WILTSHIRE snooker ace Riley Ellis sported a smile as wide as the county after clinching the Cuestars Under-21 Silver Tour rankings title last weekend.

The 17-year-old, from Clyffe Pypard, near Royal Wootton Bassett, needed to win the sixth and last leg of a tough season to overhaul Londoner Elliott Johnson and take the crown.

And the battle-hardened Ellis delivered in style, beating Portsmouth potter Samuel Laxton 2-0 in the final at Jesters Snooker Club in Swindon.

The top two in the rankings had both finished runner-up in their respective round-robin groups.

Johnson then lost 2-1 to Laxton in the last-four on the table next to Ellis’s semi-final against Mason Wilson (Basingstoke).

Ellis, aware of what was happening, said: “The nerves started kicking in then.”

He edged Wilson 2-1 and then claimed his second winner’s trophy of the campaign by overcoming Laxton, whom he had lost 2-1 against in the group stages.

Ellis was lost for words after the match but his face told the story

“I can’t even describe it,” he said. “I’m just glad I managed to pull through the group stages.

“I only wanted to go up (to the Gold Tour) if I earned the right.”

Paying tribute to Laxton, he added: “I love playing Samuel. He’s got a great safety game.”

Ellis’s WPBSA coach Tim Dunkley was full of admiration for the teenager.

He said: “Riley had to dig deep when he won the Bronze title in the 2016-17, and he did the same this season.

“I can’t remember seeing him so happy. So he should be, though, he’s worked so hard for this.”

Laxton finished fourth in the rankings despite missing two of the legs. Will Forster (Whiteley) was third.

Ellis thanked his sponsors Lee Craddock, from car-valeting firm Time to Shine, and Andy Cook, from Save On Tyres, as well as David and Marian Dunevein, on whose table he practises.

The event was sponsored by trophy supplier Don Rogers Sports, Swindon-based window cleaners Clean Cut and Jesters Snooker Club.

The 2021/22 junior season kicks off at Salisbury Snooker Club on Sunday, November 14.