POOL star Niki Bayes, one of the top eight players in the Eastern Counties, has made it into the England ladies team after a 13-hour pool marathon on Friday. Niki, 28, from Knaresborough Court, Eynesbury, was one of 64 players who took part in the tournam
POOL star Niki Bayes, one of the top eight players in the Eastern Counties, has made it into the England ladies team after a 13-hour pool marathon on Friday.
Niki, 28, from Knaresborough Court, Eynesbury, was one of 64 players who took part in the tournament in Great Yarmouth.
The trials were held using the Swiss system, in which players play against each other until losing three times. Those left were admitted into the England team. Niki won five games, by scorelines of 3-0, 3-2, 3-0, 3-1 and 3-2. She lost one game 3-1.
After a long wait, she then went on to play two more games, losing 3-0 in one and winning the other 3-1 to secure a place in the England squad.
She said: "I was playing for 13 hours, starting at 9am and ending at 10pm. We were guaranteed a minimum of 30 frames and I was pleased with my stamina. Winning a place in the team hasn't quite sunk in yet and I am completely delighted."
Niki traces her pool routes back to playing snooker as a girl. She had a top break of 60 in competitions and was ranked as one of the top players in the country.
"I started playing snooker when I was 11 and did quite well but the lack of sponsorship meant it was costing me to compete and I gave it up by the time I was 20," she said.
However, she took up pool, three years ago after meeting her now-husband Tony, himself a former Cambridgeshire county star and now has broken onto the national scene.
There will be further match trials on May 5 to represent England Ladies at the World Championships in July, but Niki is guaranteed at least four international fixtures for England.
Niki plays for a Bedford side on Tuesday evenings, St Neots on Wednesdays and monthly for Cambridgeshire.
INFORMATION: Anyone interested in sponsoring Niki can call her on 07901 572 116 or contact The Hunts Post sportsdesk on 01480 411481 or email firstname.lastname@example.org