Joyce claims junior league record

MICKEY Joyce (pictured left) has clinched a record sixth Premier title in the strongest ever Eastleigh & District Under-19 League – at the age of 13.

And Oliver Sykes (right) has wrapped up a hat-trick of Under-13 titles – at the age of ten.

England international Joyce said it was “awesome” to surpass the five won by Gareth Crook and Alex Dunkley.

Sykes, meanwhile, with an eye on four-time Under-13 champion Luke Beebe’s record, declared: “I want four.”

Joyce, who has compiled two century breaks in practice matches, travels down from his home in Basingstoke to Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club every Saturday morning to compete in the junior league and then the afternoon Open Series.

He is also on the EASB Premier Junior Tour, for the best 40 under-21s in the country, and the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour.

Classy left-hander Sykes, who made a personal best 69 break en route to the southern semi-finals of the English Under-14 Championship, competes on the EASB Regional Junior Tour South West and the Cuestars Gold Tour.

New under-13 sessions kick off at Chandler’s Ford SC next Saturday from 9-11am followed by the under-19s from 11am-1pm.

In a bid to find the next generation of young potters to follow in the footsteps of Joyce, Sykes and Co, the club is offering free taster sessions to new players.

World Snooker coach Tim Dunkley, who helps run both competitions, said: “It’s quite remarkable that nine of the 17 players who competed in this 20-week league have made breaks of more than 50 in some kind of competition.

“This club has been the centre of excellence for juniors in the south for more than 20 years. But we need to keep the production line going.

“We now have capacity for beginners and intermediate standard players.”

Parents of young boys and girls keen to learn snooker can ring the club on 023 8025 4834 or email [email protected].

Picture by Tim Dunkley

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By Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)