Third time lucky for Laxton

PORTSMOUTH potter Samuel Laxton has won his first regional snooker tournament at only his third attempt.

The 12-year-old battled past the top two ranked players on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour in the third leg at Jesters Snooker Club, Swindon.

Following two successive semi-final defeats to Riccardo Drayton, Laxton again faced the 12-year-old from Chandler’s Ford in the last-four.

But this time he wrapped up a 2-1 victory over the leg-two winner with a 25 break.

And he then beat leg-one winner Ronnie Sullivan (London) 2-1 from 1-0 down and 24 points adrift with 25 on in the second frame.

“I’m proud to have won,” said the delighted youngster.

“The competition is very strong and I’m happy to be part of it.

“Beating Riccardo gave me confidence. I wasn’t nervous in the final.”

Dad Wayne said: “He played so well. I’m so proud of him.”

It was the first winner’s trophy collected by this season’s Cuestars debutants from Waterlooville Sports Bar’s new junior leagues.

Laxton was unbeaten in the group stages and overcame his clubmate Zak Truscott 2-1 in the last-eight.

Another clubmate, Dean Russell, made his first semi-final appearance and went out 2-0 to Sullivan.

The top-three ranked players are starting to pull away. Sullivan leads Drayton by three points. Laxton is three points further back.

The fourth leg of ten is at Frames Sports Bar, Coulsdon, on Sunday, December 3.

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Ronnie Sullivan: 43, 31, 24, 20.
Samuel Laxton: 25, 20.
Jack Ratcliffe: 25.


ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Riccardo Drayton (Chandlers Ford SC); 2nd, Jack Ratcliffe (Jesters, Swindon); 3rd, Zak Truscott (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 4th, Harry Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 5th, Lewis Wilson (Waterlooville Sports Bar).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Samuel Laxton (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 2nd, O’Shay Scott (Chandlers Ford SC); 3rd, Mason Wilson (Academy, Basingstoke); 4th, Oliver Cooper (Frames, Coulsdon).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Ronnie Sullivan (Frames, Coulsdon); 2nd, Dean Russell (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 3rd, Viktor Balgariev (Jesters, Swindon); 4th, Kyle Carter (Jesters, Swindon).

QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Drayton 2-0 M Wilson, Laxton 2-1 Truscott, Sullivan 2-0 Scott, Russell 2-0 Ratcliffe.

SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Laxton 2-1 Drayton, Sullivan 2-0 Russell.

FINAL (25/18 points): Laxton 2-1 Sullivan.

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)