Snooker: Melksham's Gaye Jones spotted a ten-year-old boy playing snooker in a club in Essex 18 years ago and tipped him to become a professional.

Last Thursday Jones was reunited with World Championship finalist Ali Carter in the World Ladies Mixed Pairs tournament at Cambridge.

Carter, now 28, who lost 18-8 to Rocket' Ronnie O'Sullivan in the Crucible final, said: "I've known Gaye since I was about ten-years-old.

"She was one of the people that said I could be a pro so it's nice to hook up and play a doubles event."

Retired MOD press officer Jones and Carter beat Jaique Ip Wan In and Andy Lee 3-2 in the last eight but lost 3-0 in the semi-finals to the eventual winners, world number ten Neil Robertson and four-time women's world champion Reanne Evans.

Carter, dubbed The Captain because he is a qualified pilot, posted breaks of 46, 77, 48 and 52.

"I didn't expect to do too well because obviously I'm a bit tired after Sheffield," he said.

When Jones walked into Halstead SC and saw a young Carter in action she was convinced he was a star in the making.

"I knew he had talent," she said. "He had a good mind for the game, a great cue action and he had dedication to practise.

"I always knew he'd make it."

When Carter first turned professional, Jones wrote an article for the now defunct Pot Black magazine entitled Here comes a rookie with class', which was not printed because the editor had not heard of him.

Jones first teamed up with Carter, then 12, in the Essex County Doubles.

"Everyone's nightmare," she said. "A woman and a child.

"He potted all the balls and I did the safety work.

"He's just a lovely bloke."

World number ten Jones has been a regular on the World Ladies Billiards & Snooker Association circuit for 27 years.

However, she missed three tournaments earlier this season after breaking her ankle in a freak accident with an electricity board vehicle.

Picture by Mandy Fisher. Mixed pairs semi-final line-up left to right: Gaye Jones, Ali Carter, referee Steve Markham, referee Ron Monkston, Reanne Evans, Neil Robertson World Ladies Billiards & Snooker Association 2008 World Championships Evans clinches record fourth world title REANNE Evans has written a new chapter in the annals of women's snooker by claiming a record fourth straight WLBSA World Championship title.

Shrugging off a bout of flu, the 22-year-old mother-of-one from Dudley beat first time finalist June Banks 5-2 at Cambridge SC (on Wednesday, 7 May).

"In some ways it's as good as the first," she said. "I felt no pressure, just play my game and hope for the best.

"Coming up to this tournament, I hardly picked my cue up because I haven't been very well."

Evans, partner of NI professional and world No 16 Mark Allen, eased through to the final winning 23 successive frames and chalking up the highest break of the tournament, 102 in the group stages.

But former England international Banks ended the run by taking the first frame of the final with a long pink.

Evans responded with a 52 to win the second. Banks fell foul of the miss rule when trailing 2-1 and the 16 penalty points cost her the chance to level.

Although the 39-year-old from Orpington did pull a second frame back in the sixth, Evans dominated the next.

The two-time IBSF World Ladies Champion, who defends her European title in Poland next month, has again ruled out joining seven-time champion Allison Fisher and five-time champion Kelly Fisher on the lucrative US pool circuit, for the foreseeable future.

But neither of the two great queens of the green baize lifted the title four years running.

"People might say it's because Kelly or Allison or whoever are not here, but it's their choice to go to America," insisted Evans.

"It's up to them at the end of the day and I'm happy with what I've done."

Maria Catalano's dream of a first world title ended less than 24 hours after her cousin Ronnie O'Sullivan claimed his third, in a 4-2 semi-final defeat by Banks.

Evans beat Portsmouth's Emma Bonney 4-0 in the second semi but had to survive a black-ball game in the second frame and a re-spot in the third.