Billy the kid does Queensland proud
EIGHT BALL: He came, he saw and he conquered.
Gladstone's Billy Browne is the city's latest national champion and he took time out yesterday to reflect on what he and his teammates have achieved.
It's back to school for Billy today, but no doubt he will share his joy with his schoolmates.
"It's amazing my team won and everyone played extremely well and the support from everyone was outstanding," Billy said.
As a member of Queensland's nine-member team, 13-year-old Billy was part of the under-15 contingent and the rising dead-eye won 10 of his 12 singles matches at the recent Junior Australian Eight Ball Championships in Adelaide.
Billy's Queensland teammates included U12s, U15s and U18 players Emma Carter, Ziggy Howarth, Nikolas Burnett, Shaye Graham, Tamika Jenkins, Kyle Thomson, Costis Willcott, Hayden Goode, and team manager Shannon Purcell.
The Queenslanders scored a collective 11 points to beat the host state in the grand final.
South Australia would muster just three wins in the decider.
Billy finished fifth overall in the singles, where he was victorious in nine of the 13 frames played.
He said anxiety, which is understandable for a 13-year-old in a national event, was short-lived.
"At first I was very nervous, but my team gave me so much support, which soon calmed by nerves," he said.
Such was the cut-throat nature of the contests because Billy missed the finals cut by just one per cent.
"I am very proud of how I played as it was my first year and to play as well as we did, it was great," he said.
Billy explained the concept was of a round robin in which each team played each other twice, and the only losses were against Victoria and South Australia.
The southern experience was the platform for raising his game to the next level.
"I aim to be the Australian number one next year," Billy said.
The youngster thanked his family and coach Trevor McDonald as well as Gladstone Eight Ball Association's Chad Baker.
"And a massive thanks to my team as everyone played so well and all should be proud of themselves and a massive congratulations to Hayden Goode, who made the Australian team and will play in the World Championships," Billy said.
"The most rewarding part is all the new friends I have made."