PORTSMOUTH potter Samuel Laxton produced the performance of his short career to land the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour Championship.
The 13-year-old admitted he couldn’t believe what he had achieved after winning the end-of-season finale at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.
Laxton beat the phenomenally talented Londoner Ronnie Sullivan 2-1 on three black-ball games in the last four.
And he then defeated Riccardo Drayton by the same score in the final of the event sponsored by the host club and Nice Clean Ltd.
“I feel so good,” he beamed. “I can’t believe I won it.
“I thought I was going to go out to Ronnie in the semis. He played so well.”
A small crowd had gathered to watch the end of his match against runaway rankings winner Sullivan.
Left with a missable black into a middle pocket, Laxton held his nerve.
“There was a lot of pressure on it,” he said. “But when it went in, I was so happy.”
Laxton took the first frame of the final against Drayton, the rankings runner-up from Chandler’s Ford, and edged the decider following some top-quality safety play from both players.
“I thought I’d thrown it away when it went one-all because he had the momentum,” admitted Laxton.
“Riccardo is a great, great player. We have great safety battles. He can pot. I can pot. It was good.”
Earlier, Laxton topped his round-robin group and then overcame his Waterlooville Sports Bar clubmate Zak Truscott 2-0 in the last-eight.
It ended a great first season for the young talent. He won the third leg, also at Jesters, and finished third in the rankings after never failing to qualify for the knockout in all ten tournaments.
Nice Clean Ltd undertakes all types of commercial and residential cleaning from windows to gutters to driveways in the Swindon and Wiltshire areas. For more information, visit nicecleanltd.co.uk.
To find out more about Jesters SC, go to jesterssnooker.co.uk/snooker.
Riccardo Drayton: 29.
O’Shay Scott: 25, 20.
Louie Leighton: 25.
Ronnie Sullivan: 24, 22.
Kyle Carter: 24:
Zak Truscott: 22.
Samuel Laxton: 22.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Ronnie Sullivan (Frames, Coulsdon); 2nd, Kyle Carter (Jesters, Swindon); 3rd, Zak Truscott (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 4th, Viktor Balgariev (Jesters, Swindon); 5th, Mason Wilson (Academy, Basingstoke).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Samuel Laxton (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 2nd, O’Shay Scott (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Harry Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 4th, Owen Jenkins (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 5th, Thomas McEvoy (Salisbury SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Louie Leighton (Rileys, Benfleet); 2nd, Riccardo Drayton (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Will Forster (Mayfair, Gosport); 4th, Ben Crump (Stoke SC, Gosport).
QUARTER-FINALS: Sullivan 2-0 Wilson, Laxton 2-0 Truscott, Scott 2-0 Leighton, Drayton 2-0 Carter.
SEMI-FINALS: Drayton 2-0 Scott, Laxton 2-1 Sullivan.
FINAL: Laxton 2-1 Drayton.
Picture by Tim Dunkley. Professional Billy Castle and Samuel Laxton
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)