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.”

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.