The Amateur Billiard Player : February 1999
TRIANGULAR INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT
The Newmarket Snooker Club (24th-25th October 1998)
Teams representing England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of
Ireland gathered at the Newmarket Snooker Club on 24th October
to take part in the inaugural tri-nation competition. The event followed
the same format as the previous England/Northern Ireland competitions
with each team playing a mixture of 2 hour matches and 150 up games.
England demonstrated their strength in depth, to overcome some
excellent individual performances from their opponents, and provide
some of their own, to emerge overall winners.
102, 101, 86, 76, 70, 68, 59, 55
70, 68, 60
93, 74, 72, 68
81, 74, 67, 62
156, 117, 89, 82
126, 124, 102
108, 56, 51, 50
England No.1 Paul Bennett set the home team off to a flying start with
an impressive performance against Tony Buttimer. Making two
centuries and six further breaks over 50, he dominated the game to
make the highest 2 hour aggregate of the competition with 1,001 points.
The match against Northern Ireland was anticipated to be England´s
hardest test, and when Sammy Clarke levelled the scores with a victory
against Stephen Crosland, the home team where left in no doubt of the
task that lay ahead.
Darren Kell produced a typically solid performance to regain the
advantage for the English team, but this was again cancelled out by
David Elliott´s impressive victory over England No.4, Lee Lagan, which
included breaks of 155 and 117 by the Irishman.
This was to prove the last success for the Northern Ireland team as first
Neal Rewhorn, then Peter Shelley completed the English victory.
Rewhorn staged a fine comeback in his match after Donnelly had started
with breaks of 87 and 109 in his first three visits. Rewhorn replied by
making three centuries himself to win by 154 points.
The Northern Ireland party was only slightly diminished by Victor
O´Gorman who registered a 55 break in taking the Republic´s solitary
game. The comprehensive victory edged Northern Ireland back in front
of England on the overall match scores.
136, 58, 58, 50
129, 83, 69, 57
129, 81, 59, 53
114, 102, 79
154, 110, 103, 85, 69, 58, 55, 54
The English campaign against the Republic started a little shakily as
Victor O´Gorman made a string of good breaks to push the English
Champion all the way. This was followed by an even closer match,
where Darren Kell just held off the challenge of Phil Martin by 43
points. After this, England proceeded with somewhat less drama as
David Nichols, Neal Rewhorn, and Peter Shelley, all registered
comfortable victories. 23 year-old Nichols was particularly impressive
in his first international match, making a top break of 129 in his win
against Murray, and Peter Shelley could do no wrong as he put together
three centuries in a two hour aggregate of 938 points. Phil Welham
completed the whitewash to leave the English team in a commanding
position at the end of the first day.
76, 66, 63
109, 103, 83, 58, 54
85, 74, 68, 68, 60
Northern Ireland started the second day knowing that they needed
another comprehensive result against the Republic to keep in touch
with England. In this respect they got off to a good start with Tony
Buttimer and Sammy Clarke recording comfortable wins. Davy Pogue
kept up the momentum, albeit with considerably more difficulty, edging
out Phil Martin by just 17 points.
It was left to the experienced international Dick Brennan to break the
Republic´s duck making two centuries in a good win over Northern
Ireland´s No.2 David Elliott. Aiden Murray could do nothing against
the power of Paddy Donnelly, but Larry Drennan gave the Republic
their second victory to round off proceedings.
England, who took eight players to Newmarket had adopted a policy
of rotating the squad, but the omission of their No.1 player Paul Bennett
made no difference to the final result as England completed a second
whitewash over the Republic. Peter Shelley was again in sparking
form as he ran in a break of 141 in one of his 150 up games.
England entered the final match 13 points in front of Northern Ireland
and therefore certain of overall victory. Even so, there were some good
performances to come as Freddie Cahoon made two 50 breaks in taking
the first game against Paul Bennett. Paul managed to level the scores
with a break of 51 himself, but it was fellow Teessider Darren Kell
who put in the performance of the round when he ran to game with
148 unfinished. David Elliott also managed a couple of fifty breaks to
ensure a share of the points with Darren.
