JON CHARLTON shrugged off his Newbury disappointment to storm to the top of the Cuestars South of England Championship Tour rankings.
Charlton insisted he struggled to find his form before seeing off his practice partner Christian Chislett in the third-leg final at Salisbury Snooker Club.
Last season’s Cuestars champion - who is based at Selsey RBL and lives near Haslemere - defeated Chislett 3-0 after trailing Daniel Woods (Chandler’s Ford SC) 1-0 in the last four.
Earlier, he dropped just one frame to home player Richard Arnold in the group stages and accounted for James Ray (Farnborough) 2-0 in the quarter-finals.
“I found my form at just the right time,” he said. “Although I came through top in my group, I was struggling to find consistency.
“It was at 1-0 down in the semi when I started to play better match snooker to come back to win 2-1.
“Then I played my best snooker of the day in the final. It was always going to be a tough final as I was playing Christian, who I practise with in Selsey. We also play in the same league team so I know how good he is.”
A “crucial clearance” from the last two reds in the first frame was key to the success.
A runner-up in the first leg in Swindon, Charlton failed to qualify from the group stages in Newbury the following month.
For Woods, who climbed to second place, it was the second tournament running that he had lost in the semi-finals to the eventual tournament winner.
“Jon Charlton played well in the last two frames to pull it back,” he admitted.
The fourth of the six legs is at Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon, on Sunday, February 10.