EPSB English U14s qualifier at Hollins Grove Conservative Club

Posted on: 22 January 2024

Last edited on: 22 January 2024

Hollins Grove Conservative Club hosted a qualifier for the EPSB Under-14 Championship on Saturday 20 January.

Event winner: Ethan Hornigold

This report was posted on the Hollins Grove Junior snooker academy/East lancs junior snooker by Annette Lord

I’m so proud of all the kids taking part in the EPSB English U14s qualifier today. We had 11 players, which I think was a strong turnout, especially as there were another two or three kids who couldn’t attend on the day.

Ethan Hornigold, 11, came across from Grimsby with his family and didn’t drop a frame in winning the event, although he had to fight hard particularly in the semi-final and final to stay ahead. Huge well done Ethan, you’re a credit to your family and I’m sure you also made your coach Mark Peevers very happy.

Another family bursting with pride is that of Lee and Kayley Holden after their son Reece, 9, reached the final. Last year he qualified for the regional finals in Walsall as a semi-finalist. This time he went one better by beating last year’s runner-up Harrison Hannan, 12, in the semis to qualify for the regional finals as of right. Despite losing the final 2-0 it was a really close contest and both frames could have gone either way.

Reece has been putting a lot of work in on the practice table and it certainly showed today.

His match with Harrison was also a very close affair. Reece took the first frame on the black. Harrison won the second frame more comfortably but was then visibly frustrated in the decider as he missed some pots and Reece was able to build a lead – then completed the win with an audacious fluke on the blue! Hard luck Harrison, you played some quality stuff for most of the day but couldn’t quite get over the line today.

In qualifying for the semis, Reece had to win a play-off frame to top Group C after being tied on frames won and frame scores with Kobi McFarlane, 13. Unlucky Kobi, keep practising and enjoying your snooker – your day will come.

Also spare a thought for Ollie Prestage, 13, who missed out on a place in the semi-finals by a mere nine points on frame score count-back. Bad luck Ollie. Keep playing like that and you’ll win a lot more matches than you lose.

Reaching the semi-finals for the first time was Jacob Earnshaw, 12, who couldn’t quite pick up enough points to beat Ethan but still potted some great balls. The first frame in particular was a close one, coming down to pink and black.

Also competing today were 13-year-olds Jake Chadwick and Jayden Pickup, who were up against some strong opposition – as were Charlie Maynard, 12, and 10-year-old Liam Hammond-Phillips in Group 2 and Robert Smith, 12, in Group 3. Well done to you all for giving it your best. Keep enjoying your snooker and keep learning and you can only improve.

All in all it was a brilliant day with some high quality snooker and some really competitive games. The future of snooker is looking bright from where I’m standing.

Thanks to everyone – children and parents – for supporting the event, plus George Holden, Mik Horsley, Lee Van Holden and Paul Earnshaw for refereeing. Also thanks to @EPSBOfficial for arranging this competition, giving youngsters a chance to shine and keep learning.

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