Lewis Ullah (pictured on the left) won event four of this season’s EPSB Under-21 Premier Development Tour last weekend at Levels in Huddersfield.
Twenty-eight of England’s top junior players came together at the West Yorkshire venue for the crucial penultimate stop on the 2019/20 series which determined the remaining qualifying spots for the upcoming EBSA European Amateur Championships in Portugal.
Ullah began his weekend by finishing top of Group G. Harry Andrew Gosney, Mark Lloyd, Ryan Davies, Oliver Sykes, Marcos Dayao and Isa Ishtiaq also won their groups; all seven players each picked up 50 ranking points for doing so.
In Sunday’s knockout phase, after receiving a bye in the last 32 due to his performance the day before, Ullah defeated Gosney 3-0, Lewis George Harper 3-0 and Hayden Staniland 3-1 to reach the final.
His opponent there was Luke Pinches (pictured on the right), who after finishing bottom of his group recovered well to eliminate Jenson Kendrick 3-2, Connor Benzey 3-1, Ryan Davies 3-2 and Brandon Hall 3-2.
Pinches claimed the opening frame of the final, but Ullah responded with a run of 83 to level up and then take the third to move in front. The tie was forced to a decider by Pinches with the help of a 51, but Ullah came through to triumph 3-2 and collect the title.
Evidence of how competitive this season’s tour is, the first four events have yielded eight different finalists. Ullah started event four in 12th position – outside the qualification criteria for both the European under-18 and 21 championships – but after accumulating the maximum 150 ranking points in Huddersfield, he jumped up into second on the rankings list and now makes both continental competitions. This shows how close it was amongst so many players – before the weekend Pinches was 14th on the list, but he only narrowly missed out on gatecrashing the qualification party.
Four centuries crafted across the tournament; amazingly, all of them were exactly 100. Two of those were made by Manasawin Phetmalaikul and one each from Staniland and Kayden Brierley.
Thank you to Levels in Huddersfield for hosting the event and all our officials for their hard work there.
With the ranking points now added up, the standings after event four are:
Mark Lloyd 335
Lewis Ullah 310
Connor Benzey 310
Hayden Staniland 265
Jack Harris 260
Jenson Kendrick 260
Harry Andrew Gosney 255
Luke Pinches 240
Ryan Davies 240
Brandon Hall 240
Manasawin Phetmalaikul 235
Kayden Brierley 225
Oliver Sykes 210
Joe Fenton 210
Sean McAllister 195
Liam Pullen 185
Callum Beresford 180
Jamie Wilson 170
Sean Maddocks 160
Aidan Murphy 140
Jed Mann 140
Hamim Hussain 135
Marcus Dayao 130
Isa Ishtiaq 130
Lewis George Harper 125
Mickey Joyce 115
Paul Deaville 105
Bradley Cowdroy 85
Sam Dexter 75
Kaif Shazad 30
For players on level points, point 15 (Rankings) from the EPSB Standard Conditions of Entry is applied.
Therefore, those representing England for the junior events at the 2020 EBSA European Amateur Championships are:
Under-18: Paul Deaville, Stanley Moody, Jack Haley, Halim Hussain, Lewis Ullah, Connor Benzey
Under-21: Mark Lloyd, Lewis Ullah, Connor Benzey, Hayden Staniland, Jack Harris, Jenson Kendrick
Congratulations to the players who qualified and commiserations to those who missed out.
The fifth and final u-21 tour event of 2019/20 takes place on the 22nd and 23rd February at Frames Sports Bar in Coulsdon.