SOUTH London snooker star Ronnie Sullivan opened up a commanding lead at the top of a junior circuit after claiming his third tournament win of the season.
The 13-year-old from Chipstead has now reached all five finals on the Cuestars South of England Under-21 Bronze Tour in the 2017/18 campaign.
Sullivan, who won in Waterlooville and Coulsdon and was runner-up in Salisbury and Swindon, beat first-time finalist Louie Leighton 2-0 to claim the winner’s trophy in the fifth leg at Greenbaize Snooker Club, Bournemouth.
Leighton, 14, was rewarded for making a five-hour round trip from his home in Basildon with his first Cuestars trophy.
In a pulsating semi-final match, Samuel Laxton (Portsmouth) compiled his highest break of 39 to take the opening frame but Sullivan replied with runs of 27 and 36 to prevail 2-1.
Sullivan said: “He played unbelievable, first frame.”
And reflecting on the day, he added: “It was a mix of really bad and decent. I got confidence after I came back to win 2-1 against Samuel.”
Meanwhile, Dean Russell, Laxton’s clubmate from Waterlooville Sports Bar, who beat Sullivan in the group stages, also lost 2-1 from 1-0 up in his last-four encounter with Leighton.
Sullivan takes a 23-point lead over Laxton into the second half of the season. Group-stage casualty Riccardo Drayton (Chandler’s Ford) is 16 points further back. Russell climbs to fourth.
Sullivan, Laxton, Drayton and O’Shay Scott will make their debuts in the English Under-14 Championship in Coulsdon on Saturday.
The sixth leg of ten is at Top Spot Snooker Club, Havant, on February 4.
For more information about tournament sponsor Greenbaize SC, visit www.ambassadorsnooker.com.
Samuel Laxton: 39, 21.
Ronnie Sullivan: 36, 27, 27, 25, 20.
Dean Russell: 25.
Louie Leighton: 22, 22.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Dean Russell (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 2nd, Ronnie Sullivan (Frames, Coulsdon); 3rd, Will Forster (Mayfair, Gosport); 4th, Josh Reeves (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 5th, Riccardo Drayton (Chandlers Ford SC).
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Samuel Laxton (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 2nd, Louie Leighton (Basildon); 3rd, O’Shay Scott (Chandlers Ford SC); 4th, Oliver Cooper (Frames, Coulsdon); 5th, Zak Truscott (Waterlooville Sports Bar).
SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Leighton 2-1 Russell, Sullivan 2-1 Laxton.
FINAL (25/18 points): Sullivan 2-0 Leighton.
Pictures by Tim Dunkley
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)