Champion at 17!

A SUPER-talented Antrim teenager has proved once again why he is one of the hottest prospects in snooker.

Antrim has been something of a hot bed for the game in recent years, producing champions like Mark Alan and Jordan Brown.

Now Robbie McGuigan joins them on the winner’s podium after pocketing the Northern Ireland Amateur crown,

It is his first senior ranking event win, but few believe it will be his last!

He knocked in his first 147 at the tender age of 13 and his game has only improved since then, his skills sharpened by mentor Mark Allen.

His big win makes him the youngest ever holder of the title, at just 17 years and 11 days.

And he took that accolade from a certain Mark Allen, who was two months older when he got his hands on the cup!

Last year he was defeated in the final by Declan Lavery, but he made no mistake at Antrim Sports Club when he took on regular practice partner Rab McCullough.

If there were any early nerves, they did not show as he took the first frame 74-18.

After five frames he was 4-1 up, but McCullough was not giving up without a fight - and he pulled it back to 4-3.

After that, however, it was virtually one way traffic with the teenager potting his way to a historic 10-4 win.

After years of hard work on the table, a new kid had arrived on the block.

Former World Champ Dennis Taylor was among those paying tribute to the Antrim lad.

“Well done Robbie,” he said.

“Huge congratulations. All the very best to you.”

This was echoed by a proud Mark Allen.

“Massive congratulations to Northern Ireland’s newest national champion, Robbie McGuigan,” he said.

“If stato [Jordan Brown) is right he also becomes the youngest ever national champion at 17 years and 11 days.

“Phenomenal achievement and I think it’s only the beginning for him.”

Robbie has no intention of resting on his laurels.

“Very pleased to have become the youngest ever NI champion Onto the next one.”

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