European Under-21 Championship
Amateur Snooker, Finals, Main News

Liam Davies wins 2024 European Under-21 Championship

Liam Davies beat Antoni Kowalski 5-3 to capture the 2024 European Under-21 Championship crown on Monday in Sarajevo.

The 17 year-old scored heavier than his opponent and managed to win several close scrappy frames to triumph.

Success for the young Welshman in the international amateur competition means he will be awarded with professional status.

Davies will have the opportunity to compete on the World Snooker Tour during the upcoming 2024/25 and 2025/26 seasons.

His victory comes only a few days after he was denied a pro ticket in one of the Q Tour Global Playoff finals at the same venue in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Davies squandered a 9-7 advantage to Duane Jones, losing the last three frames in a disappointing reverse against his countryman.

But he will have no such concerns any more after bouncing back in emphatic fashion by landing the prestigious European prize at the junior level.

Early on in the 2024 European Under-21 Championship at the Hotel Hills, Davies comfortably advanced from his initial round-robin group with two wins from two.

The teenager subsequently emerged from his opening knockout phase encounter against Vladislav Gradinari with a 4-1 scoreline.

Davies then secured defeats of Thijs Pauewels and Andrejs Pripkoks to reach the semi-finals, where he scored a break of 100 in edging Artemijs Zizins in a 4-3 thriller.

In the final, 20 year-old Kowalski led three times after the early exchanges.

But Davies twice managed to restore parity with breaks of 61 and a third contribution of the same tally proved enough to complete his glory in the eighth frame.

In addition to earning the potentially lucrative two-year pro tour card, Davies will also gain an invitation to compete in this year’s World Snooker Championship qualifiers.

Next up on the schedule in Sarajevo is the blue-riband continental title – the flagship European Amateur Championship which runs until March 23rd.


2024 European Under-21 Championship

Selected Results

Last 16
Oliver Briffett-Payne vs Samuel Lee Stevens
Antoni Kowalski 4-1 Aidan Murphy
Robbie McGuigan 4-3 Nikita Bazilevics
Joel Connolly 4-3 Alexander Widau

Andrejs Pripjoks 4-2 Ryan McGuirk
Liam Davies 4-2 Thijs Pauwels
Artemijs Zizins 4-2 Bulscu Revesz
Iulian Boiko 4-2 Leone Crowley

Quarter-Finals
Antoni Kowalski 4-2 Oliver Briffett-Payne
Robbie McGuigan 4-3 Joel Connolly
Liam Davies 4-0 Andrejs Pripjoks
Artemijs Zizins 4-2 Iulian Boiko

Semi-Finals
Antoni Kowalski 4-1 Robbie McGuigan
Liam Davies 4-3 Artemijs Zizins

Final
Liam Davies 5-3 Antoni Kowalski


Featured photo credit: WPBSA

2 Comments

  1. Slightly mixed feelings about Liam finally getting his tour card.
    On the one hand I’m very happy for him, but is he really ready for this?
    I think it would have been better if he had won though in an open event rather than an age related one.
    I don’t agree with tour cards being given to any of these smaller categories.
    They should all be won on a level playing field (or should that be level table? 😅)
    Time will tell.

    • I agree that age-related tour cards should be for U21 and not U18, as there may be no suitable candidate in a given year. But I do think we must help young players progress quicker. There is always room on the tour for players for development purposes. We should judge the likes of Liam Davies at the end of his 2 years to see whether it was worthwhile.

      From a promotional point of view, if a player is introduced before a match as “European U21 Champion” that sounds a lot more interesting than: “he made it through Q School”. Winning a title is always something that players can potentially build on.

      Anyway, I have no doubt that Liam Davies will be a fine player, perhaps a great one. It surprises me he hasn’t qualified earlier. Players like Liam Davies, along with Stan Moody and Lian Pullen, give us hope for the future and as a spectator I always find it fascinating to watch them learn.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.