Church helps answer England’s prayers

Tom Church. Pool. wk 28.
Tom Church. Pool. wk 28.

POOL: Bedfordshire’s Tom Church (Wilden) was part of the four-man England U21 A team that won the World U21 Team Championships at the WEPF World Championships in Blackpool.

The team competed in groups over the week of June 24-29, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals.

In a twist of fate, the England U21 A team played the B team in the semis where Church’s county team-mate, Glen Hannibal (St Neots) was also playing.

In a very close match the A team won 5-4 before comfortably defeating year’s winners Ireland A 5-1 in the final.

Meanwhile, in the World U21 Singles, Hannibal progressed all the way to the final before losing a close match 8-6 to Scotland’s Ryan Davie.

The World Masters then took place last weekend and Beds had a number of representatives.

Hannibal progressed the furthest eventually going out in the last 16.

However, there was a good debut from 16-year-old Beds youth captain, Josh Riddaway (Greenfield) who is now part of the England Junior Team after winning the trials in January.

He was only eligible to enter the Men’s Masters for the first time at this event and won through the first two rounds, 7-1 and 7-6, before going out to seasoned ex-professional snooker player Sefton Payne, 7-4.

In the Plate event, Riddaway carried on his good run, beating a Welsh men’s player 4-0, before going out in a close match, 4-3, to the Northern Ireland men’s captain.

Church, 18, and Hannibal, 16, are both now looking forward to the European Championships in February and are both hoping for sponsorship for next year’s UK Pool Tour.

Anyone interested should contact Bobby Riddaway on 07970 378415.