Wisbech pool stars reach semi-final of Under-18 World Championships in France

TWO pool stars from Wisbech have returned from the Under-18 World Championships in France - after being knocked out in the semi-final.

James Ripley, 17, and Ben Teun, 18, were included in the five man 8-ball pool team for England, who were denied an appearance in the final by a strong Welsh side.

Ripley also suffered the heartbreak of another semi-final defeat, after being knocked out in the singles tournament one step before the biggest rack of his career.

Ripley said: “It was a great experience for me to be playing against the best players in the world.

“But to be honest I didn’t even play that well. I had a bit of a nightmare with my cue and I had to get a French man to put a new tip on it. I feel like I could have done better but I’ll take that experience and move on.”

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It was the first time the pair had travelled overseas to represent their country on the baize. The contest was held in a huge arena in Limoges.

“They had stands on the site so people could watch and a balcony,” said Ripley. “There were loads of people watching - literally hundreds. I will admit I was a bit nervous.”

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The teenagers, who also compete in the Wisbech pool leagues, hope to continue playing for the national side.

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