Ryan Kneller – champion

“RYAN is a credit to the league, a credit to his club and a credit to his parents.”

That was WPBSA coach Tim Dunkley’s reaction to the news that Ryan Kneller (pictured) had secured his first junior snooker league title at Waterlooville Sports Bar.

The 17-year-old finished the 20-week season 5.5 points ahead of Rhys Pearce, the club’s three-time junior pool champion.

Ryan made his competitive debut in the Wednesday League on May 2, 2018. On that first day, he made a break of six.

He increased that to 21 two days into 2019 and the following month made his debut on the Cuestars Under-21 Bronze Tour in Fareham. Since then he has reached the semi-finals on four occasions.

In June this year, with a new high break of 33 under his belt, he was selected for the Young Leader scheme run by the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards.

The ninth season of the competition – which was launched in December, 2016, after Suzy and Steve Wilson opened the club – started in February, 2020, but took 19 months to complete because of various Covid-inflicted lockdowns.

Organisers thank the players and parents for sticking with them over the difficult pandemic period. Those starting the new 20-week season on Wednesday, September 23, will see how the league usually runs and how the round-robin format actually works. And how this format drives up the overall standard while still accommodating beginners.

Tim 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 at Waterlooville Sports Bar. New players and complete beginners can join at any time.