Hawke's Bay's Sam Martin made the ideal start to the Oceania under-21 snooker tournament at the Havelock North Club today.
One of three Bay players in the field of 16, but the only host province cueist in the New Zealand team of six which will take on their Aussie counterparts in Wednesday night's transtasman test, Martin beat Aussie Hilton Moeahu 4-0.
"I was up by 30 or 40 in all four frames. I had a high break of 33 and heaps of consistent 20s ... I punished Hilton's mistakes," 17-year-old apprentice electrician Martin recalled.
The Dave Judd-coached Martin will take on fellow Bay player Michaela Spencer and last year's winner Mario Hildred of Taranaki tomorrow.
"I've beaten Michaela before and I've managed 3-2 losses to Mario in my couple of matches against him. You've got a chance against everybody in this tournament and the big plus is I can go home and relax for tomorrow now as I don't have to play tonight," Martin said.
He was referring to the fact he doesn't have to play in the 5pm round today. Spencer and the Bay's other entrant, Marcus Moat, were scheduled to open their campaigns in the 5pm session.
Hawke's Bay-born Moeahu, 18, moved to Australia in 2003 with his parents, former Bay cueists Annette Moeahu and Colin Atkinson, as a toddler. He has been playing snooker for two years and will be in the Aussie team on Wednesday night.
"I made too many simple mistakes against Sam but my confidence is still up and I can bounce back," Moeahu said.
The final of the tournament will be played before the test on Wednesday. The Oceania Masters for men and women will be played from Thursday until Saturday.
Multiple national champion in a variety of cue sports, Bayden Jackson, is the only Hawke's Bay player entered in the field of 16.