0 items

No products in the basket.

Glory for Gradinari at English Under-16 Championship

Home » Glory for Gradinari at English Under-16 Championship

Vladislav Gradinari defeated O’Shay Scott 5-4 in the final of the 2024 English Under-16 Championship at the Q Bar in Walsall.

The 15-year-old Moldovan, who is eligible to compete in EPSB events due to being a resident in England for a number of years, lifted the EBSA European Under-16 Championship in Bosnia & Herzegovina last month and has now added the prestigious English Under-16 title to his trophy haul for the season.

Scott, meanwhile, has now finished as the runner-up in back-to-back English championship’s, following up on last week’s second place finish at the Under-18 Championship with a run to the final in Walsall this weekend.

A strong field of 58 players took part in the event – more than double the field from the last time the championship was held in 2022. Notable names in the line-up included European Under-16 champion Gradinari and the last two English Under-14 champions, Nicholas Ayers and Shaun Liu.

An initial group phase saw the field narrowed to 28 before the first knockout round, taking place on the Saturday evening, left 16 cueists vying for the title heading into the Sunday.

One of the notable runs of the opening day saw 12-year-old Ellise Scott, the younger sister of eventual finalist Scott, drop just a single frame as she secured her place in the final day with four straight victories before ultimately succumbing to defeat at the hands of Bobbie Wilson in the last 16.

Gradinari’s event began slowly as he fell to a 2-0 defeat to Edward Jones in the group stage, but the talented teenager quickly bounced back with wins against Archie Buskin and reigning English Under-14 champion Ayers to make it to the final day.

Victory over Zain Jeraj then set up a quarter-final meeting with 13-year-old Liu. A high-quality match, which featured six breaks over 30, saw Gradinari take the opener with a break of 82. The 15-year-old found himself on the brink of defeat, however, when Liu took the fifth with a 69 to move one away from victory at 3-2.

The Moldovan was able to hold his nerve to take the final two frames of the contest and earn the victory. A 4-2 win over Asten Sahota in the semi-final, which included a stunning 130 break from the reigning European Under-16 champion, then secured Gradinari’s spot in the title match.

There he would meet Scott, who had continued his fine form from the previous week’s English Under-18 Championship to reach back-to-back championship finals.

A quartet of group stage victories by Scott had been followed up with comfortable wins against Harry Wyatt, Jackson Pope and Jones to set up a final meeting with Gradinari in a repeat of the 2022 English Under-14 Championship.

The final was a back-and-forth affair which featured a break over 30 in all but one of the nine frames contested.

Gradinari made a strong start, taking the first two frames with breaks of 59 and 31, but Scott hit back to take the next two and level the match at 2-2 at the mid-session interval. The break did not halt Scott’s momentum and he took the next two after their return to move one away from the title at 4-2.

A scrappy seventh frame was taken by Gradinari to reduce his deficit to one and the Moldovan showed his character to win the last two frames with breaks of 46 and 31 to secure the title.

The EPSB would like to thank all the players, officials, staff at Q Bar in Walsall for all their support.