Snooker: Hot prospect Elton slips to narrow loss in qualifiers

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Talented youngster Nico Elton failed to qualify for the International Championships after losing 6-4 to world number eight Mark Allen.

Elton, a part-time sandwich shop worker, raced into a two-frame lead at the Barnsley Metrodome yesterday before Allen hit back with breaks of 68 and 53.

The 17-year-old, a regular member of the England junior team and winner of the English Under-16 title last year, edged a scrappy fifth frame only for Allen to level things up with a 109 break.

The duo shared the next two frames but Allen held his nerve to win the ninth and tenth to book his place in final stages of the tournament, which takes place in Chengdu, China, next month.

Elton, who practices at the Star Academy in Sheffield, is set to compete in the third European Tour event, starting on October 3 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Amateur potter faces Jake Nicholson in the opening round.

“My plan is to turn professional as soon as possible and make a career out of snooker,” said Elton.