BOURNEMOUTH snooker talent Bradley Cowdroy has bounced back from “floods of tears on car journeys home” to having a season that many of his peers can only dream about.
The 20-year-old from Bournemouth has overcome his inner demons and the belief that he didn’t belong at this level.
Cowdroy’s latest success was reaching his first final on the EPSB Under-21 Premier Development Tour, a circuit for the country’s best 32 youngsters, in his fourth and last season as a junior.
“Of course, I’d have loved to go all the way and win it,” he said. “But, considering how hard the first three years have been, I’m just delighted to finally prove I can be successful at this level.
“It’s been really tough. It got to a stage before the pandemic where I was seriously verging on nervous breakdowns during the events, which was paralysing.
“And being in floods of tears on car journeys home thinking I didn’t belong there.”
In the double-header event at Waterlooville Sports Bar, Cowdroy reached the last-four on the Saturday before his maiden final on the Sunday.
The left-hander was denied a first victory by Oldham’s Ryan Davies, who prevailed 4-1. Davies had also beaten Cowdroy in the 2018 English Under-16 Championship final in Gloucester.
Since the turn of the year, Cowdroy has collected a £1,000 jackpot for winning the Pro-Am Series at Waterlooville Sports Bar, reached the last-64 of the World Snooker Federation Championship in Sheffield and won five of the seven Cuestars tournaments that he has entered.
And in a message of hope for other players who may be struggling, he added: “If you keep working hard and doing the right things, eventually you get rewarded.
“Hopefully, this can act as an example for anyone else that might find themself in a similar situation.”
Meanwhile, Oliver Sykes (Chandler’s Ford) knocked out the 2021/22 champion Lewis Ullah (Burnley) en route to a first semi-final appearance on the Premier Tour on the Saturday.
The 16-year-old’s fine run ended in a 3-1 defeat by Cowdroy.
Picture: Bradley Cowdroy with his first Cuestars winner’s trophy of the year.