Mario Hildred, Carlie Tait and Joe Minici all recently claimed 2018 Oceania championship titles.
New Zealand’s Hildred defeated fellow countryman Adam Lilley to win the under-21 championship for the first time at the Mounties Club in Sydney, Australia.
The 17-year-old qualified for the knockout stage after finishing top of his group with three wins from four. He then eliminated Australian pair Denzel Nicholson 4-1 and Marc Fridman 5-4 in the quarter and semi-finals respectively.
In the final he faced Lilley, who had defeated Alex Pace (Australia) 5-1 in the other last four tie. The best-of-11 title match would be an entertaining and dramatic affair with Lilley registering a break of 89, and Hildred, an 84.
Hildred went 5-2 up, but Lilley managed to take the next three to force a deciding frame. However, in a re-racked 11th frame, Hildred completed the task to go one better than his final loss to Australian Cale Barrett last year.
The annual Trans-Tasman under-21 test match took place the following day which saw New Zealand – captained by Lilley – defeat Australia 9-1.
Elsewhere on the continent, Tait got the better of Megan Fullerton 4-2 in the final to win her maiden Oceania Women’s Championship, whilst Minici overcame Jason Colebrook 966-515 in the final to secure another Oceania Billiards Championship.
In the women’s Trans-Tasman test match, New Zealand won 6-4.
The main Oceania Snooker Championship takes place at Mounties between the 14th-17th March.
All Oceania championships are organised by the Oceania Billiards and Snooker Federation (OBSF)
Article written and published by Michael Day on the 13th March 2018