TEENAGE pool player Cole Bedford is ruing the luck of the Irish after reaching the semi-finals of the World Championships’ Under-18 juniors’ singles.

The Tenbury High School pupil lost to eventual champion Carl Martin, from Northern Ireland, in an exciting battle at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool.

Cole bowed out 7-4 and Martin went on to clinch the title after defeating another Irish player, Adam Maher, in the final.

“My season hasn’t been great – I haven’t been playing well at all until the world championship I had been struggling,” said Cole, who represents the Wales national team.

“But the one tournament in which you want to play near to the best of your ability is the World Championships and I felt I did exactly that.

“My section involved 64 players and the whole experience was something I will never forget for many reasons.

“It was brilliant almost becoming a World Champion. The whole four days were superb.”

Cole practices at Shooters in Leominster and is the youngest winner of the Ludlow singles.

He also won the open men’s singles in Hereford last year.

Cole made his Wales debut at the Home Nations in Edinburgh last year.

Cole started playing pool at the age of six at a pool hall, then called Re-rack, which had been established by his parents.

“My dad’s involvement in the industry introduced me to the sport I love,” he said.

The teenager has now set his sights on further success at a major overseas competition next month.

“My next big competition is in Belgium in August which will be a great experience because it is a men’s competition for teams ,” said Cole.

“The event also has a big singles competition so will be a very good standard and it is something that I am really looking forward to.”