A PAIR of pool stars from Stevenston can now call themselves world champions.

It comes after Johnny McDermid and Geo Edgar were part of a victorious Scotland under 23 side at the unofficial World Blackball Championships at the Albi exhibition center in France.

While McDermid also found himself in the under 23's doubles final, unfortunately missing out on the gold medal with partner Mark McAllister.

It was an incredibly tough test for the Scottish side, who made it through the group stages and into the semi-final stages after some very hard fought, and must win, games against stern opposition.

They placed second in this stage, behind only the home French side, and ahead of Wales, England, Northern Ireland, Australia and Catalonia.

They made it into the last four by only three points, with a final match win versus England making all the difference, to set up a semi-final against the Welsh.

In a best of 25 frames contest, Scotland came back from the brink, 12-10 down, to edge their semi-final 13-12.

Then in a dominant final display, the Scottish side roared to victory agains the Auld Enemy by a resounding 13 frames to seven.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Scotland celebrate after the winning ball is potted in the final against England.Scotland celebrate after the winning ball is potted in the final against England. (Image: Johnny McDermid)

Speaking to the Herald, McDermid described the nine days in Albi near Tolouse, and the eventual result, as a dream come true.

He said: "It’s an amazing feeling to be a world champion, something I’ve always wanted to strive towards since I first picked up a cue, and to win it with such a close group of mates was even better.

"I'd like to thank my best mate Damian Findlay for always pushing me to be better and keeping my head down, and also Alan Reynolds for selecting me in the team.

"The competition was very well run, and was the best one I’ve ever played in. I feel like I played well in stages but struggled with the tight schedule and long days.

"The final against England would always be nail biting as we are playing our biggest rivals, but we managed to run into a huge lead in the final and just had to stay composed enough to get over the line."

Though despite what he described as struggles, McDermid still came within one match of winning the under 23 doubles title, losing by the tightest of margins, 4-3.

He commented: "It was devastating to lose doubles final but I was still happy to have got so far and felt like we done as much as we could to win, it just wasn’t to be."

McDermid certainly has pedigree in the game, having played in Scottish under 18 teams in the past, naturally progressing into the older side.

He was a European under 23 doubles champion in 2017, and is the current central Ayrshire singles and doubles title holder, as well as being East Ayrshire's reigning singles and doubles player of the year.

His talent in pool is one which he hopes can continue to grow in future.

He added: "My hopes moving forward are to get a sponsor or two and play in all of the competitions going next year."