England Crowned 2020 European 8-Ball Champions In Malta

Posted by HLD 25 FEBRUARY 2020

England once again walked away with another 8-Ball crown at the recent European championship in Malta.

We interviewed Ben Flack, our Commercial Manager, and England 8 Ball Championship player. This year, Ben impressively managed to finish in the quarter-finals.


Team England 2020 with Ben Flack.jpg

Ben said, “The tournament has been running since 1997 and is rotated between nations, mainly Malta, Ireland and England. The competition has Mens A, Mens B, Ladies, Over 50s, under 23s under 18s and wheelchair categories. There are also singles events for the above but the men’s category is open to men’s A men’s B, under 23 and over 50s. It has around 400 entries.

The championship is played over a week and has players attend from England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Belgium, France, Portugal, Malta, Cyprus and Morocco (invited guests).

This year I was retained in the England team. That’s for the last 12 years which means I don't have to qualify for the team, which is a gruelling task that only a handful of players achieve. As a retained player and based on my year’s performance I played in the A team once again and have been lucky enough to win the A section 8 times with the team. I have also been lucky enough to win the singles title in 2018, 2014 and been runner up in 2012. I have also won the World Masters in 2009 along with many other singles titles and tour events. Also 7 World men’s team titles.”

That’s incredible, so with such a big event how many times do you practice in the lead up to it?

“I play regularly and practice here at the Home Leisure Direct showrooms, maybe a few hours in the showroom which helps a lot. Previously I used to practice at least a couple of hours a day in the build-up to the event. I’ve never really been one for loads of practice. Weekend tournaments have generally been my practice.”

Practice makes perfect Ben. Did you set yourself any goals on where you would like to finish?

“My goals prior to the event was to win the team event and win the singles, we (England) won the team European Championship and I finished in the quarter-finals of the singles.”

 Well done. So is Malta a hotbed for Pool?

“Pool is the national sport of Malta and they are very passionate about the game. Playing them in the final is one of the best team experiences. As you can see from the pictures, it’s a great arena with fantastic viewing for the spectators. They get very involved cheering their team on as best they can. Thankfully we kept them quiet this year with an 8-3 win. Although things were close on the route through where we managed to overcome France in the semi-final with 8-7 from 7-5 down with me once again winning the deciding frame to take us through.”

Team England action from Malta.JPG

Congratulations on your win versus France! What’s next for you and the team?

“To continue to compete and hopefully win more events and return next year to defend our European crown”

For more information on the Euro8Ball championship please visit their website.

Words by Ray Chuss

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