Dale Branton – Plymouth Champion 2006/07
Bronze Waistcoat Tour – Event 1
(Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth)
STARS OF THE FUTURE?
30th September 2006
The West of England Billiard & Snooker Foundation’s packed calendar of events for 2006/7 got underway with event 1 of the popular Bronze waistcoat tour hosted by the Victoria Snooker Centre, St Budeaux. The Bronze Waistcoat is now into its third full season and is fast becoming the premier junior tournament in the West country for Under 15’s. This season sees the effect of cultivating snooker at grass roots as the list of competitors have increase due to students participating in the highly successful Plymouth City Billiards & Snooker Initiative taking part.
Christopher Coumbe, a rookie to the tour, shined throughout the day peaking with a convincing 2:0 win in a nail biting final against seasoned campaigner Ashley Negus. Coumbe stamped his authority early on in the final by racing away with the first frame demonstrating patches of tremendous long potting and strong safety play. The second frame saw a few nerves from Coumbe, as he let his concentration slip when on the verge of a maiden victory. Negus seizing every opportunity put himself back in the frame to take the second and draw level. Faced with what seemed like an unmissable frame ball Negus missed, gifting a golden chance to Coumbe. Unbelievably, Coumbe also missed! However, it was Coumbe that eventually potted the match ball by doubling the black the length of the table to crown his victory.
Coumbe finished top of group A comfortably after an edgy start against Christopher Corry, a player now into his third season on the tour. Match experienced Corry took both frames all the way to the final colours before Coumbe played the correct shots when needed to create the chances to steal both frames winning 2:0. Coumbe faced one of this years most fancied players in his next match, the ‘Pocket Rocket’ Haydon Pinhey. Coumbe took the first frame on the final black to win by just 6pts. Pinhey seemed to lose his way after a string of bad run, this was followed by a match winning break from Coumbe sealed a 2:0 victory.
Cody Hall, a player who has only been playing the game for just a few weeks, did himself proud in this his first competition. Losing his first two matches 2:0 against Pinhey and 2:0 against the eventual winner Coumbe, he never stopped smiling and in his last match against Corry he got his reward. He won his first frame in competition and he took the decider to the blue before losing. One to watch out for in the future.
Tournament runner-up Negus topped group D cruising past debutante Jack Taylor 2:0. However, Negus was to find Samuel Lloyd, another rookie, a bit more of a handful. Lloyd’s fine display of safety had Negus battling to win a close fought match 2:0. Lloyd clinched the runner-up spot in the group with a fine display of potting in his match against Taylor which included a fine 23 break from Lloyd. Joint highest break of the day.
In Group C, Curtis Campbell clinched top spot. In his opening match against Chris Groves, Campbell cruised to a 2:0 win with some clinical long potting. Campbell found his next opponent a little tougher in what was the ‘match of the day’. Campbell won 2:1 against Adam Lewin, all three frames being decided on the black ball – two re-spotted!. Lewin’s other matches saw him take the scalp of one of the tournament favourites, Michael Lloyd 2:1. Clinical long potting by Lewin proved key. Lewin’s last match against Chris Groves turned out to be a decider, the winner taking the second qualifying spot. Both players knowing this brought nerves to the fore in what turned out a thriller. With the first two frames being shared and the decider going all the way to the final colours, Groves held his nerve to seal victory and book his place in the last eight.
Group B saw Peter Beckwith romp to the top spot. Facing last year’s Plymouth Bronze Waistcoat No.2, Jacob Stokes. In the first frame Stokes cruised to a win. Beckwith unphased, composed himself to level the match on the colours and force a decider. Beckwith, full of confidence eased to a 2:1 win. Beckwith made quick work of his next two matches, winning 2:0.against brothers Stephen and Daniel Dyer. Jacob Stokes managed only one win in the group a 2:0 win over rookie Daniel Dyer. The last group match saw the battle of the brothers Dyer. Honours where shared after the first two frames setting up a decider. A close frame ensued before Stephen Dyer punched air in delight after potting the final pink to clinch a 2:1 win
The first of the quarterfinals saw the eventual winner have his biggest scare. Coumbe looked at ease in the first frame taking a 1:0 lead. Then nerves set in! Coumbe’s free flowing cue action started to waver and Groves, growing in confidence by his opponents decline levelled the match 1:1. Groves then took a slender lead to the last three balls, and it look like the match was his for the taking. However, he failed to find good safety allowing Coumbe to pot a long Blue & Pink to steal victory. Peter Beckwith carried on in the same fashion, making light work of Samuel Lloyd to post to a 2:0 win. Negus faced Stephen Dyer in their Quarter Final which turned out to be a one-sided affair with Negus winning 2:0. Old adversaries Pinhey & Campbell ‘did battle’ in the last of the quarters. A Fine 23 break in the first frame, equalling the days highest seemed to do the damage and make way for a 2.0 for Pinhey.
