England’s Stan Moody has defeated compatriot Liam Pullen 5-1 to win the 2023 WSF Junior Championship in Sydney, Australia. The victory earns him the biggest junior title in our sport and will see him earn a two-year World Snooker Tour card from the start of the 2023/24 season.
A national champion at Under-14, 16 and 18 levels, Moody previously won his debut match on the World Snooker Tour at the 2022 Shoot Out as a 15-year-old and has gained a reputation as one of the most promising young talents in the sport.
From Halifax, Moody was among a field of 31 players from 11 countries competing in the event previously won by Gao Yang in 2020 and most recently Anton Kazakov a year ago, with a top prize of €5,000 and a coveted place on the professional World Snooker Tour on offer to the winner.
Having progressed through his round robin group for the loss of just one frame, 16-year-old Moody scored whitewash victories against Australia’s Jayden Dinga and 2022 runner-up Jake Crofts, before coming through against former professional Iulian Boiko with a break of 68 in the deciding frame to reach the title match.
Awaiting him would be fellow English player Liam Pullen, who dropped just three frames on his way to the final, notably scoring a break of 143 during his quarter-final victory against Nattanapong Chaikul, the highest-ever break in WSF competition ahead of the 141 constructed by Michael White a year ago.
With a tight final in prospect, the match would prove to be a one-sided affair as Moody raced to a 4-0 lead at the mid-session interval and although Pullen claimed the first upon their resumption to briefly threaten a comeback, it was Moody who closed out the contest with a best run of 54 to seal a memorable victory.
The presentation party included WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson, Asia-Pacific Snooker and Billiards Federation President Frank Dewens, European Billiards and Snooker Association President Maxime Cassis and the Hon. Dai Le, Federal MP for Fowler.
“It means everything to me,” said Moody after the final. “It still hasn’t sunk in. I’m over the moon obviously to beat a player like Liam in the final and on a different day it could have been him but today it was my day.
“I wasn’t expecting too much [pre-tournament], I was treating it as a holiday that involved snooker. I thought what happens, happens, it was just another tournament and it has paid off and I have just enjoyed it.”
“My dad [Nigel] has done everything for me, paid for everything, takes me everywhere and looks after me, does the things that people don’t see, so I’m very grateful. I’d also like to thank all of my sponsors who have been a massive help.”
“I’m just going to enjoy it [being on the main tour], the first two years will hold no pressure for me, I am just there for the experience.”
“I love Judd Trump, I love the way he plays. I’d like to say I play like that in certain ways, I love him. It would be great to play him, I would just love the experience, probably on the TV table as well.”
Both Moody and Pullen will be among an all-star field over the next eight days who will compete in the open WSF Championship event, which will also carry a World Snooker Tour card for the winner.
View tournament information at WPBSA SnookerScores and watch live streamed matches from Table 11 throughout the week via our Facebook page and the WPBSA YouTube channel.