Thurcroft’s Ashley Carty is the second best Under 21 snooker player in Europe, after an incredible week in Serbia.
The 17-year-old, who plies his trade at North Notts Arena in Worksop, went all the way to the final of the European Snooker and Billiards Under 21 Championship last week.
Despite not playing at his best, Carty won all four of his group stage games,.
In the last 32 he whitewashed his 14-year-old rival from Ukraine Vladyslav Vyshnevskyy, and followed that with a 4-3 victory over Israel’s Shachar Ruberg.
Swiss prospect Alexander Ursenbacher fell victim to the in-form Thurcroft teenager in the quarter-finals, and a 5-2 semi-final win over Welshman Duane Jones gave Carty the chance to become European champion.
Although fellow Englishman James Cahill proved too strong in the final, Carty returned home delighted with his performance.
“It was a great experience,” he told the Guardian.
“I would have been happy to get to the quarter-finals, but I knew if I played my best I could do well.”
Some pre-match nerves ahead of the final weren’t helped by a two-hour power cut at the venue in Bor.
And the 6-0 defeat did little to dampen Carty’s spirits, after his first taste of action on foreign soil.
“It feels great to be the number two player, I can take a lot of confidence and positives from it.”
Parents John and Vicky were understandably delighted with their son’s heroics at the table.
John followed his progress online, while mum Vicky travelled to Serbia to support Ashley.
She said: “It was a wonderful week, amazing for him to meet so many people and he played brilliantly – we’re still up in the clouds really.”
His coach at North Notts Arena, Darren Presgrave added: “I’m more than happy with his progress, he was only win away from turning professional.”
“He came to me five years ago with a break of about 30, and he’s now in the hundreds.”
Carty, who’s highest break in Serbia last week was 135, is back in local and regional action in the coming weeks to round off a successful season.
The youngster’s dream is to turn professional in the sport, a goal he hopes to achieve next year.