ENGLISH JUNIOR RANKING SERIES
All Games One Hour
The second of the Junior Ranking Series took place at the Raunds Cuesports Club, in Northampton on 15th January. A problem with
transport meant that a number of players who had intended to compete
from the Teesside area were left to find their own way to the venue.
Thirteen of them managed to complete the trip, but it was not a good
day for the North-East players, Glen Bythman’s semi-final place being
the best performance from their ranks. It was Kettering’s Matthew Sutton
who emerged victorious from the field of twenty-four players, and
having also won the first event at Fakenham, remains unbeaten so far
The opening round saw some good scores from the youngsters. Breaks
of 48, 32 and 30, helped Darren Clark to a one-hour total of 417 in his
match against fellow Teessider, James Clare, and this proved to be the
highest aggregate of the day. Matthew Sutton, Jeff Henderson and
Martin Shutt also passed the three-hundred mark, all progressing
comfortably to the next round.
Martin Shutt and Darren Clark – Teesside’s best performers in the
preliminary round – were now drawn together and produced a high-
scoring encounter. Martin eventually proved victorious in a match which
saw 651 points scored in the hour. Matthew Sutton was also in splendid
form as he dominated his game against Scott Casey making breaks of
81 and 41, the former being the best of the day. Gavin Lewis also
found his touch, breaks of 51 and 48 helping to see off a determined
challenge by Jeff Henderson. In the closest finish of the day, Dean
Bavister finished just three points in front of Jimmy Chambers.
Matthew Sutton made a fine break of 71 in his quarter-final match
against Martin Shutt, but was still pushed all the way by the improving
Teesside player. Sibling rivalry was given an opportunity to flourish as
the draw brought together Gary and Gavin Lewis. Equally matched,
they fought out a nail-biting encounter with both players making thirty
breaks. After 60 minutes play, Gary just managed to hold off his younger
brother, progressing to the semi-finals with a five point victory.
Glen Blythman tried his best to keep pace with Matthew Sutton for the
early part of his semi-final match, but found the task too difficult and
Teesside’s last representative had to give way to the Kettering star.
Gary Lewis also progressed with a comfortable victory over Dean
The final was something of an anti-climax as Gary Lewis was unable
to raise an effective challenge and Matthew Sutton completed and easy
win without having to produce anything special.
Jimmy Chambers made some
amends for his narrow defeat in
the first round of the main
competition by winning the
Plate event. Playing some good
billiards, he made a break of 62
in the final against Billy
Bousfield, having earlier made
a break of 49 in his quarter final
match. Chambers twice passed
200 points in the 30 minute
games with 226 in the quarter-
finals and 216 in the final.
Billy Bousfield had taken his
place in the final at the expense
of Daniel Beagrie, Paul Gifford
and Chris Appleton
Moving on to Lincoln, the next Junior ranking tournament was held at
the Breaks Snooker Club on Sunday 21st February with a good turn-
out of 45 competitors. Teesside players were prominent in the
preliminary round matches with Steven Hassack knocking in a break
of 61 and Robin Wilson producing a huge 510 aggregate in his one
hour match against Liam O’Neill. This included three breaks over 50.
Jimmy Chambers also looked in good touch, two 40+ breaks helping
him to an aggregate total of just under 400 points.
The first round (last 32) saw Robin Wilson and Jimmy Chambers
drawn against each other, and breaks of 75 and 54 helped Wilson to
progress by a comfortable margin. Matthew Sutton played his first
match of the competition and also looked to be in good form,
overpowering Michael Donnelly with breaks of 50 and 42.
Martin Shutt was the star performer of the second round, breaks of
54, 47, 38 and 31 seeing him through against Tony King. Peter Gamblin
also put together a good score of 439 made up of small but useful
In the quarter-finals, Billy Bousfield was the unlucky opponent as
Robin Wilson struck top form. The highlight of his seven 40+ breaks
was a magnificent run of 102 made towards the end of the game. Not
surprisingly, these added up to the highest 60 minute aggregate of the
day – a massive 578 points. An excellent performance by any
Martin Shutt continued his improvement this season, coming out on
top against Matthew Sutton and so reversing the earlier result at
Raunds. Shutt put together three 50+ breaks with a best of 74. Peter
Gamblin continued to put his potting skills to good effect as he
dominated his game against Gavin Lewis, turning in an impressive
Robin Wilson did not have things entirely his own way
in his semi-final match, a spirited attempt by Chris Appleton saw him
amass 338 points, but he still finished over 100 points behind Wilson,
whose break of 82 was the highest of the game.
Peter Gamblin caused something of a surprise when he overcame
Martin Shutt. The rather unorthodox potting tactics of Gamblin seemed
to unsettle Shutt, who despite a break of 50 lost out by just 8 points.
In the final, Robin Wilson put an end to Peter Gamblin’s good run as,
without any of the big breaks we have come to expect of him, he
progressed to a comfortable victory.
The Plate competition was won by Craig Murphy who defeated Darren
Clark by 187-109. The second round of this competition saw a
spectacular finish to the match between Michael Donnelly and Anthony
Peacock. With the game seemingly lost, Peacock launched himself
into his last stroke just as the bell sounded. To his delight – and the
dismay of his opponent – he saw all the balls disappear for a 10-stroke,
giving him victory by one point! There was also an excellent
performance in the same round from 10 year-old Dominic Mulhall
who managed to score 157 points in his 30 minute match.