Oliver Sykes lost just a single frame on the way to winning his fourth English Junior Tour title of the season at Landywood Snooker Club.
Sykes headed into the weekend knowing his spot as the number one ranked player of the season on the English Junior Tour was already guaranteed after lifting the title in three of the previous four events of the campaign.
The impressive 18-year-old showed no signs of complacency, however, as he finished top of his group without dropping a frame before wins over Shaun Liu, Faizaan Mohammed and Paul Deaville added another title to his growing resume.
2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy was in attendance at Landywood Snooker Club during the weekend, practicing with resident professional Stan Moody while observing the stars of the future – kindly taking the time to wish the final four players luck and offer some words of wisdom prior to the semi-final matches.
The event began on Saturday with 42 players competing for nine spots in the second stage, where they would be joined by seven seeded players. Event four champion Vladislav Gradinari was a notable casualty of the first day’s action as he finished second in his group behind 20-year-old Aidan Gallagher by the matter of a just single lost frame.
Sixteen players remained heading into the Sunday, where a further group stage brought the event to the quarter-finals.
Sykes and Deaville both topped their groups impressively without dropping a frame, while 13-year-old Shaun Liu was the youngest player to reach the last eight – firing in a break of 105, the highest of the weekend, on his way to a 2-0 victory over Samuel Lee Stevens that ultimately proved crucial for qualification.
Liu would fall in the quarter-final stage to the rampant Sykes, but could at least take some consolation in being the only player to take a frame off the eventual champion during the entire event.
On the other half of the draw Deavile, the reigning English Amateur champion, continued to make light work of the field as he whitewashed both Kian Dennett and Daniel Boyes to set up a final meeting with Sykes.
But it was Sykes ultimately proved stronger in the title match. A break of 79 in the opener put him immediately on the front foot and he took the next two to complete the 3-0 victory and round off a trophy-laden English Junior Tour campaign in style.