England finished just shy of the Home Internationals main event title at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds on Monday afternoon.
The 2019 edition of this historic team event involved Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Ably led by captain Steven Hallworth; Oliver Brown, Ryan Davies, Christopher Keogan and William Lemons had all earned the honour to represent the host nation in the competition.
They started by breezing through their group, finishing top following victories over Wales B (8-4), Scotland (11-1) and Republic of Ireland A (9-3). Republic of Ireland B were then dispatched 7-4 in the semi-final knockouts, meaning England reached the final with the only 100% record.
However, the Prince of Wales Shield proved to be one step too far, as the Wales A team of Gavin Lewis (captain), Tyler Rees, Dylan Emery and David Donovan won by a narrow margin of 7-5.
Despite the final outcome, England should still be proud of their silver medal finish. In a true team effort, all five players ended the event having won more than half of the frames they competed in. Keogan also registered the highest break of the tournament with a 107.
In the Masters category, both England A and B sides qualified for the semi-finals before they bowed out to the Republic of Ireland and Wales B respectively. The B team subsequently defeated the A team 5-3 to secure a third-place finish. The Irish went on to win the title for the first time.
England A consisted of John Rees, Shaun Wilkes, David Brown, Graham Beardmore and Stuart Watson, while Anthony Massey, Chris Hart, Mark Ball, Ali Anwar and Danny Connolly represented England B.
This week in Yorkshire will see the turn of the Under-21, Under-16 and Billiards teams, who are all aiming to keep those trophies on home soil.
For further information and full results, stats and standings from this year’s festival, please visit the Home International Billiards and Snooker Federation website here.