European Championships at Bridlington - 4th-7th April

To be selected to represent your country is such an honour. I have been lucky to play for England in 2 different sports now.

I drove upto Bridlington overnight, to avoid the traffic.. About 8 hours on the road..

I met all my team mates and the Team Manager at the hotel. I felt I fitted right in and couldn't wait to get started. 

Day 1.
Up early for breakfast, then down to the venue for the Opening Ceremony. What an opening that was.. Just Wow.
First match was against favourites Scotland, although I was a little nervous and forgot the rules in my first frame, I won 3 out of 5, quite pleased with myself, but we lost 16-9.
Second up was Wales, again I won out 5, but we lost again 14-11.
This followed a team talk from the Manager, which seemed to motivate us all. 
Final game of the day against Ireland, we won 14-11 and I only won 2 out of 5, slightly disappointed with myself, but as a Team, we could our first win.

Day 2
First Game against Gibraltar and I won 4 out of 5. We ran out winners 21-4, the team spirit was getting better match by match.
Northern Ireland were next. We won 14-11 and only 1 out of 5 for me, very disappointed in myself, but the team won again.
Last game of the day was against Scotland and another great victory, 13-12. Only 1 out of 5 for me.

I didn't have the greatest of days personally, but as a Team we were unbeaten for the day, and sitting top of the League.

Day 3.
First match was against Wales and we were beaten 14-11, only 2 out of 5 for me. Again I was disappointed by my own performance.
After the match, I took myself off for 20 minutes to get my head back in the game, I wasn't winning as many as I should of been.
We were then up against Ireland, winning 16-9, and I won all 5, finally I was back in the game and playing how I know I can.
Final match of the day against Gibraltar, winning 24-1, another 5 out of 5 for me. 

Day 4.
Started with a team talk over breakfast. The manager said go out and enjoy this final group match, the result isn't important as we were through. It's about table time before the Semi Final.

Final group match against Northern Ireland, we lost 16-9, I won 1 out 5, but was not to bothered, as I knew I could step up in the next match when it mattered.

Semi Final v Northern Ireland.
This was a very tense match, but we all played our part. Trailing 11-9 with 5 to play, we were up against it. Andy then wins, as does Gagz. Joe then pulls off an amazing clearance against their no.1 player. Unfortunately, Scott then went in off his last colour, and they cleared up. 12 all.
Guess who is playing the decider, yes you guessed it, ME. 
We lag for break, and for the first time during the week, my opponent opted for me to break, something their management team had decided.
OMG, I have to break, in the deciding frame... I was just thinking to myself, just hit them as hard as you can and hope for a legal break.. I did just that, which favoured me more than Paddy, as the balls hadn't split everywhere. 
Covering a bag and playing tactical is my type of frame.. Just making sure not to foul, which would allow my opponent a free ball. Was a very tense frame, and I always back myself under pressure, it seem's to bring the best out of me. Paddy, then called a foul on himself, a brave call in such an important match. I had 1 red left, which was an easy pot to the middle, leaving myself straight on the black, but it was tight, whether it would pass his yellow.. I looked and looked, and got down to pot it, just as I was about to take the shot, one of their players shouted out get on with it. I might be new to the International scene, but I won't be pressured into taking my shot. So I stood up, had another look, then composed myself, got down and potted the black.. My whole team mobbed me, what a feeling that was...  
I had to go out for a cigerette afterwards, and I shed a couple of tears, I was overcome by emotion.

Final v Scotland - They upped their game and beat us 13-4, they were brilliant in the final and fully deserved the win.

We finished Runners-Up in the European Championships, pretty damn good for my first involvement.

In the singles I reached the last 32 out of 128, should of got further, silly mistakes cost me.

In the Doubles I was with Andy Kay, and we lost to Clifford and John of Northern Ireland in the first round.