A WILTSHIRE mother and son are celebrating after both enjoying success on the baize.

Jackie Ellis overcame two painful conditions to finish runner-up in the two-day Eden Masters Seniors (40+) event on the World Ladies Billiards and Snooker circuit.

The 50-year-old from Clyffe Pypard, near Royal Wootton Bassett, was beaten 3-1 in the final by world number 10 Jenny Poulter (Maidstone) at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester.

Earlier, she overcame Ronda Sheldreck (Ireland) 2-0 in the last-four.

Ellis suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, which causes widespread pain and affects balance, coordination, concentration and short-term memory.

“I was told at the beginning of this year that I’m at risk of losing my mobility,” she said.

“This scared me and having been pretty much housebound for many years and having spent the last 20-plus years trying to conceal my symptoms when I do go out, it gave me the push that I needed to try something that I am very passionate about.”

Nine months ago, she started working with World Snooker coach Tim Dunkley at Chandlers Ford SC and eventually plucked up enough courage to join the women’s international circuit.

Her achievements are set against the backdrop of an exhausting and painful daily battle which she faces with her competitive spirit and the support of her family.

Dunkley said: “I know the agonies and self-doubt that Jackie went through in the build up to this tournament. To actually get to Gloucester was a massive achievement in itself.

“But to collect a trophy was far beyond what either of us imagined was possible.”

Ellis, who is based at the 147 SC in Swindon, lost 3-0 to Laura Evans (Wales) and 3-0 to Yee Ki Ho (Hong Kong) in the group stages of the main event.

Meanwhile, son and clubmate Riley Ellis collected his first piece of silverware since earning promotion on a regional snooker circuit.

The 13-year-old proved he can compete at the higher level by reaching the final of the third leg of the Cuestars South of England U21 Silver Tour.

Last season, he won four of the 10 legs on the Bronze Tour to clinch the rankings title.

Following round-robin group-stage exits in the previous tournaments in Waterlooville and Salisbury, Ellis claimed his first Silver Tour trophy at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.

He was beaten 2-1 in the final by runaway rankings leader David O’Callaghan, an 18-year-old from Bournemouth.

“I had some tough games and I was really relieved to get through the group stages for the first time this season. I was pleased with how I played in general,” said Riley.

Earlier, the teenager actually defeated O’Callaghan, who won the first leg in Waterlooville and was runner-up in Salisbury, 2-1 in the group stages.

And he overcame Salisbury winner Brett Wallace, from Gosport, 2-1 in the semi-finals of the event.


ROUND-ROBIN - GROUP A: 1st, Brett Wallace (Fareham SC); 2nd, Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Ally Pollard (Salisbury SC); 4th, Shane Kearns (Jesters, Swindon); 5th, Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC). GROUP B: 1st, David O’Callaghan (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 2nd, Riley Ellis (147 SC, Swindon); 3rd, Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 4th, Callum White (Waterlooville Sports Bar).

SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Ellis 2-1 Wallace, O’Callaghan 2-1 Petty.

FINAL (25/18 points): O’Callaghan 2-1 Ellis.