IT WAS a long but fruitful day for Essex cueman Jake Keen.
Fourteen hours after being “dragged” out of bed at 5.30am by practice partner Andrew Scott, a tired Keen (pictured) was clutching a winner’s trophy at Woking Snooker Centre.
The 20-year-old school handyman from Frinton-on-Sea marked his debut on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Gold Tour with a sluggish start but ended the day unbeaten.
Keen dropped just two frames, to Scott and James Budd (Stoke SC, Gosport), in the group stages before beating Daniel Knox and Sonnie O’Sullivan both 2-0 in the knockout.
“It was hard work,” he said, reflecting on the final prior to rushing off to get the last train home.
“I had to slug it out a bit but it’s what you expect. I’m quite happy to win it at the end.
“(Andrew) dragged me out of bed this morning but I’m glad he did.”
Keen, who described O’Sullivan as “not bad”, is based at the YMCA Red Triangle Club in Walton-on-the-Naze.
In the semi-finals, O’Sullivan (Liberal Club, High Wycombe) had accounted for Scott (West London) 2-1 while Keen dispatched Daniel Knox (Woking SC) 2-0.
The third leg of eight is at Jesters Snooker Hall Swindon on Sunday, December 8.
Jake Keen: 65.
Sonnie O’Sullivan: 42.
James Budd: 41.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Jake Keen (YMCA Red Triangle Club, Walton-on-the-Naze); 2nd, Andrew Scott (West London); 3rd, Reece Palmer (Woking SC); 4th, James Budd (Stoke SC, Gosport); 5th, Cameron Holt (Liberal Club, High Wycombe).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Sonnie O’Sullivan (Liberal Club, High Wycombe); 2nd, Daniel Knox (Woking SC); 3rd, Mark Lloyd (Stoke SC, Gosport); 4th, Ollie Clark (Chandler’s Ford SC); 5th, Connor McLean (Hailsham Memorial Institute, East Sussex); 6th, Sam Storey (Crucible, Newbury).
SEMI-FINALS (£5, 15 points): Keen beat Knox 2-0, O’Sullivan beat Scott 2-1.
FINAL (£30/£15, 25/18 points): Keen beat O’Sullivan 2-0.
Picture by Tim Dunkley