OWEN Jenkins ended a long and tense day in Wiltshire with the Cuestars Under-21 Bronze Tour rankings title within his grasp.
The ten-year-old from Havant defeated his Waterlooville Sports Bar clubmate Thomas Sharp 2-0 in the final of the penultimate leg.
It means Jenkins takes a 21-point lead over second-placed Sharp into the last event at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club on Sunday, May 5.
Summing up the ten-hour day at Salisbury Snooker Club, he said: “It was nerve-wracking but good. I was happy with how I played.
“When I’m under pressure I seem to play better.”
Jenkins edged home player Eddie Mason on the final black in his first group-stage match.
But he stepped up a gear and laid claim to the Bronze Tour’s highest break of the season with a 49 in his next game against Warminster’s Thomas McEvoy.
Following a victory over Swindon youngster Taylor Elliott, Jenkins beat another home player Will Kempson 2-1 from 1-0 down in the last-eight and clubmate George Laxton 2-0 in the semis.
Paying tribute to his knockout opponents, he said: “It was probably one of the hardest quarter-finals I’ve ever played because Will was potting balls from everywhere.
“George was playing very well, as well. Everyone’s improving. I just managed to scrape through the game.”
And did he ever think he had Sharp beaten?
“Never,” Jenkins insisted. “Not at any stage. Because he’s one who won’t give up and he’ll try to get snookers.”
Renowned YouTuber ‘SharpMeister’ Sharp had overcome third-placed Dylan Smith, from Tunbridge Wells, 2-1 from 1-0 down in his last-four match.
Laxton had his best ever run in his debut season in the event sponsored by TopCue.
He came through a three-way play-off and beat Andover’s Freddie Turner 2-1 in the last-eight.
Visit snooker products supplier TopCue on the Downton Industrial Estate or at www.topcue.co.uk.
Owen Jenkins: 49, 29.
Thomas Sharp: 25.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Owen Jenkins (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 2nd, Thomas McEvoy (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Taylor Elliott (147, Swindon); 4th, Eddie Mason (Salisbury SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Thomas Sharp (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 2nd, George Laxton (Waterlooville Sports Bar); joint 3rd, Katie Griffin (Jesters, Swindon) & Bradley Brewer (Salisbury SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Dylan Smith (Victoria SC, Tunbridge Wells); 2nd, Will Kempson (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Jaydon Elliott (147, Swindon); 4th, Kostas Ormerod (Chandlers Ford SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP D: 1st, Freddie Turner (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Harry Wyatt (Chandlers Ford SC); joint 3rd, Tyler Mack (Waterlooville Sports Bar), Ryan Kneller (Waterlooville Sports Bar) & Ryan Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar).
QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Jenkins 2-1 Kempson, Laxton 2-1 Turner, Sharp 2-0 Wyatt, Smith 2-0 McEvoy.
SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Jenkins 2-0 Laxton, Sharp 2-1 Smith.
FINAL (25/18 points): Jenkins 2-0 Sharp.
Picture by Tim Dunkley
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)