IT WAS a case of ‘if you can’t join them, beat them’ for Wiltshire snooker ace Conor Flanagan at the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Silver Tour play-off.
Flanagan took advantage of home tables at Jesters Snooker Hall, Swindon, to emulate Denmark’s fairytale victory in Euro ’92.
Travel problems restricted the 17-year-old to attending only two of the eight legs and he finished the season in 18th place.
But a week before the top-16 competed for the championship title, a couple of players dropped out and Flanagan was invited to make up the numbers.
“My dad said I may as well give it a go,” he explained. “It was good advice.”
Last season’s Bronze Tour rankings winner accounted for Austen Petty (Chandler’s Ford SC) 2-1, Jasmine Bolsover (Woking SC) 2-1, Anthony Church (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) 2-0 and Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury) 2-0 in the final.
Flanagan, who has increased his highest break to 64, insisted he will compete on next season’s Gold Tour.
“I haven’t been playing competitive snooker, I’ve just been practising,” he said.
“I’ll get back into tournaments next season.”
Elsewhere, 11-year-old rankings winner Mickey Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC) was knocked out 2-0 by Browne in the semi-finals.
Denmark’s players were called back off holiday in 1992 to take the place of Yugoslavia, barred from entering because of their country’s civil war, in football’s European Championship in Sweden. And, remarkably, the underdogs beat Germany in the final.
Jasmine Bolsover: 47, 32.
Bradley Leishman: 31.
LAST-16: Mickey Joyce (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Thomas Holton (Woking SC) 2-0, Bradley Leishman (Stoke SC, Gosport) beat Joe Kitchen (Stoke SC, Gosport) 2-0, Dan Sykes (Chandler’s Ford SC) beat Mike Trigg (Chandler’s Ford SC) 2-0, Callum Browne (Player’s, Westbury) beat Lewis Parnham (SWSA, Gloucester) 2-0, Anthony Church (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) beat Nathan Farmer (Stoke SC, Gosport) 2-0, Bradley Cowdroy (Greenbaize, Bournemouth) beat Jamie Wilson (Copnor SC, Portsmouth) 2-1, Jasmine Bolsover (Woking SC) beat Matt Gillon (Stoke SC, Gosport) 2-1, Conor Flanagan (Jesters, Swindon) beat Austen Petty (Chandler’s Ford SC) 2-1.
QUARTER-FINALS: Joyce beat Leishman 2-1, Browne beat Sykes 2-0, Church beat Cowdroy 2-1, Flanagan beat Bolsover 2-1.
SEMI-FINALS: Browne beat Joyce 2-0, Flanagan beat Church 2-0.
FINAL: Flanagan beat Browne 2-0.
Picture by Tim Dunkley: Conor Flanagan (right) and his coach Paul Rose