Mansfield to host prestigious blackball event

Harvey Elmhirst (centre).

Harvey Elmhirst (centre).

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A Mansfield conference venue is celebrating after being selected to stage a prestigious blackball tournament later this year.

The Towers, on Botney Avenue, has been chosen to host the 2015 European Blackball Association (EBA) Nations Cup for Specials and Youths.

Nottinghamshire’s blackball manager Harvey Elmhirst says the decision to bring the tournament to Mansfield will bring a host of benefits to the area.

He told the Chad: “I’ve been involved in pool around Mansfield and Nottinghamshire for the past 24 years and this is without doubt the biggest event to ever come here.

“There’s been a lot of hard work put into it.

“The last time that this event was held, it was over in Malta.

“So for Mansfield to get this event it is something special and it really is great for Mansfield and Nottinghamshire as a whole.”

The EBA Nations Cup will stage tournaments for the under-15s, under-18s and special needs categories.

International pool teams from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar will all descend on Mansfield from Sunday, October 25 until Saturday, October 31.

It is estimated over 250 people from all over Europe will be arriving especially for the event.

Nottinghamshire blackball pool will have nine players playing for them at the tournament.

Jacob Elmhirst, Connor Croft and Suria Rai will be representing England under-15s.

Greg Davis, Danny Zikic and Jordan Cunningham will be turning out for England’s under-18s

There will also be a family feel to the England Specials’ side, with brothers Wayne and Jacob Winnals being joined by cousin Richard.

Another local involvement is Tracy Davis, who is coach of England under-15s and under-18s and will be hoping to win the Nations Cup.

Harvey added: “Chris Walker, the owner of Towers, has worked very hard to make sure that we got this event to coem to Mansfield.

“Originally, Ireland bidded for it and so did Scotland, but in the end we got it.

“The Towers will be using both function rooms where both rooms can hold 200 people.

“There will be the main pool room, the upstairs function room will have 10 pool tables and a stage.

“In total there will be 25 pool tables especially for this event.

“I’ve been involved in pool around Notts for years and they said that blackball would never take off.

“However, the county has won six national titles over the last few years and we’ve got ten teams altogether.

“The sport has really developed over the past few years and it’s fantastic to see it grow.”

The week-long event is free to attend.