Irishman Aaron Hill has won the European Under-18 Championship for the second year in succession following a 4-1 victory over Sean Maddocks in Portugal on Tuesday.
The young Cork cueist scored heavier than his English opponent, compiling breaks of 92, 73, 55, and 50.
Hill previously won the title in 2019 with a 4-3 victory over Dylan Emery, and the teenager becomes the second player after Jackson Page to defend the junior crown.
The 18 year-old has been a rising star in Ireland for a number of years, helped by a competitive snooker scene in his native county Cork that also includes the likes of Greg Casey, Ross Bulman, and Noel Landers.
Hill captured a brace of domestic senior ranking titles last season, including his maiden glory at that level when he was still just 16.
In this year’s European Under-18 Championship, Hill therefore entered the draw as one of the favourites and didn’t disappoint as he raced through the round-robin phase to the loss of only three frames.
Hill’s form never wilted as he dropped only two further frames in the knockout phase, beating the likes of Scotland’s Liam Graham and Ben Mertens of Belgium to reach the final.
With a terrific 131 century, Hill also recorded the highest break of the 2020 European Under-18 Championship.
A big well done to Ireland’s @AaronHill147 this morning, European Under 18 champion once again 👏🏻
— jason ferguson (@jasonferguson5) March 11, 2020
As well as the coveted trophy, Hill will receive an invite to compete in the World Snooker Championship qualifiers next month in Sheffield.
In a time when Irish snooker is failing to make an impact on the professional circuit, with veterans Ken Doherty and Fergal O’Brien struggling to retain their long-held places on the Main Tour, Hill’s brilliant success is a welcome boost for the sport in the country.
The European Under-21 Championship is the next international amateur event being staged this week in Portugal.
Already under way, Hill will be looking to make it a rare double as he competes with the likes of Bulman and Landers for the top honours.
Winning the European Under-21 Championship is one of the avenues available for amateur players to gain promotion to the Main Tour.
The blue-riband EBSA European Championship follows next week.