In the first of the semi-finals, Coumbe and Beckwith, the two in-form players on the day, showed each other total respect which produced a stalemate, some excellent safety limited the chances to score. Coumbe eventually took the first frame and had the better of the chances to get to a position were Beckwith needed three snookers to win. What followed saw Beckwith get two of the snookers required. A few shots passed, and a mistake by Beckwith, left the blue hanging over the middle pocket, a simple tap in for Coumbe to win. An amazing piece of sportsmanship ensued as Coumbe, whilst cueing up, called a foul on himself for feathering the white which the referee did not see. Coumbe overcame this and potted blue and pink to seal his place in the final.
Negus joined Coumbe in the final with a 2:1 over Pinhey. Negus drew first blood pinching a close first frame on the colours. Pinhey responded by digging deep in the next to level the match and force a decider. Pressure was clearly telling on both players, more so on Pinhey who seemed to have run out of steam allowing Negus to clear from blue to black for a 2:1 win.
All the lads that took part in the tournament did themselves, the WEBSF and the sport of snooker proud. Tournament Director and WEBSF Coach Steve Brookshaw said “What we have seen here today and see every Saturday morning is proof that projects like the Plymouth City Billiards & Snooker Initiative is time and money well spent”
Report by Wayne Branton
Bronze Waistcoat Tour – Event 2
KEANE TRIUMPHANT IN BRONZE RETURN
28th October 2006
Daniel Keane made a successful return to the WEBSF Bronze Waistcoat Tournament with a 2:1 win over runner-up Christopher Coumbe. The victory will go a long way towards gaining ground on Coumbe in the ranking list after winning event 1. The final looked like Coumbe was going to make it a double, after taking the first frame with some solid safety play and potting of the highest order he looked every bit the victor. However, Keane, a seasoned competitor came back to take the second frame on the black to level at 1:1. The decider was a tense affair, Coumbe started the stronger opening a small lead. Keane responded well, having the better of the early exchanges with a 25 point lead on the brown Keane looked in control. Coumbe battled hard to gain the snooker he needed, before a loose safety gifted Keane match ball for victory.
Coumbe booked his place in the final with a 2:1 win over Haydon Pinhey. Coumbe took the first frame, continuing his run by not dropping a single frame all day. This fine run came to an end in the next with Pinhey levelling the match with some tremendous long potting. Coumbe played a timely tactical final frame keeping his safety play tight. This forced mistakes from Pinhey which Coumbe made the most of, to reach his second consecutive final. The other semi saw Michael Lloyd face the eventual winner Keane. Lloyd battled hard in the first, but it was Keane’s experience the proved the difference to take the first frame comfortably. A close second frame went to the colours, Lloyd having chances to level, but a run of bad luck for Pinhey enabled Keane to clear the colours for a 2:0 win.
Jacob Stokes faced Lloyd in the first of the Quarter finals. Lloyd played well in the first. Stokes kept in touch in the next, and looked like clearing the colours to level. After a string of cracking long pots to take brown, blue & pink, Stokes missed the final black. Lloyd stepped in to pot the black to secure a 2:0 win. Another player making a welcome return to the tour was Dylan Chilcott. After sharing the first two frames in his Quarter final against Keane, Chilcott came out all guns blazing in the decider. It looked like victory was a formality for Chilcott with Keane needing two snookers. Chilcott could not pot the remaining balls and Keane kept up the pressure laying a series of snookers. After two failed escapes from Pinhey Keane cleared the colours to win 2:1. Pinhey came through his Quarter final with no real scares, strong safety play and excellent long potting where the key factors in a comfortable win over Samuel Lloyd. James Jolly, another debutante to the tour, was the unfortunate player to face an in form Coumbe in the last of the Quarter finals. Jolly, played well all day in the group stages and looked like giving Coumbe problems early on. However, he failed to make the best of the chances that came his way and after Coumbe played a string of good safety shots he went on to win 2:0.
