ACCRINGTON'S Chris Norbury just failed to be crowned European Under 19 Snooker Champion in Russia as he lost out to Mark Allen in a close final.
But, thanks to his final show, Norbury has secured his place in the 2005-6 Main Tour while he will receive an invite to participate in the 2005 European Championships in Poland.
Chris was beaten 6-5 in a pulsating final. Irishman Allen was first out of the blocks with a quick-fire 69. Norbury responded with 49 but Allen nicked the frame on the black.
The Englishman, though, got his name on the board in the third with a useful effort of 46. He ran in 60 in the fourth, but missed a red and Allen cleared with 41 to lead 3-1.
And the Antrim player stretched his lead with 62 in the fifth. Norbury then amassed 70 to reduce the deficit and dominated the eighth as well. A run of 44 put Allen within a frame of the title, but Norbury compiled a marvellous 112 clearance to send the match into a deciding frame.
After a few nervous exchanges, Allen slotted a long red and then cleared the table to win the championship.
Both players now return to the UK to compete in the final Challenge Tour event at Pontins. Both players are attempting to gain a top six ranking, to gain a top 64 seeding next season.