TEENAGER Anthony Rice was one agonising blue ball away from recording a first century break at a tournament in Poole.
The 19-year-old, from Fordingbridge, missed a gettable pot on 97 in the group stages of the fifth leg of the EASB Regional Junior Tour – South West at the Ambassador Snooker Club.
He went out in the semi-finals to the eventual tournament winner Bradley Cowdroy (Bournemouth).
The previous day, Rice kept alive his faint hope of claiming a first Cuestars South Wilts Snooker League title by beating his teammate Stuart Dreyer 4-1, aided by runs of 40 and 57, at Salisbury Snooker Club.
Dreyer produced a colours clearance in the third frame to put his opponent under pressure.
Rice said: “I was pleased with the result as I play in the same league team as Stuart and I’m well aware that he is capable of playing to a high standard.”
Meanwhile, Andover cueman John Hunter, who is undefeated this season, just needs to win four frames in his last two matches to be mathematically certain of securing an 11th title.
The 51-year-old recorded his ninth straight victory with breaks of 63 and 52 in a 5-0 win against Richard Arnold.
David Rice (Fordingbridge) kicked off a 5-0 whitewash against Gary Hart (Porton) with a 56 break but admitted he had the run of the balls after fluking a re-spotted back in the fifth frame.
Paul Burt (Britford) did enough to overcome Simon Peacock (Winterbourne Gunner) 3-2 in a tricky but quick match.
And a couple of players seem to suffering from end-of-season blues. Steve Ashton muttered “the least said the better” about his 3-2 victory over Hart while Neil Carroll (Rownhams) was even more tight lipped after his 3-2 success against John Rice (Fordingbridge).
Results: John Hunter 5 Richard Arnold 0, David Rice 5 Gary Hart 0, Anthony Rice 4 Stuart Dreyer 1, Paul Burt 3 Simon Peacock 2, Neil Carroll 3 John Rice 2, Steve Ashton 3 Gary Hart 2, David Rice P Neil Herd P.