'I can’t explain what it was like to pot the last ball, knowing I was going to become a snooker pro'

'I can’t explain what it was like to pot the last ball, knowing I was going to become a snooker pro'
Cork snooker: The Hill family and friends along with member of the Irish squad after Aaron Hill's arrival back from the EBSA European Championships.

AARON Hill is the talk of the European snooker.

The 18-year-old Cork snooker sensation has re-written the history books with his double in Portugal last week when he secured professional status.

And that just four years after taking up the sport.

Hill landed at Dublin Airport last Sunday afternoon arriving back from Faro with some very special luggage on board in the shape of the European U18 and U21 cups. And his family were there in force to greet the young champion to begin some really emotional celebrations.

Cork snooker ace Aaron Hill arrived at Dublin Airport to be greeted by proud parents Doreen and Stephen Hill.
Cork snooker ace Aaron Hill arrived at Dublin Airport to be greeted by proud parents Doreen and Stephen Hill.

Hill entered the EBSA European championships in the U18 category as the red hot favourite and he didn’t disappoint dropping only one frame from the last 16 knockout stages en-route to victory.

The Crucible player took two very noticeable scalps in that tournament defeating Ben Mertens of Belgium 4-0 in the semi-final which was sweet revenge for his World U16 Final defeat to Mertens in St Petersburg in 2018.

Then in the final he wiped away the disappointment of losing out to Sean Maddocks in the WST semi-final in Malta last January by defeating the English player 4-1 to retain his European U18 title.

The U21 championship looked like it could be his too if he could keep up the amazing standard he had set for himself. Nicknamed the ‘Breeze', ice-cool Hill was never going to get flustered and showed what a tough match player he was in the U21 European Championship dropping just four frames from the last 16 knockout stages.

Cork snooker players Ross Bulman and Aaron Hill with national coach PJ Nolan.
Cork snooker players Ross Bulman and Aaron Hill with national coach PJ Nolan.

On his way to victory he defeated fellow Corconian Ross Bulman, Mark Lloyd and Mertens again in the semi-final 4-1 before going on to win the title with a stunning 5-2 victory over England’s Hayden Staniland in the final.

Nobody in the history of the EBSA Championships has won both the U18 and U21 titles at the same event and the win meant that Hill will now turn professional next season with an invite from the WPBSA to join the World Snooker Tour.

“I don’t know how to describe it, it hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I am so thrilled to win the two events and I am delighted to be going pro.

“I can’t explain what it was like to pot those last few balls, my arm was gone I was just delighted to get over the line. I want to say a huge thanks to my parents Stephen and Doreen.

“I owe everything to them, without them I wouldn’t have any of this, they do all the hard work I just turn up and play and I want to thank all my family for their support and my friends at the Crucible and some very close friends and I want to say a huge thank you to my sponsor Tomás Singleton at Singleton’s SuperValu who has been with me for a while now and I am grateful for all he has done for me.

Hill burst on to the snooker scene just over four years ago and within 12 months he had the CBSA Cork U19 title in his pocket and since then has just won everything there is to win at local, provincial, national and at international level.

His rise to fame within the game is incredible and one of the most important characteristics about this sensational snooker talent is that he is just a very nice kid, respectful, honest and a very humble person.

The plaudits are now coming in from everyone in snooker who want to congratulate Aaron including the world number six Mark Allen “Obviously I wanted wee Robbie to go to Portugal and win the events but what Aaron Hill has just done this last week is simply ridiculous. To win a European U18 is good, to go there and defend it is even better but to win the U21 as well, earning him a two year tour card, is just ridiculous.

“So happy for him he’s a genuinely lovely kid and I’m excited to see how he’ll do on the pro tour. I’m expecting big things. Oh, he’s cut to -21 now in the pro-am in June.”  Hill will still have I would imagine the opportunity to defend his National RIBSA U18 title and contest the National U21 championship in Carlow at the Ivy Rooms in May, depending on the movement and restrictions on sport at that time.

Hill is now certainly an inspiration to more young Cork players coming through into the game and at a time where it looks likely that Ken Doherty and Fergal O’Brien may be leaving the WST never has it been more important that Ireland has a player in the professional game.

HILL'S ROLL OF HONOUR:

Stephen Hill; Deputy County Mayor, Cllr Michael Looney and Aaron Hill at Cork and Northside Sports Awards Overall awards. Picture: Gerard Bonus.
Stephen Hill; Deputy County Mayor, Cllr Michael Looney and Aaron Hill at Cork and Northside Sports Awards Overall awards. Picture: Gerard Bonus.

European U21 Champion.

European U18 Champion (2019, 2020).

WST semi-finalist Malta 2020.

IBSF World Doubles semi-finalist 2019.

IBSF World U16 Finalist 2018.

Champion of All of Ireland.

National U16, U18 (2018, 2019) U21.

Don O’Donoghue Memorial 2020.

WST Shootout (last 32).

Munster U16, U18, U21.

Cork U16, U18, U19, U21.

Cork Close A Champion (2018, 2019, 2020).

Cork Close B 2017.

All-Ireland Club Championships (Crucible).

Munster Club A and B Championships (Crucible).

Cork League Championships (Crucible, only amateur to pot three consecutive centuries).

Five practice Maximum 147 breaks in 2019 and 2020.

Tournament High Break 131.

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