Ellis makes short work of two rivals at Hill Crest

Gary Ellis became the first former champion to reach the third round of the Complete Packaging Services Classic at Hill Crest on Saurday.

Also successful were Gary Smith, Mike Tunstall and Darren Griffiths.

Ellis eased into a 16-9 lead over first round opponent Danny Barwise and, after Barwise had reduced the arrears to 14-17, controlled the rest of the game, finishing with three pairs to win by 31-17. In his second game, against Craig Gant, Ellis opened with a prize winning break of 17 to lead by 17-3 before cruising to a 31-13 victory.

Smith was 13-11 down to Clive Chapman but then dominated with breaks of six, four and seven to win 31-19. His second opponent was Mike Holden, who had received a first round bye. Smith led 9-4 and gradually eased ahead to lead 24-11. Holden rallied slightly to 19-26 but was never in the game again as Smith went on to win by 31-22.

Tunstall got off to a flying start in his opening game against Wayne Usher, opening with a break of 10. He was never seriously troubled as he reached the second round with a 31-13 victory. The first half of his second game, against Nicky Brookes, was closely contested, with Tunstall having the edge at 17-15. Tunstall then seized the advantage with a break of nine, giving him the impetus to go on and win 31-23.

Darren Griffiths’ first opponent also failed to turn up. His next opponent was Glen Smith, who had recovered from 14-20 to win 31-30 against Bill Burlinson. Smith looked favourite for much of the game, leading 15-12, 21-17 and 27-23 before Griffiths reduced the deficit at 26-27. After two singles had taken Smith to within two chalks of victory, Griffiths regained the jack and ran out to snatch a 31-29 victory.

Next week sees the return of former winners, Charlie Bebbington (1995) and Andrew Spragg (1999). Also in the field are Richard Helliwell, who lost in the 2011 final, and locals Paul Turner, Richard Priestley and Ian Booth.

First round scores: C. Gant 31 A. Buckley 29; D. Barwise 17 G. Ellis 31; M. Holden W/O ; C. Chapman 18 Gary Smith 31; M. Tunstall 31 W. Usher 13; N. Brookes 31 J. Dyson 23; D. Griffiths W/O; B. Burlinson 30 Glen Smih 31.

Saturday’s draw: R. Helliwell (Mytholmrod) v A. Tate (Sutton); D. Reeves (Pudsey) v J. Senior (Huddersfield); R. Brook (Mirfield) v C. Bebbington (Warrington); K. Nicholas (Wrexham) v P. Turner (Hebden Bridge); A. Spragg (Chesterfield) v R.Priestley (Hebden Bridge); I. Booth (Halifax) vS. Davies (Liverpool); N. White (Thonsbridge) v J. Hargreaves (Hyde); G. Hirst (Mirfield) v N. Cranston (Crossgates).