BRADLEY Cowdroy moved to the top of the Cuestars Under-21 Gold Tour rankings, by reaching the final of the latest event in Waterlooville.

Bournemouth's Cowdroy was edged out 3-2 by Connor Benzey.

Benzey enjoyed a confidence boost by winning his first snooker tournament of the new year. 

The 20-year-old from Eastleigh collected £100 in prize money for being the last man standing in the fifth leg of the Gold Tour at Waterlooville Sports Bar. 

He defeated defending rankings champion Cowdroy on one of the club’s two professional standard Star tables. 

“It’s nice to start the new year with a win,” he said.

“I was looking for a little confidence booster. 

“Bradley’s beaten me the last few times I’ve played him so it was nice to get one over him. 

“I could have played a lot better but I’m happy with my game at the moment. I’m playing that well the majority of the time, which is what you are looking for.”  

Cowdroy, 20, had the consolation of £25 prize money and also taking an outright lead in the rankings at the halfway point of the campaign.

Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford) is three points adrift in second place. Riley Ellis (Clyffe Pypard, north Wilts) and John Donovan (Camden Town) are joint third. 

Simon Bubb (Ealing Common) topped his five-man group for the first time since earning promotion from the Silver Tour at the end of last season. 

A total of 25 breaks of 40 or more were recorded. Evan Plummer (Coulsdon) took the honours with an 85 in the round-robin group stages, with Cowdroy managing 78.

Frames Sports Bar in Coulsdon hosts the sixth leg on Sunday, January 29.