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Paul Deaville Wins English Under-21 Championship

Home » Paul Deaville Wins English Under-21 Championship

Paul Deaville defeated Aidan Gallagher 5-3 at The Winchester Snooker Club to win the 2024 English Under-21 Championship.

The 19-year-old trailed 3-1 to Gallagher at the mid-session interval, before hitting back with four consecutive frames to lift the title and join a prestigious roll of honour that includes the likes of Chris Wakelin and Kyren Wilson.

On an evening where former winner Wilson was in action at the Crucible Theatre, Deaville took the latest milestone step of his young career by adding the English Under-21 title to a trophy cabinet that already featured the English Under-14, English Under-16 and the flagship English Amateur Championship crowns.

The Winchester Snooker Club in Leicester was embarked upon by 33 cueists over the weekend, with notable names including the reigning European and English Under-16 champion Vladislav Gradinari, recent English Under-18 champion Daniel Boyes and English Junior Tour winner Oliver Sykes – as well as the 2023 English Amateur champion Deaville.

The weekend of action on the baize began with a group stage on the Saturday.

Evan Plummer’s break of 103 in a 3-1 victory over Aidan Murphy was the highest break of the opening day, in which the field was narrowed to 16 players for the knockout stages.

Despite a 3-1 defeat to Alec Chalmers in his second match of the event, Deaville was able to book his place in the final day with victories over Faizaan Mohammed and Brandon Nguyen to set up a last 16 meeting with Ethan Llewellyn.

The 16-year-old Llewellyn had topped his group with a clean sweep of victories, featuring a notable 3-1 win against Gradinari, but proved no match for Deaville as the more senior player ran out a comfortable 3-0 victor.

Further wins against Ronnie Sullivan (4-1) and Aidan Murphy (4-2) then saw Deaville book his place in the final in Leicester. Gallagher would be his opponent in this match after a dream run that saw him reach a first English national championship final of his career.

The 20-year-old, who made history earlier in the year by becoming the first player to compile a maximum break at an EPSB Open Series event, had topped his group before overcoming Plummer (3-0) and Boyes (4-2) to set up a semi-final against Sykes.

One the favourites for the title after an English Junior Tour season that saw him lift four of the five event titles, Sykes reached the semi-finals with a comfortable 4-1 win against Jake Crofts despite his opponent compiling the tournament high break of 119 in his sole frame success.

Oliver Sykes in his waistcoat plays a shot.

Sykes looked on course for the title match when he charged into a 2-0 lead over Gallagher in the semi-final. However, Gallagher hit back with four consecutive frames to secure a notable 4-2 victory and he kept the momentum going to win three of the first four frames of the final, moving 3-1 ahead with a break of 75.

This time, however, the roles were reversed and it was Gallagher who was the victim of a second-half turnaround as Deaville scored breaks of 46, 45, 44 and 38 to win four consecutive frames and win the English Under-21 Championship title for the first time.

The EPSB would like to thank all the players, officials, staff at The Winchester Snooker Club in Leicester for all their support.