The final match score saw the England squad clear winners on 51
points from Northern Ireland, who finished with 32 points, and the
Republic trailing with just 7 points. Northern Ireland´s David Elliott
made the best break of the event with 155 closely followed by England´s
Peter Shelley who made 154. Shelley had a total of five centuries in
the competition, as did team-mate Neal Rewhorn, with three other
members of the England team also getting past the 100 mark.
The event was hailed as a great success by England team manager,
Derick Townend, and looks certain to become a regular fixture on the
WEST COUNTRY NEWS
The Sandford Orcas and Bath teams could not be separated after
the first of their two matches which was held at the Bradford Abbas
Club on 24th October, which involved nine 1½ hour games. The top
break of 63 came from Keith Langley (Bath) in the first game, and was
equalled by Jack Masters in the second. The key to the impasse between
the sides came with a tied game between Dave Harris and Ray Lydiard.
Steve Warren then levelled the overall scores with a victory over Bath´s
Keith Langley, the teams finishing with 4½ points each. The return
match will be at Bath in March 1999.
Sandford Orcas were again in action when they visited Weston (Bath)
for their annual pre-season challenge match, and were once again
involved in an inconclusive result. The match was played in conditions
not conducive to good billiardsvery hot and stickywith temperatures
above 90º. With the match standing at one game apiece, the tie between
Derek Stephenson and Carroll Walters finished level on 260 points,
raising the prospect of another drawn match.
The last of the five games saw David Lord continue his intense rivalry
with Roy Foster needing a win to secure victory for the home side. In
the highest scoring game of the night Foster just edged ahead in the last
two minutes of the game to keep the Orcas undefeated record by 483-
471. The teams were later entertained to a buffet at the Old Crown Inn.
The round robin knock-out stage of the Wessex Individual Billiards
Championship was held at the Triangle Club, Street, on 3rd January.
Twenty players from the local area all enjoyed four games of 45 minutes
duration. The players winning through to the semi-final stage were
Roy Foster (Sandford Orcas) Michael White (Radstock) Carroll Walters
(Sherborne) and Brian Harvey (Bridgewater).
Our next Top Cue tournament will be on the 25th April at Mill
St. Club, Wincanton, Somerset. A changed format will give 24
amateur players the chance to compete for the Top Cue rose bowl and
salver. In the evening Chris Shutt will be giving an exhibition game
starting around 7.15pm, paired against the winner of the tournament in
a two hour match. Full details and entry forms available in February/
March from Colin (01747 860836) or Jack (01963 33197).
THE RILEY UK CHAMPIONSHIP
Hospitality Inn, Harrogate (23rd-26th November 1998)
The Players and Seedings
Australia Robby Foldvari (5) England David Causier (6) Roxton Chapman (4) Bob Close (9) Norman Dagley Brian Dix Peter Gilchrist (3) Mike Russell (2) Andrew Sage Peter Sheehan Chris Shutt (15) Mark Wildman (16) Rex Williams Ian Williamson (10) Steve Crosland (Am) Mark Hirst (Am) Eire Eugene Hughes India Arun Agrawal Subhash Agrawal (11) Michael Ferreira (13) Adiyta Goenka Devendra Joshi (7) Manoj Kothari Alok Kumar (14) Nalin Patel (12) Mukesh Rehani Geet Sethi (1) Ashok Shandilya (8) Russia Ashok Potikyan
defeating Geet Sethi in the final and making a World Record
break of 957.
The professional circuit, complete with their two Riley match-tables,
moved down the road from Middlesbrough to Harrogate, for the
United Kingdom Championships. The early rounds were again 2 hours
duration, with the quarters and semi´s increased to 3 hours, and 4 hours
being allocated to the final.
Geet Sethi took over as No.1 seed, being the defending champion. The
only other changes from the Teesside event being the introduction of
two new amateur players in Steve Crosland and Mark Hirst (Bradford).
Steve Crosland became the first of the amateurs to make progress in
the professional series, (and assure himself of a cheque for £300) by
defeating Brian Dix. Steve took an early lead and was never threatened
by Dix who could manage a top break of only 21 in the two hours play.
