Lynn cueman reaches last 16 of English Amateur Championships

West Norfolk cueman Nathan Jones is celebrating reaching the last 16 of the English Amateur Snooker Championships.

Jones came through four gruelling qualifying rounds in the sport’s oldest running competition to cement his spot at the finals weekend.

His late-night exploits saw him miss the last train back to King’s Lynn and he was forced to book an overnight stay in the capital.

A delighted Jones said: “It is the biggest and longest-running amateur event in the world and to be part of that is it is a great feeling.

“I have been working very hard on my game, getting up in the early hours to practice before I start work and going back there once I’ve finished.”

The 33-year-old, who still dreams of turning professional, defeated Billy West 4-2 and Matthew Day 4-0 before accounting for 2018 finalist Wayne Townsend 4-3 in his third match.

He met Luke Pinches – son of Norwich snooker ace Barry – in the final and stormed into a 3-0 lead.

Pinches squared the match at 3-3 with breaks of 80 and 95 before Jones displayed the aggressive side of his game to make a 62 break in the decider.

“I felt great going into the event. I went 2-0 up against Billy before he levelled at 2-2. I dug in and got over the line 4-2 and then went on the beat Matthew day 4-0.

“I scraped a 4-3 win against Wayne and I didn’t feel like I was going to get over the line with how Luke shut me out in the final.

“But I took my chances by playing aggressively and went on to grab the win.”

The finals weekend takes place at Landywood Snooker Club, Walsall, in March of next year.

Next up for the current Norfolk champion is a Q Tour series match, in Germany, next weekend (Friday) where he takes on Ukranian Taras Ulianchenko in the first round.

“I feel my performance at the English Amateurs has put me in good stead,” he said.

“I’m feeling very good about my game and also very positive. The way I am playing, there is no reason why I can’t perform the same over there and get the results that I need.”

Luckily, he avoided a meeting with both Barry and Luke Pinches and George Pragnell – three players he has been travelling and spending a lot of time with at events.

“I was just glad to not meet any of them in the first round or it could have been a horrible flight back together,” he quipped.

After the event in Germany, Jones faces four more Q Tour Series events – three of which are in the UK – and a fourth in Bulgaria early in 2024.

Jones thanks sponsors Maltings Q Club, Three Counties Academy, Adrian Flux, Webber Roofing and Kieran Mayes Brickworks for their continued support.