Kettering’s Kyren Wilson claimed the second ranking title of his career as he beat Peter Ebdon in the final of the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany.
The 26-year-old completed a superb few days in Fürth by coming from 2-0 down to win four frames in a row and clinch his first ranking title since he burst on to the world stage by winning the Shanghai Masters in 2015.
His victory means he has now moved up one place in the world rankings to eighth and he has also booked a place in the Champion of Champions event in November.
Wilson and Ebdon, who used to live in Wellingborough, first met 20 years ago at a charity pool event.
After losing a frame against the six-year-old boy, former world champion Ebdon suggested to Wilson’s parents that their son had a rare talent and should give snooker a try. The two have remained friends ever since.
They both practice at Barratts in Northampton and Wilson said: “It was always going to be a tough final against Peter. He’s a class act and I’d rather have played someone else in the final because usually I want him to win.
“But I’m chuffed to get the second ranking title on my CV. Your career is all based on what you have won, not how many finals you have been in. I’ve had a strong start to the season and I need to keep building.
“This tournament holds fond memories for me because it was the first overseas one I travelled to as a young kid. I’m delighted to get my name on the trophy.”
Wilson had lost ranking finals in the 2016 Indian Open and the World Open and English Open last year while also finishing as runner-up at the Masters earlier this year, but he made no mistake on this occasion.
He won seven matches over the weekend. In both the quarter and semi-finals he was a few balls away from defeat, but edged 4-3 wins over Daniel Wells and Peter Lines.
Ebdon, aiming to become the second oldest ever winner of a ranking event at the age of 47, took the first two frames of the final with a top break of 66.
Wilson crucially took the third by potting the last pink and black, then made a 120 for 2-2.
He got the better of a scrappy fifth frame , then made 68 and 57 in the sixth to cross the winning line and secure the £20,000 top prize.