Nicholson wins thrilling billiards decider in Melbourne

DENZEL Nicholson, 14, has become the youngest winner of the Australian Under 21s Billiards Championship after a hard fought battle in Melbourne last week.

TOP EFFORT: Denzel Nicholson, 14, has become the youngest winner of the Australian Under 21s Billiards Championship. Photo: ALEXANDER GRANT

TOP EFFORT: Denzel Nicholson, 14, has become the youngest winner of the Australian Under 21s Billiards Championship. Photo: ALEXANDER GRANT

Nicholson triumphed in the final 319-305 over Matt Curwood after a back-and-forth battle which was only decided inside the closing minutes.

The title for Nicholson comes not long after reaching the quarter-finals of the Oceania Billiards and Snooker Championship’s under 21s tournament.

Nicholson earned a spot in the semi-finals of the Australian Under 21s Billiards Championship courtesy of winning two of his three pool matches.

The Bathurst player won against Hilton Moeahu (195-161) and Kane Weekley (210-128) but went down to Josh Burns (297-114).

I spent most of the final down by 50 [points].

Denzel Nicholson

A second place pool finish meant Nicholson had to come up against unbeaten Marc Fridman in the semi-final.

Nicholson held his nerve over the 90 minutes to emerge a 297-289 winner.

The other semi-final saw Burns stunned by Curwood 330-305, which meant both previously-undefeated players failed to reach the final.

Nicholson certainly had his share of ups and downs during an exciting tournament.

“I was up by 20, then it would go to zero, then back out to 20 … but got away at the end,” he said.

“In the final I was up by about 50 in just five minutes but in about another five minutes I was down by 20. I then spent most of the match down by 50.

“I didn’t realise the game got that close until there was a few minutes to go when I was up by about 20.”

Nicholson also progressed to the knockout stage of the Australian Under 21s Snooker Championship on the back of two wins and two losses.

Nicholson went down to 3-1 to Fridman in the quarter-finals. Curwood defeated Alex Pace 5-3 in the decider.