Olly Clark quits junior league

OLLY Clark has quit the Eastleigh & District Under-18 Snooker League after claiming his third Premier title in a tense final frame of the season.

The 14-year-old (pictured) announced his retirement following victory over runner-up Austen Petty at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club.

Clark will now focus on regional and national competitions – and his school work.

“It was tough all the way,” he said. “You could tell that it was the championship frame because it was so scrappy. I got lucky but I did enough.”

Petty (Boyatt Wood) needed to beat Clark to end the 16-week campaign with an identical record as his title rival.

And the 15-year-old would have clinched his first Under-18 crown by virtue of results between the pair over the previous 15 weeks.

From a snookered position, former Under-13 champion Petty attempted to come off a side cushion and clip the brown that was over the green pocket.

But he left it on and Clark, from Gosport, sunk brown and blue for a 14-point lead.

“I feel really bad for Austen,” said Clark. “So close but not quite there.”

But he added: “I’ve decided to retire. I really need on focus on EASB and school work.”

Since joining the league in 2011, Clark has progressed from the Cuestars South of England Bronze Tour to next season’s Gold Tour, enjoyed a debut season on the EASB Regional Junior Tour and made the English Under-14 Championship quarter-finals.

Picture by Tim Dunkley