A SLIGHTLY rusty Matt Ford has taken an early lead on the Cuestars Seniors (40+) Tour.

The 44-year-old from Bracknell collected £100 prize money after winning the opening leg at Top Spot Snooker Club in Havant.

Ford, who retained the Seniors Championship title in April, had packed his cue away for the whole of the summer.

He beat Steve Ashton 2-0 in the final of the event sponsored by the host club.

Ford edged the first frame on the pink and did the damage in the next with runs of 33 and 31.

Ashton had knocked out defending rankings champion John Hunter 2-0 in the last-four to reach his first final since February, 2014.

James Height progressed through to the semi-finals for the first time before losing 2-0 to Ford.

Londoner Andrew Darken is another player who should have left the club pleased with his performance.

He qualified for the knockout for the first time in 18 months and was the only player to take a frame off Ford in a 2-1 quarter-final defeat.

Meanwhile, Raj Puri, on his return to the Cuestars circuit following a break of more than 10 years, was on course for the highest break of the day after posting a 65 against Phil Morgan in his first group-stage match.

But that was eclipsed by Hunter’s 72, which wrapped up a 2-0 quarter-final victory over Dan Hammond.