By Nigel SLATER
WORLD Ladies Junior snooker champion Hannah Jones has said playing at a Snooker Legends event in her home city has made her even more determined to make it on to the main tour.
The talented 16-year-old from Derby was given the rare opportunity to play a frame against six-times world champion Steve Davis on the big stage as the Legends Series hit the East Midlands last month.
And the youngster pushed Davis all the way before the ‘Nugget’ potted the final pink to clinch the frame at Derby’s Assembly Rooms. The night also starred some of the sport’s greats including Jimmy White, seven times world champion Stephen Hendry and current top 16 star Mark Williams.
Hannah, who has lifted the World Ladies Junior Championship crown on five occasions, is set to ditch her school text books to take on snooker on a full time basis as she bids to make her dream of becoming professional come true.
Speaking to The Old Green Baize the teenager said playing in front of a big crowd for the first time was something she will never forget and it has spurred her on even more.
“It was absolutely mind-blowing, I was shaking so bad,” she said.
“It was just fantastic to play against someone like Steve Davis who I’ve always looked up to.
“I’ve never played in front of a crowd so big before in an arena like that where there is just one table and everybody is looking at you.
“If I could play in it again I would. It kind of felt like an early insight into life as a professional player.
“After the event people messaged me saying how well I did and asked for my autograph which I’m still working on at the moment!”
The next twelve months are a busy time for young Hannah as she plans to increase her practice hours in preparation for next year’s Q School event which will see her compete for a place on the main tour.
“Playing in Q School is going to be great and will be an amazing experience for me,” she added.
“As soon as my exams are over all my focus will be on my game. It would mean everything to me to become professional as I absolutely love the game.
“If I could make it as a professional I hope it would inspire many other women to take up the game.”