Win puts Symons second overall

After 222 highly competitive frames, in which 36 breaks of 50 or more were made, Tavistock’s Andy Symons won event two of the West of England Billiards and Snooker Foundation Gold Snooker Series in Plymouth.

The Plaza Snooker and Pool Club hosted the event, sponsored by Totally Reward, which attracts some of the best amateur players in the region.

In order to whittle down the field from 28 to eight qualifiers, the players competed in four groups. Group A saw Steve Brookshaw (Plymouth) win all six matches, dropping just one frame, to finish top of the group ahead of Jez Graham, also from Ply- mouth. The best breaks in the group coming from Brookshaw (62) and Graham (66 and 54).

Experience counts for a lot in snooker and this was evident in the performances of Group B qualifiers Dean Anderson (Tavistock) and Martin Pitcher (Plymouth). Both players, rolling back the years, played solid matchplay snooker to qualify.

Current West of England Snooker Open champion Dale Branton showed excellent form in finishing top of Group C, making breaks of 82, 65 and a superb 102 – the highest break for a qualifier. Andy Neck (Newton Abbot) continued with his good form that saw him win the first event of this season last month, finishing in second place to Branton on frame difference. Postman Neck de- livered breaks of 55, 57 and a 99 clearance to also qualify.

Group D was one of the toughest seen in a Gold Series event with four of the seven players having a total of 44 victories between them in WEBSF tournament finals. After all the group matches were played Symons, Eddie Manning and Haydon Pinhey finished with the same number of match wins and could only be separated by frame count- back. Manning was eliminated having won one less frame than Pinhey and Symons. These two both qualified but it was Symons that was seeded above Pinhey by virtue of beating him in their group match.

Manning’s consolation was that his 100 break, along with other breaks of 53, 76, 88 and 98, won him the prize for the highest break by a non-qualifier. Pinhey posted breaks of 55, 63 and 75 and Symons 51, 54, 60 and 73.

The quarter-finals of the knock- out stage went very much to form and ranking. Results left Neck to play Pinhey and Branton to play Symons in the semi-finals. Both semi-final match scores ended one sided.

Pinhey made a 75 break to beat Neck and Symons, with breaks of 62 and 77, defeated Branton.

The final, however, went to a decider that saw Symons the victor over Pinhey.

After two events Neck holds on to top spot, just two points above Symons, followed closely by Pinhey and Branton. The biggest ranking table movers of the month were Manning, who came into the series 14 places from the bottom, and Pitcher, who moved up 11 places into sixth.

Event three in the Gold Snooker Series takes place at The 147 Snooker Club, Swindon on January 20. Registration is open and another bonus prize for a maximum 147 break will be on offer.

Any player interested in entering WEBSF events or potential volunteers willing to get involved with the work of the WEBSF should contact: (07891) 940 995 or visit:

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.