Harrison claims first EASB Pro-Ticket Tour win

IT WAS a triumphant two days of revenge, comebacks and just a touch of glamour for Wiltshire snooker ace Ben Harrison.

The 18-year-old from Hawkeridge stormed back from 2-1 down to dispose of former professional Alfie Burden 5-2 and claim a first ever tournament win on the English Association of Snooker & Billiards (EASB) Pro-Ticket Tour.
Victory at Cambridge Snooker Centre took Harrison up to third place after two of the four southern-section events.
“I played really solid all weekend,” he said. “It just shows how much my game’s come together. It used to all be about knocking in the breaks but my highest break across the weekend was just 73. My safety was good and my long potting was even better.”
And the 2008 EASB national under-19 finalist paid tribute to his sponsor, Steve White, from Bath Contract Flooring.
“I would like to thank Steve very much for keeping my mentality right throughout the weekend. He kept me going when I was down in the match and he has become a key person in my snooker career.”
Harrison beat Southampton’s Nick Jennings, 18, 4-3 from 2-0 down in the first round.
After easing past Ronnie O’Sullivan’s stunning 27-year-old cousin and women’s world number two, Maria Catalano, 4-0 in the next, Harrison took his revenge on event-one tournament winner Rob James with a 4-2 victory.
James, from Burntwood, Staffs, had knocked Harrison out 4-0 in the last 32 in event one at Woking in September.
Waiting in the semi-finals was High Wycombe’s Matt Wilson who had beaten Harrison 2-1 in the Cuestars South of England Championship Tour final at Swindon last month.
Harrison won 4-3 from 3-2 down.
And in the final, Burden took a 2-1 lead but Harrison, as he had done all weekend, won from behind.
Harrison said: “Alfie played great all weekend and I thought I was in for a bashing at the start, but the important thing was I got that first frame with a 73.”
Now based at Players, in Westbury, where he has a pro-standard table, Harrison practises with world No 25 Stephen Lee, and good friend and world No 30 Judd Trump.
As well as playing snooker for six to eight hours a day, he also attends college part-time.
Harrison, who finished 55th on last season’s Pro-Ticket Tour, is one step closer to his dream of turning professional.
The top 16 from the north and south after four events qualify for stage two. After another three tournaments, the player ranked first gains a coveted Main Tour spot. The next 16 face a play-off for a second place.
Harrison said: “I’ve got a very good chance to get on the tour this season if I just keep practising very hard and keep believing in myself.”
Pictures by Kevin Legg