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Fulston Manor School

Fulston Manor School A Fulston Manor Academies Trust School

Young star, James, does it again!

After a year of regional county matches, the 16 most successful teams gathered for the National Finals at Lowestoft in Suffolk, Kent were drawn in the last sixteen against Derbyshire.

Being the defending champions from 2023, Kent were tipped as favourites to retain the title come Sunday afternoon. All matches are best of 36 frames, so the first to 19 wins the match. A draw is possible at 18-18, which activates a three-frame play-off.

Kent beat Derbyshire in the last sixteen 19-5 in a very one-sided game. This then pitted them against local rivals Essex in the quarter-finals. Kent were behind all the way but managed to draw level at 18-18. This meant there would be a three-frame play-off to see who would qualify for the semi-final on Sunday morning.

Kent won this nail-biter with Stanhope student James Goldsmith, winning one of the crucial 2 frames to give victory at 20-18.

The semi-final opponents were West Midlands who beat Kent in the 2020 final (8.30am start on Sunday morning), so the pressure was on. It turned out to be a comfortable victory, Kent got to the winning target of 19 frames with plenty to spare in a 19-11 final score.

So, into the fourth final in as many years (we believe no junior has ever played in four national finals, and he still has another two years at this level), Greater Manchester juniors came through a tough semi-final against Bedfordshire, edging it 20-18 in a playoff.

Kent's juniors got off to a very poor start, going 10-4 down. They fought back to level at 13-13, then played some great pool to win the final with a scoreline of 19-14. James' contribution was again significant, winning 10 out of his 16 frames, 4 of which were in the final. However, the biggest frame win was the playoff match in the quarter-final.

Having now qualified for the England Team earlier this year, James looks forward to representing his country in the World Championships in Blackpool at the end of June. This is pending success in the internal trial on the 6th April, so fingers crossed for that, but he is very confident. He also looks forward to four series of tournaments at locations throughout the country, three in the Under 18 category and five in the Under 25 category, the latter containing many “Ultimate Pool” professionals and Internationals., five in the southeast tour & three individual tournaments in Leicester, the latter two being men's competitions.