Group A saw Coumbe come through as group winner with four 2:0 victories over Stephen Dyer, tour debutante James Salisbury, Chris Corry and Chilcott, the runner up in the group. Corry was the unlucky player who missed out on qualification. After a super start, winning his first two matches he looked like qualifying for the first time. But a 2:0 loss against Coumbe left him with a crunch match against Chilcott, the winner taking the qualification spot. In the end Chilcott’s potting proved to strong for Corry.
In group B Keane finished top, dropping only a single frame along the way against Daniel Dyer. Keane took the highest break prize with a fine 42 clearance in a 2:1 win over Dyer. Runner up spot went to newcomer Jolly, who played consistently well winning three of his four matches. Curtis Campbell missed out on the runner up spot by a single frame, a 2:1 defeat against Jolly in his second match proved to be decisive match.
Group C winner, Michael Lloyd clinched top spot with three wins out of four, dropping only one frame in a 2:1 win over his younger brother Samuel, who had solid performances securing runners up spot for a family double. The Nearly man in the group was youngster Cody Hall, who only needed a single frame in his last match to qualify. Hall battled hard in a close first frame only to see Michael Lloyd snatch the frame on the colours. Last months runner up, Ashley Negus was below par only managing one victory on the day, a 2:0 win over Jack Taylor.
Group D proved to be the tightest of the groups, with three players tying for top spot at the end of the round robin stage. Pinhey took top spot in the end with the better frame difference. Stokes had an identical frame difference to Pinhey, but had to settle for the runner up spot due to a 2:0 defeat against Pinhey in the group. Adam Lewin narrowly missed out qualification, but he is a name to watch out for in the future.
The West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation Tournament Directors hailed the tournament as a great success, the behaviour, sportsmanship, dress code and the support of the parents were impeccable, a credit to the sport.
Report by Wayne Branton
Bronze Waistcoat Tour – Event 3
(Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth)
CHILCOTT SENT SHIVERS THROUGH HIS OPPONENTS
2nd December 2006
Dylan Chilcott won his first Bronze Waistcoat Tournament in dramatic style, but not before a few surprises for the tournament favourites which is now thrown the tournament wide open. This was the latest round of the West of England Billiard and Snooker Foundation Bronze Waistcoat Snooker Tournament. The Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth played host to an increasing field of 19 players all of which are fast improving, thanks to the hard work that the boys put in at the coaching schools organised by the WEBSF and the Plymouth City Billiards & Snooker Youth Initiative. Grass roots snooker in the region certainly looks on the up, especially in Plymouth where these players are expected to progress to league snooker in the not to distant future.
Chilcott who has for some time been threatening to win a final achieve this goal beating the fluent left handler, Michael Lloyd. The final was never going to be a long drawn out affair as these two players are undoubtedly the fastest players in the tournament. Chilcott took a close first frame on the pink after a good potting from both players. Lloyd fought back taking the colours in the second frame to level the match 1-1. In what was turning out to be a predicted potting spectacle Lloyd turned to some superb safety keeping Chilcott tight on the bottom rail in the decider. Chilcott responded with some terrific long pots, for which he is renown for, to see off the brave challenge from Lloyd to win 2:1.
The first semi-final was set for an enthralling encounter between Chilcott and seasoned campaigner Jacob Stokes. Stokes was on a roll and really fancied his chances in this fixture. However, on this occasion he could only watch as Chilcott played solid snooker to run out a comfortable 2-0 winner. The second semi-final was a much more evenly match affair between Ashley Negus and Michael Lloyd. Negus pinched the first frame on the black to take an early initiative. Lloyd could have easily dropped his head and succumbed to the experienced Negus but he kept his focus and dug deep to come through a 2:1 winner of a really hard fought match and booked his place in his first final.
STOKES MATCH OF THE DAY
In the quarter finals the performance of the day undoubtedly went to Stokes when he beat last months champion Daniel Keane 2:0 in two high scoring close finishes. Stokes needed two snookers on the pink in both frames but with grit and determination he got the required snookers and potted pink and black to pull off the result of the day. The quarter final match between Chilcott and Chris Groves was a chance for Chilcott to redress and earlier defeat by Groves. Chilcott went started with some unbelievable pots to win the first frame. Groves played tight in the second frame and had Chilcott on the ropes only to take his foot of the pedal and allow Chilcott in to steal the frame and match 2-0. The much improved Stephen Dyer took on Negus in the third quarter final. Dyer displayed some superb potting and was unlucky to lose to the experience of Negus on a respotted black in the deciding frame. The last of the quarter finals was between the two most improved players in the tournament, Michael Lloyd and Peter Beckwith. Beckwith, a real gritty player, was unable to keep up with the flare of Lloyd who played very well on this occasion and never really gave Beckwith the opportunity to get going. Lloyd ran out a 2:0 winner to progress to the semis.
