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17-year-old Mario Hildred ousted fellow New Zealander Adam Lilley to win the Oceania Under 21 Snooker Championship for the first time.

Held at the Mounties Club in Sydney, Australia, youngsters from both the host nation and NZ competed in the event. After the initial Round Robin groups, the Quarter-Finals onwards were Knock-Out.

Hildred qualified top of his group with three wins out of four. In the QFs he eliminated Denzel Nicholson (Aus) 4-1 and then in the Last 4 he squeezed past Marc Fridman (Aus) 5-4.

His opponent in the final was Lilley, who himself finished top of his pool with three out of four victories before defeating Hilton Moeahu (Aus) 4-0 and Alex Pace (Aus) 5-1 in the Quarters and Semis respectively.

The top two qualifying seeds played out a very entertaining final which would go the distance. In a best-of-11 match that saw Lilley register an 89 break and Hildred an 84, Hildred went 5-2 up, only to see his rival win three in a row to force a decider.

However, in a re-racked eleventh frame, Hildred managed to get over the line and claim the Continental gold. It is a sweet victory for Hildred having lost in the final to Australian Cale Barrett last year.

The following day there was the annual Trans-Tasman Under 21 Test Match which saw New Zealand - captained by Lilley, dispatch Australia 9-1.

Eslewhere in Oceania, in two all-Australian finals, Carlie Tait got the better of Megan Fullerton 4-2 to become continental Women's Snooker Champion for the first time, whilst Joe Minici overcame Jason Colebrook 966-515 for another Billiards Championship.

The Women also had a Trans-Tasman Test Match which saw New Zealand win 6-4.

The Oceania Championship takes place at the same venue between the 14th-17th March.

The image above is courtesy of the Massé Facebook page

Article written and published by Michael Day on the 13th March 2018