GOSPORT’s Mark Lloyd has been crowned the European under-17s snooker champion, after a stunning display in Malta.
The young potter, from Stoke Snooker Club, dropped only a handful of frames as he claimed the prestigious title and notched up the highest break of the tournament – an 83.
Lloyd qualified for the tournament after winning the English under-16s title last year.
And he shone on the European stage, topping his group comfortably with wins of 3-0, 3-2 and 3-1.
He trounced Belgium’s Kobe Vanoppen 4-1 in the quarter-final and then demolished England’s Halim Hussain 4-0 in the semi-final.
His good form continued as he beat Halim’s brother, Hamim, 5-2 in the final to lift the coveted trophy as well as a cash prize of 500 euros.
Lloyd, who plays in the Gosport & Fareham Snooker League, said: ‘I can’t believe I’m the European under-17 champion.
‘I played some great snooker all week and was scoring well when I got in.
‘I would like to thank everyone for their support.’
The teenager has been a promising talent since he started playing at Stoke Snooker Club from an early age.
Less than three weeks after his eighth birthday, he made his debut on the Cuestars South of England under-21 circuit and was crowned under-12 champion in the 2008-09 season at the age of nine.
He now represents his country after being selected for the under-16 England team.
Dave Norman, owner of Stoke Snooker Club, said: ‘We are very proud of Mark’s achievements over the years.
‘He is an awesome talent and one that will only get better.
‘For one of our club members to be the best under-17s snooker player in Europe is a fantastic honour.’
– PAUL FOSTER