Mark Hirst found a tougher opponent in Arun Agrawal. Breaks of 64,
78 and 88 put the Indian into a lead of 250 points which he maintained
to the finish. Hirst however, had the consolation of setting another
“first” for the amateurs when he recorded a century breakhis effort
of 114 including the added difficulty of a baulk-line crossing.
With Rehani continuing his absence due to injury, Peter Sheehan was
awarded a walk-over. Goenka and Kothari also progressing without
undue drama from the first round matches.
90, 82, 74
189, 98, 87, 84
95, 89, 77
189, 91, 86
Fresh from his fine performance at Middlesbrough, Chris Shutt entered
the fray against Eugene Hughes, setting the pattern of the match with a
break of 189 at his third visit. The Irishman never recovered from this,
and with additional breaks of 50, 69, 87, 84, and 98, Shutt completed
a comfortable victory.
Steve Crosland was given a much stiffer task in his second round match
when he was paired against No.11 seed Subash Agrawal. Although
few would have given him a chance against such a highly ranked
professional, this news had obviously not filtered down to Steve, who
started with breaks of 96 and 56 to build a lead of 240. Breaks of 77
and 89 by Agrawalcountered by a 58 from Croslandbrought the
scores back to within 40 points. From this point, some tenacious play
from Crosland was almost enough to see him home, but a 95 break
from Agrawal right at the end, proved enough to secure victory by 73
Leeds professional Ian Williamson inflicted a heavy defeat on ex-
champion Rex Williams who only managed to get into double-figures
on three occasions during the two hour match. Breaks of 169 and 107
by Williamson where the highlights of an otherwise pedestrian
Manoj Kothari was in command for most of his game against fellow-
countryman Alok Kumar. A break of 132 by Kumar late in the
proceedings took him into an 11 point lead, but any thoughts of building
upon this were crushed by an immediate reply of 148 from Kothari
establishing an advantage he would hold until the end.
Mark Wildman made a top break of 189 in his match against Arun
Agrawal, equalling the best of the second round. Further runs of 91
and 86 by Wildman and 92 by Agrawal, were the only other highlights,
a break of 55 at the bell still leaving Agrawal 91 points in arrears.
183, 125, 102, 97, 95, 91, 82
102, 102, 76
122, 111, 98
367, 102, 119 unf
88, 79, 73
103, 93, 92, 80
The third round saw the entry of the top seeds, and Bob Close must
have feared the worse when World Champion Geet Sethi opened his
account with a break of 183. Although Sethi did not improve upon this
during the match, regular contributions around the century mark were
sufficient to book his place in the quarter-finals.
The match between Robby Foldvari and Chris Shutt looked as though
it might go the same way as their semi-final encounter in
Middlesbrough, as Chris compiled a break of 164 at his second visit to
the table. However, the Australian champion gave few chances
thereafter, and with two breaks of 102, and another of 76, brought the
scores level with minutes remaining. In a tense tactical exchange,
Foldvari edged ahead to win by just 14 points at the final bell.
Nalin Patel secured a good victory over No.7 seed Devendra Joshi,
who failed to produce any significant form. His best break of 110 was
made late in the match with the result already beyond his reach.
After a disappointing performance at Middlesbrough, No.4 seed Roxton
Chapman, also departed the Harrogate tournament at the first hurdle
this time at the hands of Subash Agrawal. After a long period of
inactivity, during which time Agrawal had established a lead of 250
points, Chapman showed that he really could play the game by
producing breaks of 123 and 80 in quick succession. However, from
this point his form once more deteriorated as his final nine visits
produced just 72 points, giving Agrawal victory by a 47 point margin.
The match between Gilchrist and Sheehan was very much one of “two
halves”. When Gilchrist opened a lead of 285 with breaks of 90 and
198 the result appeared to be a formality, but Sheehan came back with
contributions of 98, 111 and 112 to give him an advantage of 24
points. In an exciting finish, Gilchrist had the better of the concluding
tactical exchanges to win by just 18 points.
