IT WAS just another day at the office for England international Billy Castle.
But for one wide-eyed 11-year-old watching the masterclass in break building, it was a tantalising glimpse of what the future may hold for him.
Castle turned on the style in front of young players from across the south as he cruised to victory in the fifth leg of the Cuestars Under-21 Gold Tour at Chandler’s Ford Snooker Club.
On the tables where he honed his remarkable skills in the Saturday junior leagues, the 20-year-old from Marchwood chalked up a century and missed out on two more by the width of a jaw. “I try my best,” Castle smiled. “I like people watching me. I play even better. There’s no better feeling than people watching you when you’re playing well. “I scored heavy today. I think I had ten breaks over 50. So it’s not bad going.”
Castle, an IBSF World Championship quarter-finalist in Bulgaria last year, won 16 of his 17 frames.
In the group stages, he missed a doubled red into the middle on 99 against Ben Tanner (Boyatt Wood).
He wrapped up his 3-1 semi-final victory over Lee Bell (Sholing) with a wonderful 100.
And in a lightning-fast final, he demolished Rikki Moore (Bournemouth) 3-0 with breaks of 70, 49 and a 92 that ended with a missed double on the last red.
Meanwhile, young Eastleigh potter Luke Beebe was licking his wounds after a third successive quarter-final exit in his debut season on the Bronze Tour, the third tier of the Cuestars ladder. Recalling the early days of his career, Castle said: “I was always watching (future Town Champions) Mike Finn and Alex Dunkley and thinking ‘I hope I’m as good as them one day’.
“I’m sure that’s what Luke thinks. “It’s good to see him eager. He loves watching the game. He takes pointers so he should go a long way.”
And he had this advice for all the region’s young players: “Just make sure you keep enjoying it and work hard. Everything else will come.”
For the record, Castle’s breaks were: 100, 99, 92, 88, 82, 70, 64, 50, 50, 50 and 49.
More snooker in today's Daily Echo