Confidence-boosting week puts Samuel Laxton on the cusp of fifth Waterlooville Sports Bar Junior League title

Samuel Laxton has one hand on his fifth Wednesday Junior Snooker League title at Waterlooville Sports Bar.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 10:44 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 11:03 am
Samuel Laxton. Picture: Tim Dunkley

It’s certainly been a confidence-boosting week for the 14-year-old Portsmouth cueist.

Laxton kicked off with a fine display on the under-20 regional development tour south in London.

He hadn’t won a single frame in the previous leg on home tables at Waterlooville Sports Bar last month.

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But after losing his first two group stage matches in the fourth leg at Frames Sports Bar, Laxton recorded an excellent 2-1 victory over third-placed Ryan Hughes - a player in contention for promotion to the national junior circuit.

And he then took a frame off Londoner Simon Bubb.

Laxton said: “I played very well so it definitely was my best performance (on the tour).”

Three days later, he stretched his lead over Wednesday League defending champion Owen Jenkins to 12 points with five weeks to go.

And Laxton, who has never recorded a half-century break in competition, then knocked in a 51 in a practice match against Jake Sharp, whom he had earlier lost to in the league.

Second group winner Jamie Wilson compiled the day’s highest break of 70 and climbed to fifth to put him one point below Thomas Sharp and Ryan Wilson.

Tyler Mack and Ryan Kneller jointly head Division 2, while third-group winner Aaron Wilson moved up to fifth place.

Division 1 frontrunner Jenkins recorded four of the nine breaks of 20 or more scored in the Monday Junior Snooker League.

But the 11-year-old’s lead at the top was cut to three points by first group winner Jamie Wilson.

Second-group winner Ryan Wilson moved up to fourth place.

Meanwhile, England blackball team member Dan Wells was unbeaten when he switched codes and took on the boys and girls from the world rules Junior Pool League in exhibition matches.

Two-time champion Rhys Pearce took the honours in the nine-strong round-robin group to extend his lead over Harrison Heath to eight points.

Third-placed Keira Hiscock moved to within one point of Heath.

Elsewhere, Mark Lloyd and Elliott Weston both qualified from their round-robin groups in the World Snooker Federation Open in Malta.

Lloyd went out in the last-32 and Weston made a last-64 exit.

World Snooker coach Tim Dunkley runs snooker sessions for under-19s from 4.30-6.30pm every Monday and Wednesday and junior pool sessions from 4.30-6.30pm every Thursday.