The IBSF World Under-21 Championship is heading into its final weekend with Ireland’s Josh Boileau still in strong contention in Romania.
The 20 year-old is hoping to go one better than his runner-up placing in 2014, when he lost to Iran’s Hossein Vafaei Ayouri in the final, and he has so far made it to the quarter-final stage in Bucharest.
As expected, Boileau emerged comfortably from his round-robin group with five victories from five matches but was perhaps a little fortunate to go any further as he was taken all the way in the last 64 knockout match by lowly seeded Indian Hrithik Jain.
Since then it has been a different story for the Kildare cueist, though, with successive 5-1 successes bringing him into the business end of the tournament.
First, Boileau had to overcome his countryman Stephen Bateman, before knocking in a 120 century en route to dispatching the Maltest challenge from Brian Cini.
It’ll get tougher from here with the last eight line-up looking distinctly packed with talent.
Standing in Boileau’s way of consecutive semi-final appearances is Polish teenager Kacper Filipiak – the former European Under-21 champion.
Filipiak came from 4-1 down to deny fellow ex-pro Alexander Ursenbacher in a dramatic decider on Friday.
Elsewhere, the field is dominated by all of snooker’s powerhouse nations.
Scotland’s Dylan Craig and Jamie Clarke of Wales are set for an all-British clash with the winner to take on either Boileau or Filipiak.
The top half of the draw is equally menacing, with China’s Zhao Xintong, arguably the favourite for glory on Sunday, up against Thai Boonyarit Kaettikun.
Kaettikun lost only a single frame in his six group matches but was pushed by Ireland’s Aaron Moyles in the last 64, and subsequently made to work even harder in the last 16 when he was taken all the way by Aussie Ryan Thomerson.
Finally, England’s Ashley Carty, who reached the third round of the Welsh Open this year, has another dangerous Chinese competitor for company in the form of Wang Yuchen.
An exciting conclusion then in store with not only the prestigious title at stake, but also a ticket onto the professional Main Tour next season.
By the end of Saturday’s play the two finalists will be known.
Will Boileau’s name be among them?