TWO of the three winners’ trophies from the fourth leg of the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Tours were collected by Hampshire youngsters.
Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club members Mickey Joyce and Luke Beebe won their respective tournaments at the Greenbaize Snooker Club, Bournemouth, writes TIM DUNKLEY.
Spurred on by watching Beebe claim the Bronze Tour final, ten-year-old Joyce took over top spot in the rankings after overcoming Gosport’s Matt Gillon 2-0 in the Silver Tour final on the fast match table with TV lighting.
The Basingstoke potter explained his strategy was to “keep on potting balls” when trailing by 30 points in the first frame.
Joyce – last season’s Bronze Tour champion, who last month made his first competitive half-century break – admitted it was a “hard” match but insisted his toughest battle was a 2-0 quarter-final victory over leg-two winner Jasmine Bolsover, 14, from Woking Snooker Centre.
He defeated Bournemouth’s Anthony Church 2-0 in the last-four and now has a two-point rankings lead over Nathan Farmer, from Gosport. Previously, Beebe had claimed his first Cuestars tournament win.
The 12-year-old from Eastleigh emerged victorious from an absorbing and high-quality final against Bronze Tour rankings leader Ollie Gibbs.
Second-placed Beebe closed the gap to four points with four legs to play.
Intelligent matchplay accounted for his sharp-shooting opponent from Gosport.
Gibbs made a 25 break from a fluked red in the first frame but lost on the pink.
The ten-year-old added a 24 in the next which Beebe conceded with one red left.
Determined not to suffer a third successive final defeat, Beebe took a decent lead in the decider. Gibbs started clawing back the deficit but fell victim to good safety play and clever snookers.
Speaking after the 2-1 win, Beebe said it felt “really good because I had to battle hard through all the stages”.
Unbeaten in the group stages, he saw off Kaine Petty, from Fordingbridge, and Edward James, from Woking, both 2-0 in the knockout.
Beebe, who attends Crestwood College, has made excellent progress since his Cuestars debut in Salisbury in October, 2012. After finishing third in his group in the first two events, he made four successive quarter-final exits. This season he reached the semi-final in the first leg and picked up runners-up trophies in the next two.
Elsewhere, Hamble potter Sam Warren topped his Bronze group and qualified for the quarter-finals for the first time. But the 13-year-old, now ranked seventh, went out 2-0 to Gibbs.
And Dan Sykes, from Chandler’s Ford, was knocked out 2-1 on the final black in the Silver quarter-finals by Church. The 15-year-old climbed to eighth in the rankings.