In group A where two of the top seeds, Daniel Keane and Chris Coumbe. Keane won the group dropping only one frame on his way to the qualifiers. However, Coumbe, a regular in finals this season, was feeling a little under the weather and failed to qualify through to the knockout stages. He lost a deciding frame shoot-out to Stokes, both knew they needed to win to qualify and it was Stokes that picked up the gauntlet with a tremendous clearance of the colours to win 2-0. Youngsters Curtis Campbell and Cody Hall did themselves proud in what was a very tough group.
Group B proved one of the closest groups with three players finishing in the top spot, Beckwith, Negus and James Salisbury. All three players won three of their matches and could only be separated by frame difference. Negus finished in top spot, followed by the much improve Beckwith in second. Salisbury was the unlucky player, just missing out this time, he will no doubt bounce back stronger for the experience. Daniel Dyer and Kyle Simpson were also unlucky this time but would have learnt a lot from their defeats.
Michael Lloyd won group C without losing a match, he showed no mercy when pitched against younger brother Sam, beating him 2-1. Runner-up in this group was a great result for one of another set of brothers in this tournament, Steve Dyer. Dyer qualified at the expense of Adam Lewin when he beat him 2:1. Sam Lloyd and Jack Taylor are improving all the time, It will not be long before these two will be taking frames from the top players.
Group D was another tight group where three players finished top all with three victories. Groves was the outsider who upset the form book by finishing top. The final qualifying spot was to be fought out by the two potting machines, Chilcott and Haydon Pinhey. Pinhey was the unlucky player to go out and allow the eventual winner Chilcott through when losing 2:0 in their group fixture. Chris Corry continues to show improvement with some long potting and hard fought frames.
Report by Keith Millard
Bronze Waistcoat Tour – Event 4
20th January 2007
The latest in the Plymouth series of West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation Bronze Waistcoat tournaments was won by Paul Johnson. Rileys Pool & Snooker Club played host to this the biggest and strongest field yet, all twenty players are improving as a result of regular coaching and competition. Johnson who plays out of the Victoria Snooker Centre defeated the up and coming Haydon Pinhey from Rileys 2-1 in a close fought final. Johnson, returning after a short spell away from competition, was made to fight for every ball and very nearly fell at the last hurdle. Pinhey got off to a flyer in the first frame leaving Johnson needing a snooker on the pink. Johnson responded with a perfectly laid snooker which pinhey failed to escape from, this gave Johnson the oportunity to pot a tremendous pink and black to steal the frame. The second frame was just as close with Pinhey fighting back, pulling out a long difficult pink to level the match. In the deciding frame the contest remained close with Pinhey taking an early lead, However, he was unable to sustain the attack and Johnson took command by clearing the colours to claim the frame and match 2-1.
In the semi-finals Johnson beat good friend and rival Daniel Keane 2-0. Johnson took the first frame when he potted pink and black. In the second frame Keane was unluky to go in-off the black to lose the frame and match. After missing the first event Keane was hoping to double up on winning a second event on the trott and move up the rankings to secure a place in the grand finals, with two more events to go he, like several others are still in the frame for a place. The second semi final was between Pinhey and top of the rankings Chris Coumbes. Pinhey took the first frame only to watch Coumbes take the second to level the match. Pinhey then raised his game taking the deciding frame quite comfortably to run out a 2-1 winner.
In the quarter finals Coumbe beat the out of touch Micheal Lloyd 2-1. The deciding factor being a superbly potted pink along the cushion and a difficult black with the rest by Coumbe to win. Keane knocked out Ashley Negus 2-0, the match being much closer than the score line suggests. Johnson showed no mercy against Adam Lewin, who despite this had another good tournament, Johnson won at a canter 2-0. Pinhey held his nerve to win 2-0 against his fellow club mate and the last event winner Dylan Chilcott.
