Below is an article published by the Dyke House Sports and Technology College.
Dazzling Darion on cue for success
DARION COCKRILL has pocketed a place in the latter stages of the English Under-14s Championship with an unbeaten display in Leeds.
The Dyke House Sports & Technology College student won all four of his group games at the qualifier at the Northern Snooker Centre to secure a spot in the last-16 in April.
The Championship is effectively England trials and Cockrill, a scholar on Dyke House’s Elite Development Squad programme, delivered on the big stage to highlight the progress he has made over the last couple of years.
The 13-year-old, pictured, said: “I was really pleased with how things went, I just stuck to what I have learned all the way through and it feels good.
“If I can go back to Leeds on April 12 and win two games I am pretty sure to be in the England squad. That is my goal.
“If I can go there and win four games then I will be the English Under-14s champion. That sounds good and that’s what I’m aiming for.”
In his four qualifying group games, Cockrill won two of them by three frames without reply and the other 2-1.
He also narrowly missed out on a place in the last-16 of the Under-16s Championship when he lost one and won two of his group matches the following day.
The teenager said: “It was good experience though and I almost went through had I had a better frame average.”
Cockrill, a former pupil at Hartlepool’s Jesmond Gardens Primary, first started to play snooker when his nana, Pauline, took him for a game when he was eight.
The talented cue-man goes up to Glasgow four times a year for coaching with Jim Donnelly. The former world 29 has a renowned Junior Academy and boasts top pros John Higgins and Alan McManus among those he has worked with.
“Jim has been giving me advice and lessons in break building to get my cue action going,” said Cockrill.
“What I have been trying to do is use what he has been telling me in games. It has worked for me because in the last two years my highest break has gone from 35 up to 60. At line up my highest break was 40 and now it’s 100.”
Cockrill also plays football – ‘for something else to do’ – but snooker has become his real passion. When he was nine he became the youngest player to clinch promotion to the Hartlepool Premier League.
He said: “I just love playing snooker and I would love one day to be a professional – in the world’s top ten would be nice.”
The original article can be seen on the Dyke House Sports and Technology College.