Perfect start for Bonnyrigg’s Leslie

Bonnyrigg’s Michael Leslie made the perfect start in his pursuit of the World Under-21 Snooker Championship title at the Sheraton Montreal Airport Hotel in Canada, winning his opening five matches in his group.

The 18-year-old received an early boost when the group stages draw had to be redone following the withdrawal of some of the India players as a result of visa issues, resulting in Leslie receiving what looked on paper to be a more favourable draw than the initial one.

Leslie, who was runner-up in The European under-21 championship earlier this year, opened up with a comfortable 4-0 whitewash of Belgium’s Jurian Heusdens before a 4-2 victory over New Zealand’s Lee Paul.

The Bonnyrigg youngster was then made to work hard to defeat Khalid Ali Ali Kumar of United Arab Emirates, makng breaks of 73, 67 and 67 in an impressive 4-2 victory, before another comfortable 4-0 victory over Andrei Orzan of Romania.

Leslie completed his run of five victories with a 4-2 victory over 2008 Junior Pot Black champion, Jason Devaney of Republic of Ireland, finishing off the match with a magnificent 114 break.

Perth’s Scott Donaldson, 17, is also through to the knockout stages, having won five of his opening six matches.

Incredibly, Donaldson made two century breaks in his only defeat so far to England’s Nick Jennings in a 4-3 defeat.

Rhys Clark (Hamilton) should also make it out of his qualifying group, having won three out of five of his matches.

The qualifying stages will finish on Monday before 32 players progress to the knockout stages.