Whaley in shock after debut success

KINGS Cross potter Lee Whaley couldn’t believe he’d won his first major snooker tournament.

The 16-year-old admitted he was “in shock” after emerging victorious from a high-quality field on the opening day of the Cuestars Under-21 Silver Tour.

Debutant Whaley, who only dropped one frame throughout the first leg at Salisbury Snooker Club, defeated Riley Ellis (North Wilts) 2-0 in the final.

Four years after first taking up the game, the teenager has reached the winner’s circle but he revealed that he made the trip to Wiltshire more in hope than expectation.

“I’m so happy,” he said. “I never thought this would happen.

“Normally, when I go to tournaments, I don’t really get this far, I don’t get past the group stage.

“I’m in shock.”

Meanwhile, Mason Wilson passed the major milestone of any snooker player’s career by making a first half-century break.

The 14-year-old from Basingstoke said “it felt amazing” after compiling a 51 in the opening frame of his 2-0 group-stage victory over newly-promoted John Donovan (London).

Wilson was eventually knocked out 2-0 in the last-four by Ellis.

In the second semi, Whaley beat another debutant Elliott Johnston – his clubmate from the Hurricane Room, Kings Cross – 2-0.

Donovan, Owen Jenkins (Havant) and Thomas Sharp (Portsmouth) all made the quarter-finals following promotion from Bronze.

Waterlooville Sports Bar hosts the second leg of ten on Sunday, October 6.

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Mason Wilson: 51, 46, 36, 31.
Lee Whaley: 38, 37, 30.
Samuel Laxton: 36.
Elliott Johnston: 32.
Simon Bubb: 31.


ROUND-ROBIN GROUP A: 1st, Lee Whaley (Hurricane Room, Kings Cross); 2nd, Thomas Sharp (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 3rd, Ben Crump (Mayfair, Gosport); 4th, Connor Wollen (Jesters, Swindon).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP B: 1st, Riley Ellis (Chandlers Ford SC); 2nd, Owen Jenkins (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 3rd, Nat Kidner (Greenbaize, Bournemouth); 4th, Lucas Fidow (Jesters, Swindon).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP C: 1st, Mason Wilson (Academy, Basingstoke); 2nd, John Donovan (Hurricane Room, Kings Cross); 3rd, Simon Bubb (Hurricane Room, Kings Cross); 4th, Oliver Cooper (Frames, Coulsdon).

ROUND-ROBIN GROUP D: 1st, Elliott Johnston (Hurricane Room, Kings Cross); 2nd, Samuel Laxton (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 3rd, Callum White (Waterlooville Sports Bar); 4th, Will Forster (Mayfair, Gosport).

QUARTER-FINALS (12 points): Whaley 2-0 Donovan, Johnston 2-1 Jenkins, Ellis 2-0 Laxton, Wilson 2-1 Sharp.

SEMI-FINALS (15 points): Whaley 2-0 Johnston, Ellis 2-0 Wilson.

FINAL (25/18 points): Whaley 2-0 Ellis.

Picture by Tim Dunkley

From left: Lee Whaley, Salisbury SC manager Joe Zaccariello, Riley Ellis.

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)