Wilson retains English Under-18 Championship hopes

Jamie Wilson
Jamie Wilson
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Jamie Wilson has booked a place in the last 16 of the English Under-18 Championship.

The 15-year-old talent from Havant earned a trip to Leeds in April thanks in no small part to his result of the season.

Wilson finished second in his five-man round-robin group in the southern qualifier at Frames Sports Bar, Coulsdon, south London.

He kicked off a memorable day with a 3-2 victory over Harlow-based Jack Haley and then lost 3-2 to Bradley Cowdroy, from Bournemouth.

What followed next had his coach purring with delight.

Wilson compiled a 61 break in the opening frame against Norwich’s Luke Pinches, who is currently lying in third place on the national under-21 circuit – and still lost it.

But he battled back to win the next three and record an excellent 3-1 victory over the son of former professional Barry Pinches.

He then needed – and got – a 3-0 win against Steven Hughes, from Chandler’s Ford, to edge Cowdroy for the runner-up spot by one frame.

‘I was very happy with my performance,’ said Wilson.

World Snooker coach Tim Dunkley added: ‘Jamie won’t lose many frames in which he makes a 61 break.

‘But to bounce back after a major blow like that and beat a player like Luke demonstrates massive strength of character and no small amount of talent.’

Meanwhile, defending champion Zak Truscott has taken an early lead in the brand-new Monday Junior Snooker League at Waterlooville Sports Bar.

The 15-year-old won the top group on Christmas Eve.

Second-group winner, Billy Reid, is joint-second with Harry Wilson.

And Rhys Pearce moved into second place after winning the round-robin group in the Junior Pool League.

Front-runner Keira Hiscock beat defending champion Jayden Brookes in the final match to share the points.

It means Hiscock takes an 11.5-point lead into the remaining four weeks.

George Barber edged another point closer to six-year-old division two leader Jayden Hickley.

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.