Just days after retaining the European under-18 title in Portugal, Cork teenager Aaron Hill has made history by winning the 2020 EBSA European Under-21 Snooker Championship.
Hill, who gained prominence by knocking out world number eight Kyren Wilson in Snooker Shoot-Out last month, defeated Hayden Staniland 5-2 in the final in Albufeira.
It is a historic victory for the 18-year-old who becomes the first player to win both U18 and U21 titles at the tournament in the same year. The achievement has earned him a spot on the professional World Snooker Tour card for the first time.
🏆 TITLE DOUBLE FOR HILL IN PORTUGAL 🏆
Congratulations to Ireland's @AaronHill147 🇮🇪 who has defeated Hayden Staniland 5-2 to win the mixed European Under-21 Championship in Portugal.
— WPBSA (@WPBSAofficial) March 15, 2020
At the championships, Hill fought his way through an entry of over 90 players who were representing 27 different countries. In the last 32, he came up against Patrik Tiihonen of Finland who opened up a 2-0 lead before Hill battled back to win four consecutive frames, emerging victorious on 4-2.
He then faced Youghal native Ross Bulman, beating him on a scoreline of four frames to one before defeating England’s number one ranked under-21 player and national champion Mark Lloyd 4-0 in the quarter-finals. In the last four, he ended the challenge of Belgium’s Ben Mertens 4-1 to set up the final clash with Englishman Staniland.
🏆 CHAMPION | Congratulation's to Ireland's @AaronHill147 🇮🇪 who yesterday completed the successful defence of his EBSA European Under-18's title in Portugal.
— WPBSA (@WPBSAofficial) March 11, 2020
He joins a roll of honour that lists former champions such as world ranking event winners Mark Allen, Michael White and Luca Brecel.
Hill is the third player from the Republic of Ireland to conquer Europe’s premier youth accolade, following in the footsteps of Thomas Dowling in 1997 – the inaugural edition – and Josh Boileau in 2016. The Cork man is now guaranteed a place on the sport’s top tier for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons.