Snooker: Michael Leslie aims to go one better in Bulgaria

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Bonnyrigg snooker star Michael Leslie will appear in his second successive European Under-21 Snooker Championship final today in Sofia, Bulgaria, when he lines up against 14-year-old rising star, Shane Castle of England.

Leslie, nicknamed Lightnin Leslie, lived up to his name with a fantastic display of potting in the semi-final, whitewashing Sam Harvey of England 5-0.

Leslie dominated the match from start to finish, making breaks of 43, 67, 44, 51 and 40 to book his place in the final.

The decisive point in the match being when Leslie won a black-ball game in the third frame to open up a three-frame lead before winning the last two frames. Harvey, had earlier ended Eden Sharav’s good run in the event, defeating the Scot 5-1 at the quarter-final stage.

Earlier in the day, Leslie whitewashed Grzegorz Biernadski (Poland) 4-0 in the last 16 with a highest break of 52 before a convincing 5-1 over Mateusz Baranowski (Poland) in the quarter finals.

Perth’s Scott Donaldson, 17, narrowly missed out setting up an all-Scottish final, losing out 5-3 to Castle in the semi-final.

Donaldson looked like he was going to level the match at 4-4, but missed a relatively simple green and the young English player took his chance by clearing the colours to reach the final.

The young Perth potter had earlier enjoyed two terrific victories defeating Michal Zielinski (Poland) with breaks of 90 and 58 before coming from 3-1 down to win four frames in row to defeat Duane Jones (Wales) in the quarter finals with the help of a 105 break. Musselburgh’s Ross Muir,16, was the first Scot to exit the tournament going down 4-0 to Castle at the last-16 stage.

Leslie will now hope to go one better than last year in the best-of-11-frame final, with the winner guaranteed a coveted place on World Snooker’s Professional Main Tour next season.

The final commences at 11am and will be on live streaming at www.esnooker.pl/.