidly to protect his top spot. Cole limited Branton to just few chances making breaks of 48 & 42, as he raced to a 2-0 win. In the last of the quarters new boy Stewart performed well to come out on top in his clash against Tom Kevern, Plymouth 2-0.
In the Group stages, it was Mark Green who conquered all in group A, winning all four of his matches, dropping only two frames, and making breaks of 71 & 62 along the way. Second place went to Grant Cole, winning three and losing one of his matches. Cole making two breaks of 44 and the highest of the day, a brilliant 110, both in the same match against Kevern the third qualifier with two wins and two defeats. A 40 break was his best effort of the day. The last qualifier from the group was Stewart. In-group B, it was Branton who finished on top, with 3 wins and 1 defeat making breaks of 89 &d 54. Second place went to Hine, also with 3 wins, an 84 break his best effort. Third place went to Chris Batey, again with 3 wins and 1 defeat Batey compiling breaks of 59 & 41. The last qualifying place went to Mitchell Grinsted with a best break of 58.
With only 1 event left, scheduled for 19th April at the Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth, all is still to play for the four top players. In pole position is Cole (2180pts), close 2nd is Branton (1940pts). Moving up into 3rd place is Green (1590pts) and in 4th place, Grinsted (1520pts). Event 4 winner, Batey (1120pts) was the big mover, jumping from 8th to 5th place. Players are reminded that only the best 4 events will count for the final points tally, so its still all to play for.
Tournament Director Steve Brookshaw said, “It’s rewarding to see Bronze Waistcoat players stepping up to the next level. The Bronze numbers are up significantly this season, and with a new tour being added in Falmouth, the future for snooker looks bright.” The final event of the season will be held at the Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth on Saturday 19th April 2008. Anyone interested in entering should contact the WEBSF via the website http://www.websf.co.uk”.
Silver Waistcoat Tour – Event 5
(Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth)
COLE, THREE TIMES A CHAMPION
19th April 2008
Grant Cole from Plymouth, named the ‘Ice Man’ due to his coolness when under pressure on the green baize beat Mitchell Grinsted (Plymouth) 2-1 in the final of the last event of the season to take the crown of West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation Silver Waistcoat Regional Champion. After Cole took the first frame he led by 60 pts only for Grinsted to clear with a superbly fashioned 68 break. Cole kept his nerve to take the final frame and the championship. This is the third time Cole has won this prestigious championship for under 21’s. Grinsted, after finishing runner-up in this final event of the season secured overall third place behind Dale Branton also from Plymouth. In the semi finals Cole beat Mark Green from Salisbury 2-0 whilst Grinsted beat Branton 2-1 in a close contest that included two black ball finishes.
In the group stages, Cole and Branton dominated the proceedings, both losing just one match apiece out of eight matches. Cole’s wins included breaks of 61,53,46 topped with a fantastic 101, the only century of the day just 9 points short of his best in the competition this season for which he takes the overall break prize. Branton also prolific in the break building department made breaks of 48,51,54,59cl,62 & 87 in his seven victories. Green, may have been lacking in the break building department had a consistent tournament, finishing in third place by virtue of losing just two matches. Grinsted, placed fourth had breaks of 65,62 & 45 losing just three matches. Tom Vanstone (5th), Tom Casey (6th) and Chris Batey (7th) could only be separated by frame count back, Casey making the best break of the trio a 55. Breaks of 54,53 & 44 from Tom Kevern could only net him 8th place in the group. Bringing up the rear was this seasons Plymouth under 16 Bronze Waistcoat Champion Haydon Pinhey was always going to find the competition tough against older and more experienced players. However, he will have gained much valuable experience. WEBSF Head of Coaching Steve Canniford said “In this game, like most others, you have to learn how to loose before you can win. Haydon may have been on the receiving end today but his courage to play at this level can only improve his game. He is certainly one to watch out for in the future” The top three final ranking places are 1st Grant Cole (2380), 2nd Dale Branton 3rd (2020) & Mitchell Grinsted 3rd (1950). Tournament Directors were Steve Brookshaw & Wayne Branton
Report by Steve Canniford
Ben Holley – 43
Chris Batey – 56,51,47,40cl
Dale Branton – 89,87,67,67,65,62,60c,59cl,57,54,54,51,48,46,46,46,61,47,45,44
Dan Hine – 84
Grant Cole – 110,104,101,80,80,75,75,64,61,61,58,58,57cl,54,53,53,53,51,48,47,47,46,44,44,43,42,42
Mark Green – 89pb,71,62,49,43,40,55,70
Mitchell Grinstead – 74,65,61,60,58,45,40cl
Tom Casey – 60,55,49,40
Tom Kevern – 60,54,53,49,44,40
Tom Vanstone – 46,46,44