For much of his match against David Causier, Ian Williamson appeared
to have found the formula for success, as the Middlesbrough player
could seemingly do nothing against the sustained safety tactics of his
opponent. A early break of 181 by Williamson established a lead of
240 points, building slowly upon this, so that even a break of 102 by
Causier could only reduced the deficit to 200. Then, from nowhere,
Causier completely turned the match around with a personal record
break of 367. With safety play continuing to dominate, he added another
unfinished contribution of 119 to win by 255 points.
Manoj Kothari, from his first two visits which produced breaks of 79
and 73, was always in control in his match against Ashok Shandilya. A
break of 104 from Shandilya was immediately countered by one of 88
from the unseeded Kothari, and from this point he was never again
threatened, a late contribution of 98 by the No.8 seed coming too late
to affect the result.
Mike Russell´s first match of the tournament would not have inspired
anyone to predict the performances he would produce in later games.
Wildman´s first scoring visit resulted in a break of 92 which was also
his best of the match. Russell equalled this at his next turn at the table,
and then proceeded in first gear to do just as much as was required to
ensure victory, a late break of 103 being his only century. Mike later
observed that the table was too fast to play billiards on and requested
the organisers to slow it down somehow.
181, 152, 102, 100, 96, 84, 81
131, 123, 102, 92, 79
437, 187, 155, 153, 136, 72
308, 296, 291, 286, 230, 227, 195, 186
Moving into the three-hour matches, Geet Sethi made his first
opportunity count as he put together a break of 181 in his game against
IBSF Champion Robby Foldvari. He followed this with consecutive
runs of 96, 81, 64, 47 and 100 to establish a healthy lead of 360 points
at the interval. The second session started in much the same way, with
Sethi putting together consecutive breaks of 102, 152 and 84 to leave
Foldvari 630 points in arrears and in an impossible position. To his
credit, the Australian then put together a fine break of 237, but this did
little more than make the score somewhat more respectable as Sethi
cruised to a comfortable win.
Both Nalin Patel and Subhash Agrawal struggled to find their best
form, with the highest break of 102 coming from Patel in establishing
an advantage of 330 points at the half-way point. Both players picked
up after the interval, with Patel again having the better of the exchanges,
highlighted by breaks of 123 and 131. He was never seriously threatened
by Agrawal and duly completed a 536 point victory.
David Causier seems to be getting into the habit of defeating No.4
seed Peter Gilchrist, and from his first visit when he accrued 136 points,
he never looked like losing this latest encounter. Additional breaks of
153 and 187 gave him a lead of almost 400 points at the interval and
his victory was sealed with a magnificent break of 437 shortly after the
restart. This extended Causier´s personal record for a tournament break,
confirming his impressive form in all of the professional events held
so far this season. An additional break of 155 helped him to a
comprehensive winning margin of 945 points.
Mike Russell obviously found the speed of the table more to his liking,
when he opened his match with Kothari by making consecutive breaks
of 195 and 186. Kothari was hardly given chance to warm up before
Russell knocked in another of 308 and ran to the interval with 167
unfinished. Taking this to 296, his next chance yielded 230 by which
time the score stood at 1,323 – 183 in his favour. After a short period of
inactivity, during which time Kothari increased his aggregate to 297,
Russell completed proceedings with consecutive breaks of 227, 291
and 286. He finished with a match average of 98.5 and when
complemented on his form in this match, replied prophetically, “I´m
playing all right, but I feel that there is a big one in there somewhere”.
166, 164, 120, 110, 107, 99, 97
89, 87, 82 126, 108, 83, 83, 79
395, 313, 291, 223, 208
311, 119, 99, 93
Patel could hardly have made a worse start to his semi-final match
against the World Champion, scoring just seven points in his first ten
visits. By the time he made his first notable contributiona break of
108Sethi was already 350 points in front and in full flow. Hardly
breaking his stride, Sethi added runs of 166, 107 and 110 to leave
Patel facing a deficit of 570 points at the start of the second session.
