A TRIO of Borders pool players made their way to Blackpool to represent Scotland for the first time in the European Eight Ball Pool Championships.
Scott Bowers and Scott Simpson were joined by Edinburgh-based Ian McCombe at the event, held in the Puma Imperial Hotel, where all the Scottish teams performed well against some brilliant squads, with various European and world champions taking part.
In the team matches, Simpson started well then struggled in a few tricky games, but still blew away a few top players late on.
McCombe had a dodgy start then hit a purple patch with some good wins, recording a fine average, and Bowers played his usual grinding win-at-all-costs game, although luck deserted him on various occasions.
In the singles, McCombe played his best game, but was slightly outclassed when going down to ex-world champion and eventual winner Keith Brewer. Simpson went early as well to top Englishman Jordan O’Connor in a nip-and-tuck affair with a somewhat lucky final frame decider going against him, while Bowers went down in the last 32 in an almost three-hour marathon final-frame thriller to old foe Englishman Ian Turner.
All three had tricky draws, but performed with great credit and are now looking forward to the Worlds in June.
This week, it was back to League Cup on the domestic side with a few meaningless games, as three of four groups were already decided. The remaining group awaits a head-to-head with both Station and Reivers B recording good wins and still to play each other.
Results: Station (Hawick) 9 Bridge B (Gala); Reivers B (Gala) 8 High Level B (Hawick) 1; Ship A (Melrose) 5 Ship B (Melrose) 4; Frankie’s (Hawick) 2 Fleece (Selkirk) 7; Niki’s Bar (Gala) 2 Waverley A (Hawick) 7; Red Lion (Kelso) 5 Bridge A (4).