Not many Mansfield sportsmen or women can claim to be champions of the world. But it’s an honour that has been bestowed on 15-year-old pool player Jacob Elmhirst.
For Elmhirst, born and bred in the town and a pupil at The Brunts Academy, was a member of the England U15 squad that won the team event for their age group at the world blackball pool championships in Killarney, Ireland.
Alongside teammates, Krish Patel, Josh Stoneham and Leighton McDonnell, he helped England beat the highly-rated Scotland 8-4 in the final. And he didn’t just play a secondary role either. He won the last frame to clinch the match, and the title, having recorded the second best statistics of all U15 players at the tournament.
Elmhirst also reached the final of the U15 doubles event with Patel, who hails from Essex. And although they were defeated, the success repeated their heroic efforts at the European Championships where they also made the final.
At a tournament to remember, Elmhirst was one of several players from the Nottinghamshire county team, based at The Towers in Mansfield, who tasted glory.
Of the rest, the standout was Kev Seaman, who comes from Worksop, for he retained his world doubles title alongside Simon Doyle, of Bristol. They beat some of the best senior doubles players in the world, knocking out opponents from South Africa, Scotland, Wales and Ireland before defeating fellow England players Tom Jones and Meil McDonnell, 3-0, in the final.
It’s the second time Seaman has taken the world doubles title, having won it with Steve Wooder four years ago when he was also crowned singles champion. Having also lifted the European singles title in 2013, he can rightly be lauded as one of the best pool players across the globe.
Seaman cemented his reputation as a member of the England senior team that reached the final of their event in Killarney. They lost to Scotland, but his statistics were among the best, as were those of classy teammate Julie Goodyear, who is also a Notts player.
Of the other Notts representatives, Bob Snell reached three finals, including the masters singles in which he lost to an opponent from Northern Ireland. Snell also tasted defeat in the masters doubles with Neil Partridge, of Bristol, and with England in the team event. But a haul of three silver medals was still a superb achievement.
Meanwhile Wayne and Jacob Winnals, of Sutton, helped the England Special A team to third place after victory over Ireland in a play-off, while Greg Davis and Jordan Cunningham got to the U18 team final with England, who suffered a narrow 13-12 defeat against France.
The manager of the England U18 and U15 teams is Trace Davis, of Clipstone. The U15s were the only England team to take a title at the tournament.