Further breaks of 89, 164, 120 and 87 where sufficient to see Sethi
through to the final, although with the game beyond him, Patel at last
started to show his true form, producing a series of useful contributions
including his best of 126.
David Causier, perhaps encouraged by his performance against the
No.1 seed at their previous meeting in Middlesbrough, confidently
moved into an early lead. Russell´s first sizeable addition to the score
was a break of 223 which came from his opponent´s safety stroke.
Causier´s response was immediate, as he put together 311 before losing
the white and again playing for safety. Another break of 119 took him
to a lead of over 300 points before Russell played out time to the
interval with 199 unfinished. On the resumption, Russell took this to
208 before unexpectedly failing at a pot red in the centre from hand.
Causier responded with 99 which ended unluckily with one of many
bad “kicks” which were apparent throughout the match. This was to
prove to be his last chance as Russell seized the initiative with
consecutive breaks of 395 and 313 to take him to a 480 point lead.
Russell, visibly tiring after this effort then took every opportunity to
play for safety, but still had sufficient reserves of concentration to make
another break of 291 just before the end. Russell scored 1,078 points
in the second 1½ hour session for an average of 141.8 His match average
957, 386, 328, 126, 116, 101
224, 187, 103, 101
Russell started the final cautiously against his greatest rival, but quickly
established a dominant position with a break of 328. Following this
with breaks of 386, 101 and 116 against a best of 101 by Sethi, the
match was beginning to look a formality as Russell took a lead of 736
at the end of the afternoon session.
At the behest of the players, the evening session was brought forward
to 6pm from its advertised start of 8pm and anyone following the original
programme would have arrived just too late to witness a moment of
Resuming on 12 unfinished, Sethi took this to 103 and adding
consecutive breaks of 187 and 224, looked to be making a fight of it.
At this point Russell went to the tableand stayed thereas he
provided the “big one” he had threatened all week in amassing a top-
of-the-table masterpiece of 957. This was not only Russell´s highest
tournament break, but also a record under modern baulk-line rules. It
earned him £600 for the highest break which went with his winner´s
cheque for £7,800. His full match average was 95.8, with his second
session working out at 148.0 per visit. Sethi also had an excellent
average of 59.4 for this period, and he collected £4,800 as runner-up.
RILEY NORTHERN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
North Ormesby Institute, Middlesbrough (16th-19th November 1998)
The Players and Seedings
Australia Robby Foldvari (5) England David Causier (6) Roxton Chapman (4) Bob Close (9) Norman Dagley Brian Dix Peter Gilchrist (3) Mike Russell (1) Andrew Sage Peter Sheehan Chris Shutt (15) Mark Wildman (16) Rex Williams Ian Williamson (10) Paul Bennett (Am) Tony McKinder (Am) Eire Eugene Hughes India Arun Agrawal Subhash Agrawal (11) Michael Ferreira (13) Adiyta Goenka Devendra Joshi (7) Manoj Kothari Alok Kumar (14) Nalin Patel (12) Mukesh Rehani Geet Sethi (2) Ashok Shandilya (8) Russia Ashok Potikyan
The first domestic tournament of the professional season commenced
at North Ormesby Institute in Middlesbrough on Monday 16th
November. This was the second year that the Northern Open had been
held at this venue and as defending champion, Mike Russell was
automatically seeded No.1
This season, in a welcome innovation, it has been decided to invite
leading amateur players from the local area to take part as wild card
entries. For this event, the honour went the English Champion, Paul
Bennett, and North Ormesby club player, Tony McKinder, both from
Middlesbrough. All games up to the final were 2 hours duration.
|A. Agrawal||w/o||M. Rehani||scr.|
194, 118, 114, 102, 96, 85, 73, 99unf
|A. Goenka||393||(5.6)||B. Dix||311||(4.5)|
|A. Potikyan||329||(4.8)||A. Sage||256||(3.7)|
The opening day saw the appearance of the amateur players, with most
expectations focused on Paul Bennett, who had experienced some
measure of success against professional opposition in the recent IBSF
Championship in Australia. His opponent, No.20 ranked Manoj Kothari
would have represented his best victory to date, but unfortunately the
match did not live up to expectations. With both players determined to
give no chances, the game quickly became bogged down with extensive
safety tactics, with the greater experience of Kothari seeing him through.
