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It’s been a scene played out numerous times at the WEPF World 8-Ball Pool Championships but Lee Kendall, for one, never gets tired of the experience.
So, the England captain was delighted to lift the trophy after the hosts defeated Ireland 8-4 in the men’s team final.

After Shaun Sharkey and Robert Brady gave the Irish an early 2-0 lead against Karl Sutton and Dave Fernandez, England took control.
Mike King, Shane Thompson, Kendall and Ben Flack took frames off Paul Kelly, Dave McQuillan, Neil Madigan and Pat O’Leary with Matthew O’Hara replying for the runners-up against Jack Pople.

When Sharkey beat King to make it 4-all, a close final looked likely. Instead, Gavin Lomax, Sutton, Fernandez and Rob Wharne won their frames to complete another team victory.
“It was a tough match,” said Kendall, runner-up in the World Masters to Josh Kane. “We knew Ireland couldn’t play as badly as they did in the semi-finals.
“And they played a solid final. We were 2-0 down but hung in there. We took out some good finishes in frames three, four and five to get ourselves back in the match.”

Stoke potter Kendall has been coming to the World Championships for 25 years and so is well placed to rate the current squad under his control.

“We don’t have the likes of he Mick Hill, Gareth Potts and Jason Twist anymore,” he explained.
“But in the era where we are now, it’s probably the best team we have had in many a year.”

England reached the final with an 8-3 win over India while the Irish were involved in a protracted struggle against Scotland.
The game started on Tuesday evening but finished in the early hours of Wednesday morning as McQuillan, Paul Kelly and Madigan defeated Matt Brannan, Gerry Canning and Scott Kennedy to complete an 8-6 win from 6-5 down.
England topped the table after the round robin stage, losing only once in nine outings, rather surprisingly 11-10 against Mauritius, Ireland, holders Australia and Northern Ireland all finished on 10 points.

In the play-off, India knocked out Northern Ireland 11-8 while Pat O’Leary won a deciding 21st frame to give Ireland a stunning 11-10 success over the holders.


Trevor Baxter - Press Officer
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