Ireland’s Ross Bulman has reached the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championship after three superb victories in the knockout phase in Bulgaria on Thursday.
The 16 year-old, who has been highly regarded in the last couple of years back on the Emerald Isle, lost only two frames as he stormed his way into the last four in Sofia.
Bulman accounted for Croatian Jan Jelenic, who had previously beaten fellow Corkman Aaron Hill, 4-1 in the last 32 before repeating the scoreline against Czech Republic’s Ales Herout.
In the quarter-finals, Bulman, who was the 2017 Irish national champion at four underage levels including the under-21s, whitewashed Julien Leclercq of Belgium.
Somewhat incredibly, the last four boasts the top four seeds from the round-robin phase of the competition.
Second seed Bulman will face 2016 under-18 European champion Tyler Rees for a berth in the final, with the Welshman withstanding a late fight back from Mateusz Baranowski in the quarter-finals to prevail in a decider.
On the other side of the draw, French top seed Brian Ochoiski, who beat one of the favourites in Jackson Page in the last 16, will play Germany’s former national champion Simon Lichtenberg.
As Ireland’s RIBSA is now a member of the World Snooker Federation, a triumph in the European Under-21 Championship for Bulman could potentially lead to a place on the Main Tour next season.