Dynamic Youth Manchester Open – TAS leaves em in a spin

Thomas Ainsworth-Smith

As a new season starts one of the most eagerly-awaited Youth Tours begins too. With notable absences from last season's list of entrants, owing to those young men finishing their apprenticeship because of age and moving onto the Main Tour full-time, a new name has already emerged.

Thomas Ainsworth-Smith hailing from Macclesfield beat season favourite and European Championships Youth Player Phil Burford 9 – 4 in the ‘Dynamic' Youth Manchester Open held in Stretford on Saturday 25th November 2006.

Ainsworth-Smith qualified for the last eight via the one-loss side of the draw after another new promising talent, Louis Clarke edged him out 9 – 7 early on. Ainsworth-Smith fought through with wins over Scotland's Ross Simpson 7 – 6 and Daniel Harris 7 – 3. With a victory over Dominic Gee, Ainsworth-Smith went on to avenge his earlier loss to Clarke by winning their semi final encounter 9 – 3.

Burford used his ever-maturing class to see off Matt Gittings 9 – 4 in the quarters and then Reading's Luke Pepperell 9 – 6 at the semi final stage.

Ainsworth-Smith being another convert from the world of snooker to the nine foot table is surely a force to be reckoned with on both the Youth and Main Tours. Only a week earlier in his debut he reached the last 16 of the Main Tour event, the ‘Dynamic' Nottingham Open.