Spaceman rockets into Littlehampton

FLAMBOYANT snooker professional Dominic Dale treated fans to an evening of entertainment at an exhibition in Littlehampton on Saturday.

Dominic Dale (middle) pictured with Stephen McCullough (left) and Frank Sandell
Dominic Dale (middle) pictured with Stephen McCullough (left) and Frank Sandell

The World Championship quarter-finalist and Snooker Shoot-out champion, nicknamed ‘The Spaceman’, wowed the 50-strong crowd at Littlehampton Constitutional Club, in Church Street, with a series of frames, trick shots and jokes.

Taking on several players, the 42-year-old Welshman’s toughest test was against the club’s top player, Stephen McCullough, who he narrowly defeated in three frames.

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“I knew Stephen was a good player and has made 100 breaks, so I didn’t want to break up the pack too much and give him easy chances,” said Dale.

“Obviously, when he’s going to play me he’s going to be focused and more than capable of knocking in a 70 and that’s the end of the game. I played all right against him.”

McCullough, 23, has played against several top players, including Stuart Bingham and Gerard Greene, but ranked his time with the world number 26 as the best.

He said: “He’s great entertainment. I really enjoyed it – it was a great night and he’s a great guy. I was a bit disappointed not to beat him but I had a few chances.”

Dale took a few frames to get used to the table but eventually settled into his stride, knocking in top breaks of 97 and 118 with an admirably smooth cue action.

He said: “I’ve potted some tremendous balls on the table but it’s not an easy table to play on. I’m just glad I’m potting some great balls and entertaining the crowd.”

The evening was organised by Worthing coach Frank Sandell, who acted as compère for the evening and helped book Dale on behalf of club owner Les Virgoe.

Virgoe said: “It has been a good night. A lot of pros take exhibitions seriously but he gave everyone a chance and even told jokes. He’s a great guy.”

Dale now heads to Bulgaria today for a PTC event, before heading to Chengdu, China, for the International Championship.