Leslie Captures Euro U-21 Crown

Congratulations to Scotland’s Michael Leslie who has today defeated On Q youngster Shane Castle 6-2 in the final of the European U-21 Championship to lift the trophy and secure his place on the main tour for the 2012/13 season.

With breaks of 76,121,100 and 91, Michael was clearly determined to go one better than 2011 when he lost out in the final to Poland’s Kacper Filipiak and while Shane has also impressed many observers during the past week, he had no answer to the 19-year-old Scot.

Click below for a full report on the final with quotes from the winner…

Michael Leslie has been crowned the 2012 European Under 21 Champion after a superb display of match play against Shane Castle.

Leslie, aged 19, from Scotland, has come close in the past, last year’s beaten finalist, but this time he holds the trophy aloft and also gains the EBSA nomination to the WSA Main Tour for the next two seasons.

The Scot controlled the match from the start as Castle struggled to find the form he’d displayed throughout the event.

Breaks of 46, 76, 42 and 121 took Leslie into a 4-0 interval lead in the best of eleven frame final.

Castle responded to take the next and rattled in 84 to close the gap to 4-2.

But the fourteen year left a long red for Leslie in the next and he constructed 100 to stand within a frame of the Championship.

In frame eight Castle broke down early and Leslie closed out the match in style with a run of 91.

A delighted Leslie revealed after the match “I cannot believe it yet. It feels like a dream.

“I’ve dreamed of this a few times, that I’d won the final, and thought please don’t be a dream, but then woken up and been gutted.

“Last year I was just so disappointed to lose in the final, but I came here again this year and I felt stronger.

“I think maybe a wee bit of experience showed in the final which made the difference.

“Shane is absolutely amazing. He’s going to be a top player, one of those players you look at and I think he’s got everything. Of course nothing is guaranteed but he’s absolutely brilliant and I think he’ll be a Top professional in the future.

“I started well in my first group match, but then I wasn’t feeling so good as I would have liked. For the Last 32 through to the quarter finals people expected me to win and I felt quite a bit of pressure.

“In the semi final against Sam Harvey it was an even playing field. We’re good mates and I felt relaxed.

“I felt a bit nervous today, but I was okay. One the match started I was quite relaxed.

“The support from Scotland is brilliant. I practice every week with Marcus Campbell, also with Anthony McGill and I’ve had a few games with John Higgins as well.

“It’s the best way to improve and I feel it’s helped me a lot.

“I’m really grateful to the support I’ve had from the Red Triangle Club at Cumbernauld and my sponsors Billy Stirling and Alan Maxfield. I hope they have a big cheque book for next season!

“The family didn’t come out this time. It’s such an expensive trip for them and I told them ‘I’m a man now’ I can go by myself and do the job.

“I played in a few PTC’s and I think that will help me for next season on the Main Tour. A PTC will feel just the same but the big ranking events will be completely new for me. But I still can’t quite believe it. I just can’t wait for the challenge.

“It’s also brilliant to get two seasons guaranteed on the tour and so many events too. The chance to play and travel all over the world is just amazing. It’s what I’ve always dreamed of.”

Frame Scores

Shane Castle 2-6 Michael Leslie

33-94(46), 6-76(76), 41-53(42), 0-122(121), 62-25, 84(84)-0, 12-100(100), 12-118(91)