Pool shark off to Aussie

A Queenstown pool player’s capped off his most successful year by playing the first trans-Tasman Test match for more than 20 years.

Simon Singleton, 39, who made the six-man New Zealand team for the two-day clash in Melbourne, played over the weekend, has taken out four NZ titles in the past two months, taking his total to 11.

After winning the national 10-ball and 9-ball tournaments in Auckland in September, last month he added the club nationals pairs with Havelock North’s Bayden Jackson, in Mount Maunganui, then the national 8-ball title in Dunedin.

The pairs title, with the same player he won his first title, in 2016, came after a come-from-behind win in the semis.

‘‘We had to take a massive finish out to take that in the final frame,’’ Singleton says.

He also made the club nationals singles final, but lost.

His Dunedin win means he’s won the national 10-ball, 9-ball and 8-ball tournaments in the same calendar year — ‘‘it’s only been done once before, I think’’.

Ironically, though he agrees it’s his best year, ‘‘it’s probably the least amount I’ve practised, ’cos with tourism back it’s been crazy busy’’.

‘‘For some reason, the non-practising, just turning up at tournaments has worked — it’s not some thing I’d recommend.’’

He says this weekend will be the first time he’s represented NZ in a team event.

In a promotion for the match-up he’s stated: ‘‘We are the underdogs and that’s just how we like it. But we’re not just coming over for the pavlova.’’

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