In the group stages Keane won his group without losing a match gathering valuable points to head his rival Coumbes who finished second, losing only to Keane. Sam Lloyd had a good tournament finishing a creditable third in this group. James Salisbury and Chris Groves will feel a little dissappointed with their performances this time but will no doubt bounce back next month. Group B was headed up by Johnson who like keane won all his matches. Chillcott finished runner-up by virtue of potting a long black to beat Chris Corry 2-0 which elevated Chilcott into second place, relegating Corry into third and out of the tournament. Cody Hall and Stephen Dyer played well but needed a little run of the balls to make an impression this time. Michael Lloyd topped Group C but by his own addmission was struggling on the day, he resorted to ‘pinching’ frames by stealth to win his matches. This group proved to be evenly balanced with any one of the five players capable of winning, this proved evident as most frames where won on the final colours. Negus called on all his experience to finish second in the group. Peter Beckwith came third and would have taken a lot from his close battles. Jonathon Jolly and Jacob Stokes did themselves proud and with a little bit more practise will come again to fight another day. Group D saw Pinhey finish top being the third player to record a clean sweep of victories in the group stages. Lewin qualified in second place in what turned out to be the tightest group of all with three players finishing in second place. Lewin was the fortunate player to qualify on countback, the two unlucky players to miss out were Curtis Campbell and Kyle Simpson. Daniel Dyer was the other player in the group. The Tournament Director reported that onlooking parents are commenting on how the standard of play is improving with every tournament. The next tournament is planned for February 3rd 2007.
Report by Keith Millard
Bronze Waistcoat Tour – Event 5
(Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth)
JOHNSON WINS BACK TO BACK
17th February 2007
Paul Johnson has won back to back West of England Billiards & Snooker Foundation, Plymouth Bronze Waistcoat tournaments for snooker players under the age of 16. However, it is Christopher Coumbe that takes the title by virtue of finishing top of the rankings in this the final round of the Plymouth tournament which was held at the Victoria Snooker Centre, Plymouth. This victory took Johnson to thirteen successive matches unbeaten in a closely matched competition. In the final Johnson beat his close friend and adversary Daniel Keane 2-0 in a finely balanced final which could have gone either way. Both players executed great pots and outstanding safety play beyond their years. In the first frame Keane needing to pot the black to force a re-spot could only watch in dismay as a long pot wobbled and perched on the edge of the pocket allowing Johnson an easy pot to take the first frame 55-41. The second frame followed a similar pattern cumulating in another black ball frame, again it was Johnson who took advantage potting the black to win his second Bronze Waistcoat tournament in a row.
In the semi-final Johnson beat the fluent left hander Michael Lloyd 2-1. Lloyd took the first frame potting the pink and black to win. Johnson responded with a superb long pink to level the match and followed this with a comfortable win in the third frame to reach the final. The other semi-final matched Keane and Christopher Coumbe. Keane took the first frame on the black, Coumbe bounced back to win the second frame after potting a great black down the rail to level the match. Keane regained his composure to win the deciding frame with ease to progress through to the final.
Haydon Pinhey held a good lead and was in the driving seat in his quarter final match against Johnson in the deciding frame. However, Johnson showed grit and determination to pull out the highest break of the day, a creditable 40, to take the frame and match. Lloyd faced Adam Lewin in his quarter final fixture. Lewin who is improving and becoming a regular to the knockout stages never had an answer this time to Lloyds potting ability as he lost 2-0. Another qualifier who was having a good day was Christopher Corry until he found Keane to hot to handle losing 2-0. The final quarter final match was between Coumbe and the very sporting Sam Lloyd, Coumbe may have won 2-0 but Lloyd took much valued experience from the match.
The group matches were a close fought affair, with three players finishing in joint second place. These could only be separated on frame difference. Sam Lloyd won the group, winning all his matches without dropping a frame. Corry qualified in second place by virtue of one frame helped by a 2-0 victory over James Salisbury. This defeat for Salisbury dropped him from second to fourth in the group and out of the tournament. Kyle Simpson was the other player involved in the three way tie awaiting the result of Corry versus Salisbury. The result didn’t go in Simpson’s favour and he was relegated to third spot.
Christopher Coumbe finished top of the Plymouth rankings just ahead of Daniel Keane who missed the first tournament. This proved decisive in preventing him from piping Coumbe for the top spot. The top four ranked players Coumbe, Keane, Michael Lloyd and Haydon Pinhey will now battle it out against players from around the region in the overall finals to be held in Plymouth in April.
Report by Keith Millard
Chris Coumbe – 20
Daniel Keane – 42cl, 25
Haydon Pinhey – 23, 22
Paul Johnson – 40
Stephen Dyer – 22
Samuel Lloyd – 23