SHANE Kearns has set up a nail-biting finale to the Cuestars Under-21 Silver Tour.
The 17-year-old from Swindon collected his third winner’s trophy of the season at Salisbury Snooker Club.
And, perhaps even more importantly, he now leads the rankings.
Kearns overcame first-time finalist O’Shay Scott (Eastleigh) 2-1 to clinch the ninth leg and add yet more twists and turns to a thrilling campaign.
Ten-year-old Scott missed a straightforward match-ball pink in the deciding frame.
And Kearns fluked the pink and potted the black with the rest.
He now has a two-point advantage over Riley Ellis (near Wootton Bassett), with Louie Leighton (Basildon) one point further back in third, ahead of the tenth and last leg at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club on Sunday, May 5.
Kearns reckons all three contenders are still in the title race and admitted he was fortunate to beat Scott.
He said: “It’s very close and anyone can win it. Everyone’s playing well.
“There might be a few games where people might have gone on and off, like I did in the last game.
“I couldn’t pot anything and got very lucky to actually win it.”
Leighton dropped two places to third after a 2-0 quarter-final defeat by Kearns.
Ellis missed a chance of going top by losing 2-1 to Scott in the last-four of the event sponsored by TopCue.
Meanwhile, it was a year and a day ago at the same club that Zak Truscott (Waterlooville) made his first and only Bronze final.
Back on his happy hunting ground, the 15-year-old had his best ever run on the Silver Tour.
He was undefeated in his five-man group, beat Nat Kidner (Ferndown) 2-1 in the last-eight and lost 2-0 to Kearns in the semis.
Visit snooker products supplier TopCue on the Downton Industrial Estate or at www.topcue.co.uk.
Riley Ellis: 43, 33, 30, 30.
Zak Truscott: 41.
Keegan Reed: 31.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, O’Shay Scott (Chandlers Ford SC); 2nd, Louie Leighton (Basildon SC); 3rd, Samuel Laxton (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 4th, Kaine Petty (Salisbury SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Zak Truscott (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 2nd, Riley Ellis (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Keegan Reed (Salisbury SC); 4th, Callum White (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 5th, Lucas Fidow (near Bath).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Shane Kearns (Jesters, Swindon); 2nd, Mason Wilson (Academy, Basingstoke); 3rd, Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 4th, Dean Russell (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 5th, Harry Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar).
QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Scott 2-1 Reed, Ellis 2-0 M Wilson, Truscott 2-1 Kidner, Kearns 2-0 Leighton.
SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Scott 2-1 Ellis, Kearns 2-0 Truscott.
FINAL (25/18 points): Kearns 2-1 Scott.
Picture by Tim Dunkley
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)