WEST FIFE is a leading light on the European pool stage as three cue stars pocketed a hat-trick of prestigious titles.
And for two of them, it’s the second successive year that they’ve cleared up and lifted the trophy at the European Blackball Association (EBA) European Championship.
Inverkeithing professional potter Liam Dunster, Rosyth’s Alan Reynolds and his dad, Alan senior, were all in action at the prestigious tournament that was held in Bridlington, Yorkshire last month.
Dunster, 23, who turned pro in 2015 when he won the men’s under-23 title, followed up his men’s singles success 12 months ago by beating Welshman Mark Bowen 7-6 in the final to retain the championship, while the younger Reynolds, 27, made it two-in-a-row in the learning difficulty category.
Reynolds senior then ensured there would be two European champions in the same household when he defeated pal and Dunfermline-based Ross McInnes – husband of former snooker ref and pool star Michaela Tabb – in the masters final for players aged 50 and over.
There was almost a fourth West Fife winner as Martin Jones lost out to England’s Kevin Seaman in the seniors individual final but, speaking to Press Sport, Alan Snr – who helps coach both his son and Dunster – commented: “The Dunfermline and District Pool League especially have had so many successes. For the two boys to win it is fantastic but to retain it is quite incredible. I coach the two of them so I can be quite critical but we have quite a talent on our hands.
“Speaking on behalf of Alan, he had his back to the wall a couple of times, and certainly at the last 32 stage. They play the best of five frames in the LD category and he was 2-1 down to a Northern Irish guy before he won 3-2, and then in the final he was 2-1 down and came back to 2-2 before he broke and cleared the table.
“He wasn’t at his best this year and had a lot of expectation on his shoulders but saved his best until the end. You have to have natural ability but those two boys have got real bottle as well; that’s what it comes down to because it can be intimidating.
“There are people that are multi-winners but to win two years in a row is very unusual, especially at Liam’s level. Alan is the man to beat in his category; he’s the world champion, is a three-time European champion and a six-time Scottish champion. But what Liam’s done is incredible.”
Alan, 50, was thrilled to pick up the masters title, and joked: “I probably practised more than they (Dunster and Alan Jnr) before the event; they’re always winding me up, asking me when I’m going to do something, so I was more motivated!
“Ross has achieved so much in the game and done so much for it so it was a dream come true to play him in the final.
“I knew it was a harder final but it was befitting to play my mate and a guy that I look up to.
“To be able to say there are two European champions in the one household probably won’t happen very often either, so it’s fantastic.”