Tony McKinder was given little opportunity against an in-form Peter
Sheehan. The Widnes professional found top-of-the-table with unerring
regularity, piling in the breaks to leave McKinder as one of the spectators
for most of the match.
Viewing the form in the other two first round matches, both of the
amateurs must have felt that with a different draw, progression to the
next roundand a cheque for £250would have been a realistic
possibility. Arun Agrawal was given a bye when Mukesh Rehani was
forced to withdraw from the tournament with a recurring shoulder injury.
100, 80, 61
75, 64, 63
111, 102, 88, 85, 84, 167unf
262, 118, 88, 86, 71
136, 103, 102, 92, 83
|M. Wildman||677||(17.8)||A. Potikyan||318||(8.4)|
Much interest was shown by the older Teesside fans in the pairing of
Bob Close and Norman Dagley. These two players met regularly for the
English Amateur Championships when it was staged in Middlesbrough
in the 1970´s. On those occasions it was usually Dagley who came out
on top, but now 68 years old, and apparently in poor health, he showed
few glimpses of his former skills. Close, however, appears totally
undiminished by the years, running to game with 167 unfinished and
making an average of 36.7 for the two hour matcha performance
which would have given him satisfaction twenty years ago.
Peter Sheehan continued to impress, making the first double century
of the competition with 262 in winning his game against Subhash
Eugene Hughes was involved in a tight finish as Alok Kumar came
back at him with late breaks of 119, 51 and 34. But the Irishman held
his nerve to win by a slender 19 points.
Chris Shutt made two early centuries in his match against Kothari, to
establish a lead which was never seriously threatened. Plagued by
kicks Shutt lost some of his fluency in the middle part of the game,
but still did sufficient to win comfortably. With the match secure,
Shutt treated the spectators to some exhibition billiards as he rattled
off breaks of 136 and 33 unfinished in the last 10 minutes.
350, 186, 113, 89
102, 84, 78
123, 86, 72
181, 96, 85
205, 153, 168, 113, 111
101, 82, 73
Mike Russell made an impressive entry to the competition, setting a
new standard with a top break of 350. Rex Williams could do little
against the Peterborough professional, leaving his best effort until the
end when he made an unfinished break of 107.
Bob Close also looked a favourite to progress to the quarter finals in
his match against Shandilya. Taking a lead from the start, he kept it
until the very last visit, when Shandilya held the table to compile a
break of 57 unfinished and secure victory by 32 points.
Peter Sheehan provide the biggest upset of the tournament by defeating
No.4 seed Roxton Chapman, who seemed totally out of touch as
Sheehan raced into an early lead. A late break of 186 by Chapman
raised the brief prospect of a recovery, but he failed to build upon this
and fell back again as Sheehan completed an impressive victory.
Chris Shutt was once more in top gear against Devendra Joshi, making
breaks of 113, 153, 205 and 111 in his first eight visits. After this it
was just a question of how many
he would score, and in the event
he set the competition´s best two
hour aggregate with 1,041
Mike Ferreira, who is
experimenting with new contact
lenses this season, was never on
terms with Robby Foldvari,
eventually losing by 158 points.
Newly crowned World
Champion, Geet Sethi also
found it hard going against Mark
Wildman, coming from behind
to win by just 35 points.
189, 131, 97, 97
176, 116, 73
96, 95, 78
118, 71, 73, 73
168, 102, 90, 74unf
The Quarter-finals opened up with two matches which could hardly
have been closer. First, David Causier kept up his current good form
by giving Mike Russell a real fright. Russell had looked to have the
match well under control when he established a lead of 269 with less
than 30 minutes remaining. Causier´s response was to compile
consecutive breaks of 73 and 176, and was in play with 24 unfinished
at the bellfalling just 6 points short of a major upset.
