Owen Jenkins shows he can cut it with impressive win against club-mate Thomas Sharp to boost Cuestars title bid
Owen Jenkins ended a long and tense day in Wiltshire with the Cuestars under-21 bronze tour rankings title within his grasp.
The 10-year-old from Havant defeated his Waterlooville Sports Bar club-mate Thomas Sharp 2-0 in the final of the penultimate leg, writes Tim Dunkley.
It means Jenkins takes a virtually unassailable 21-point lead over second-placed Sharp into the last event at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club on Sunday, May 5.
Summing up the 10-hour day at Salisbury Snooker Club, he said: ‘It was nerve-wracking but good. I was happy with how I played.
‘When I’m under pressure I seem to play better.’
Jenkins edged home player Eddie Mason on the final black in his first group-stage match. But he stepped up a gear and laid claim to the bronze tour’s highest break of the season with a 49 in his next game against Warminster’s Thomas McEvoy.
Following a victory over Swindon youngster Taylor Elliott, Jenkins beat another home player Will Kempson 2-1 from 1-0 down in the last-eight and George Laxton 2-0 in the semis.
Paying tribute to Laxton, his clubmate, Jenkins said: ‘George was playing very well.
‘Everyone’s improving. I just managed to scrape through the game.’
And did he ever think he had Sharp beaten in the final?
Jenkins added: ‘Never. Not at any stage. Because he’s one who won’t give up and he’ll try to get snookers.’
Sharp had overcome third-placed Dylan Smith, from Tunbridge Wells, 2-1 from 1-0 down in his last-four match.
Zak Truscott and Laxton both had their best ever runs on their respective tours and both lost in the last-four to the eventual tournament winners.
It was a year and a day ago at the same club that Truscott made his first and only bronze final. This time he was undefeated in his five-man silver group, beat Nat Kidner 2-1 in the last-eight and lost 2-0 to new rankings leader Shane Kearns.
And still in his debut bronze season, Laxton came through a three-way play-off and defeated Freddie Turner 2-1 in the last-eight before going down to the champion-elect.
Meanwhile, Samuel Laxton missed out on a place in the silver knockout on frames difference but responded by beating Katie Griffin in the [late final.
Ryan Wilson knocked in a personal best 17 break against Waterlooville Sports Bar club-mate Ryan Kneller.
Visit tournament sponsor and snooker products supplier TopCue on the Downton Industrial Estate or see the website topcue.co.uk