Local players take county pool team to new heights

Notts Blackball County Pool Fderation captains (left to right): Dean Croft, C Team; Harvey Elmhirst, A Team, u18's, u23's and Head of Notts Black Ball and Jimmy Hallam, B Team

Notts Blackball County Pool Fderation captains (left to right): Dean Croft, C Team; Harvey Elmhirst, A Team, u18's, u23's and Head of Notts Black Ball and Jimmy Hallam, B Team

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Mansfield Towers-based Nottinghamshire Blackball Pool Federation took six teams to the National County finals at Selsey, where five of them made their finals and three came away with national titles.

Notts U23s, and the Notts men’s B and C teams all came away victorious.

Notts blackball manager, Mansfield’s Harvey Elmhirst said: “I am a very proud man.

“When I started this county team three years ago I never thought we do this well.

“We are the biggest county in the country now.

“I have give two and a half years of my life to this county. It’s been so much work, but it was worth it for all six teams to do so well.”

The outstanding U23s beat Bristol 13-6 in the final with Hayden Hickling and Jamie Thornton in good form and Ryan Baker winning five out of five in the final,

The Notts men’s C team beat favourites West Yorkshire 14-11 in the semi-finals before going on to triumph over Hampshire 14-12 in the final, captain Dean Croft winning the last leg.

Outstanding players for the C team were Wayne Glover, Trev Anderson and main man Graham Cliffe.

Jimmy Hallam’s Notts B won the nationals men’s B team event as Andy Wilson starred in an easy 14-8 semi-finals win over West Yorkshire before beating Merseyside in the final with Mansfield’s Tim Hirst playing some top shots to win all three of his games and veteran Gaz Casterton clinching the match.

The Notts men’s A team came second in the group stages, including victory over five-times champions Middlesex and this year’s runners-up Merseyside.

In the quarter-finals, they then beat 2013 winners East London 14-11 with Sutton’s Jon Hartley outstanding.

However, the run came to an end in the semi-finals when Notts A lost to this year’s winners, West Yorkshire.

Despite good performances from Nick Jones and Kev Seaman, the senior men went down 11-9 in their final against Bristol.

The fact that Notts U18s, managed by Harvey Elmhirst, went all the way to the final, where they lost 13-10 to Oxford was testament to how far they have come as the team of Chris Croft, Luke Wrigglesworth, Greg Davis, Danny Zikic and Sharn Logan were not even playing pool three years ago.

The players will now turn their attentions to the impending European Championships, which will be held in Bridlington in three weeks time where they will hope to carry on this form.