But the play on the adjoining table was no less dramatic. Shutt had
established a lead of 250 points with Gilchrist having made only one
break in double figures in the first hour. Then came the fireworks,
which started with a break of 266 from Gilchrist, followed by 43 and
57 to give him an unlikely lead of 110 points. Shutt replied with a
break of 168 to go in front again, but some careless safety play let
Gilchrist in for an immediate reply of 61, putting him one point in
front. A do or die scoring attempt from Shutt appeared to have sealed
the match when he let Gilchrist in again with just 10 minutes on the
clock. After Gilchrist had occupied the table for six of these minutes
making a determined break of 68he would have been forgiven for
thinking he had done enough. Shutt however, had other ideas and
quickly gaining top-of-the-table position, he rattled in 74 points before
the bell sounded to take the match by 5 points. Having misread the
scoreboard, and thinking that he actually required 79 points, Chris
Shutt must have been the most relieved person in the room when the
result was announced.
Sethi must have known that he needed to produce a better performance
than his previous round if he was to defeat Australia´s top player, Robby
Foldvari. However, he simply added to his dismal record in the Teesside
event making just 40 points in his first 16 visits, while the Australian
IBSF Champion was building up a commanding lead which he held to
Sheehan and Shandilya played a tight tactical game which could have
gone either way, but having the better of the late exchanges, Shandilya
edged home by 47 points.
266, 236, 128, 79
Future World Champion.
After the excitement of the quarter finals, the semi´s came as something
as an anticlimax, with Russell and Shutt both recording comfortable
victories. Shandilya started well against Russell, but a break of 236 by
the No.1 seed gave him a lead he would never lose. With his final visit,
Russell added another 266 to ease his way into the final.
Chris Shutt was undoubtedly playing well above the standard suggested
by his lowly No.15 ranking, but even so, he could not have relished a
meeting with World No.5 Robby Foldvari. The Australian is noted for
his careful play which is the complete opposite to the quick-fire style
of Shutt. An early break of 226 by the Teessider was immediately
countered by one of 131 by Foldvari and subsequent smaller
contributions brought him within 20 points of the local hero. At this
point Shutt produced his biggest break of the tournament with 322,
leaving the Australian insufficient time to stage another comeback.
408, 268, 198, 118, 110, 86, 78, 71, 73, 73
89, 86, 86, 81
turned on the
and win the
Open at North
O r m e s b y
Despite holding the final on a night when the majority of Middlesbrough
billiard players were involved in league action, there was still a good
crowd at the start of the final, which gradually increased as various
league matches were completed. The previous performances of Chris
Shutt raised expectations that the local lad had a realistic chance to
carry off the top prize.
Chris had two early opportunities to put together one of his big breaks,
but both ended unexpectedly in the 80´s while attempting to negotiate
the baulk-line crossing. Meanwhile Russell, with solid play, forged
a lead of 210 by the interval.
If Chris Shutt entertained any ideas of a come-back he was given plenty
of time to reconsider his opinion as Russell took an unfinished break
of six to 408the highest of the event. He followed this with
consecutive breaks of 71, 268, 198 and 118 to show anyone who may
have been in doubt, just why he is regarded as the best player in the
World. Russell´s average for the second session was 141.1, and for the
In his capacity of Chairman of the WPBSA Billiard Committee, Peter
Gilchrist presented the trophies and prize money. Russell collected
cheques totalling £7,000 which included £500 for the highest break,
and Chris Shutt returned to Norton £3,000 the richer. In his closing
address Gilchrist echoed the feelings of many present when he forecast
that Chris Shutt, who had reached his first tournament final in this
event, would be a future World Champion. If he is to achieve this
position, he has at least been given a demonstration of the standard of
play he will be required to produce.
Cleveland Billiards & Snooker League
Cowpen S.C. took the England Cup Team Billiards Handicap for the
fourth year out of five, beating Redcar Lit. 2-1 at Redcar Unionist
Club. The Lit´s Andy Hassack (+5) however, gave them a jolt in the
first game defeating Anthony Parsons (-155) by a margin of 201 points,
Parsons failing by one point to overcome his handicap deficit in the
200 up game. Paul Bennett (-240) then tied the match for Cowpen,
running in breaks of 89 and 110 in his 200-65 win over David Beckett
(+10). Stuart Green (-145) and Nigel Druery (+10) had a dour struggle
in the deciding game, before Green eventually clinched the match with
a 200-111 win.
