STEVEN Hughes and Connor Benzey have booked places in the last-16 of two national junior championships, writes Tim Dunkley.

The Chandlers Ford Snooker Club pair progressed through the southern qualifiers at Frames Sports Bar, Coulsdon, south London.

Hughes earned a spot in the final stages of the English Under-21 Championship for the second year running.

The 17-year-old, who reached the quarter-finals last season, is looking forward to another trip to the Northern Snooker Centre, Leeds, in April after beating Londoner Aristos Pampouris 4-1, writes Tim Dunkley.

Oliver Sykes overcame Ryan Hughes 4-3 from 2-0 down but, in a repeat of last-season’s result, the 13-year-old lost 4-2 to Alex Clenshaw (Harlow).

Connor Benzey defeated Marcos Dayao (London) 4-3 but went out 4-1 to former national under-18 champion Mark Lloyd (Gosport).

The following day, Benzey became the region’s sole qualifier for the last-16 of the English Under-18 Championship.

The 16-year-old beat Mickey Joyce (Basingstoke) and Josh Symes (Somerset, both by 3-0 scorelines and with breaks of 73 and 52, and lost 3-2 to Clenshaw in a remarkably high-scoring match.

Clenshaw fired in breaks of 137, 60 and 51 while Benzey contributed runs of 72, 54, 39 and 35.

Benzey’s clubmates Sykes, Hughes and Ryan Hughes missed out on a place in the national knockout.

Meanwhile, it was rather apt that Neil Carroll was on song in the last Open Series before Christmas at Chandlers Ford SC.

The World Seniors Tour player beat rankings leader Ellis 2-1 in the week-17 final.

In the last-four, Carroll fired in his first half-century break of the series - and his second.

He had a 56 in his first frame against Karan Chadda and a 52 in the next.

Lewis Aisthorpe-Buckley has climbed to third place in the Eastleigh & District Under-13 Premier.

The ten-year-old from Micheldever Station won all five matches in the seventh week of the new league.

But defending champion Harry Wyatt extended his lead over six-year-old William Thomson to four points and the nine-year-old took the high-break prize with a 23.

Division 1 leader Ellise Scott won the second round-robin group. Dylan Beer heads Division 2.

Ten-year-old O’Shay Scott won the Under-19 group. Ellis leads the Premier by seven points from Riccardo Drayton.

Caden Read has taken an early lead in the seven-day Christmas Cup.

The school holiday competition for juniors continues on every weekday, apart from New Year’s Day, at Chandlers Ford SC.

World Snooker coach Tim Dunkley runs sessions for boys and girls aged five to 19 from 11am-3pm at a cost of £6 a day.