Clubmates are on course for the top table

Teenagers showcase snooker talent during key victories

Thursday, 10th February — By Steve Barnett

Lee Whaley

Lee Whaley won a regional contest held in Holloway

PROMISING potters John Donovan and Lee Whaley are celebrating key snooker successes in their battle to be the best on the green baize.

John, who lives in Somers Town, claimed his first victory in the third leg of the Cuestars Under-21s Silver Tour at Frames Sports Bar in Coulsdon recently.

The showpiece is aimed at giving grassroots players the chance to perfect their game by competing in a series of tournaments across the south of England.

Depending on ability, there are Gold, Silver and Bronze tours. John beat Eastleigh’s William Thomson 2-0 in the final of his latest Silver Tour event – a result that propels the talented teenager to top spot in the rankings, and leaves him rapidly heading towards the Gold Tour next season.

Having been a losing finalist on no fewer than four occasions since gaining promotion to the Silver Tour, John said he was delighted to finally chalk up a win.

John Donovan enjoyed his first Silver Tour triumph

The 15-year-old added: “It feels good being the number one. I have been practising a lot lately, and I feel like I have improved drastically.”

Meanwhile, clubmate Lee, who trains alongside John at Gone2Pot – a snooker club for young players based at the Hurricane Room in King’s Cross – also enjoyed a great triumph at the table.

The 19-year-old, who lives in Marylebone, won his first-ever English Partnership of Snooker and Billiards (EPSB) Regional Tour event on Sunday. Held at Cousins Snooker Club in Holloway, Lee defeated fellow Gone2Pot player Elliott Johnson in the final – and is now number one in the South regional rankings.

Along with winning a little prize money and a lot of kudos, the victory earns Lee vital points in his quest to qualify for the Under-21s Premier Junior Development Tour, which is only open to the top 32 players in England.

“It feels great winning a tournament that will boost my chances of getting promoted to the Under-21s Premier Tour,” said Lee.

“I’m now over 100 points clear at the top, and I have more belief in myself, and in the fact that anything is possible.

“I played OK on Sunday. There were ups and downs but I made sure I got the win. I’m going to keep thinking positive, and focus on my next targets of getting promoted to the Premier Tour and then hopefully turning professional.”

• For more information on Gone2Pot, and to find out about their Saturday kids’ sessions, call coach John Woods on 07511 916 346 or email john@gone2pot.net

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