POOL: Top potting talent Luke Gilbert claims another world crown

Luke Gilbert shows off his World Under 23 Championship crown. Picture: SUBMITTED

Luke Gilbert shows off his World Under 23 Championship crown. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon cueman Luke Gilbert is celebrating a wonderful World Championship double.

The teenage ace continued his meteoric progress in the eight-ball game by capturing the Under 23 title in Blackpool last week.

Gilbert beat Irish opponent Jordan Synnott 8-7 in the final after nervelessly producing a clearance in the deciding frame.

Gilbert's latest success came 12 months after he won the junior crown and highlighted his standing as one of the sport's top talents.

He had enjoyed smooth progress through the early rounds despite not hitting top form, but he upped the ante when blowing away reigning champion Cormac Kerr, of Ireland, in the semi-finals.

That 7-2 triumph set Gilbert up superbly for the showpiece clash against Synnott. It was a tight affair with the two players locked together at 5-5 before Synnott opened up a two-frame cushion to move to brink of victory, but Gilbert hit back with a bang to clinch another world crown.

"I was a bit concerned with my form going into the semi," admitted Gilbert. "Cormac was the reigning champion and had also won the junior title in the past, but I managed to take my chances.

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"The 7-2 score flattered me a bit, but I was happy to get past such a tough opponent and reacg the final.

"I didn't know a lot about Jordan other than being told he had good results lately, but he showed his quality to get into a 7-5 lead.

"I remained calm, though, and used the experience I've gained while playing in a lot of tour events.

"Having the break in the deciding frame was good, the balls broke in a lovely way and I was to happy to win the title."

There was almost a Huntingdon double as Dom Cooney, beaten 10-6 by top seed Mick Hill in the final of the Men's event.

Gilbert also reached the last 64 of that tournament and the World Amateur Masters - going out of both events in deciding frames.

And Gilbert was part of the England side who finished as runners-up to Ireland in the Under 23 team event.

Gilbert and Cooney are practice partners and team-mates at the Mickey Flynn's club in Cambridge and recently won two national team titles. Another member of that side, Phil Harrison, won the World Amateur Masters.

Gilbert, who is based at The Court club in Peterborough, added: "I'm lucky to have a lot of good players around me to learn from. Phil is arguably the best player in the world and Dom has been getting brilliant results lately.

Gilbert is on the lookout for sponsors to help with the costs of his blossoming career. Anyone interested can make contact through his father, Ady, on 07544 663025.