News from the Editor’s Chair
After a double baulk gave him a scoring opportunity, Russell
settled into his breathtaking 957, a world record under the
100 point baulk line rule. The entire break was confined to the top
quarter of the table and he was not remotely in trouble even once.
The baulk-line was crossed with contemptuous ease on nine
occasions with perfect position resulting every time. A slight lapse
in concentration caused him to miss an easy pot red and the magical
four figure mark. Russell´s feats in practice are staggeringhe has
a personal best break of 2,030, and no less than 18 breaks over the
Eastern Counties News
Eastern Counties Billiards League
Cambridge have a commanding lead in the 1st Division of the Eastern
Counties Billiards League at the mid-point in the season, being six
points clear of Lincoln “A” in second place. Albert Sainsbury
(Cambridge) heads the high break list with 134, also having made
three additional century breaks to date. Albert additionally has the best
aggregate total with 742.
The 2nd Division (North) has Lincoln “B” out on their own, and with
the chasing pack of three teams tied on points, Grimsby have the
advantage over the others on aggregate scores.
Matthew Sutton heads the high break list in the 2nd Division (South)
with 76, and in the league, his Raunds team have already established a
commanding lead over their rivals.
English Junior Championships
The English Junior events, (the results of which appear on page 14),
went very much as anticipated, with all the “big guns” going through.
In the under-16 Championship, two 12 year-old´s have qualified in
Calvin Daws of Sculthorpe and Aaron Spencer of Fakenham, while 14
year-old Gavin Lewis excelled to reach the final stages of both events.
ENGLISH JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Inn Off The Park, Middlesbrough
English Under-19 Championships
The ten Northern area entries for the under-19 Championship
gathered at the Inn Off The Park Snooker Centre on Sunday 15th
November 1998, to find the four regional qualifiers. All games were of
one hour duration.
The preliminary round saw Robin Wilson set the standard with an
aggregate score of 495 in defeating Ormesby team-mate Peter Arkless.
This included a top break of 76, which proved to be the highest of the
day, and for good measure he added two others over fifty and a couple
of 40´s. Robin´s next opponent, Chris Appleton, must have felt he had
enough to cope with after watching this performance, but had further
problems when he lost the tip from his cue during a pre-match practice
session. Playing with a club cue, he was unable to sustain any challenge
to the under-19 Champion, who hardly left first gear in cruising to a
comfortable win. Martin Shutt and Darren Clark, who both appeared
in the final stages of last year´s under-16, moved up to the under-19´s
for the first time this year. Martin had a comfortable victory in his
qualifying match, but Darren lost out to another regular competitor,
Ben Hooton. Lee McKenna completed the line-up from the North of
England with a win over Glen Blythman.
76, 55, 52, 41, 40
English Under-16 Championships
Liverpool to qualify through
the Northern Region.
The following Sunday saw the turn of the under-16´s at the same
venue in Middlesbrough. Last year´s finalist, Robin Wilson, was
given a bye when his opponent Stephen Weisby, failed to turn up.
Stephen, who is based in Liverpool, had previously given the organisers
snooker tournament which was
taking place on the same day. One
competitor who did make the long
journey from the West coast was
Allan Taylor, who was rewarded
with a qualifying place when he
defeated local player Michael
Evans. Thirteen-year-old Allan who
was the only competitor from
outside the Teesside region, has
already recorded some notable
victories in his local league, and
with some impressive potting skills,
is one to watch out for in the finals.
Top aggregate score of 262 came
from Billy Bousfield, who was also
involved in the final stages last year.
Scott Casey came through to secure
his place with wins against Mark
Coates and Robbie Harvey.
Pot Black Club, Fakenham
English Under-19 Championships
Held at the Pot Black Club at Fakenham on 17th October, the
Southern Area qualifiers went much as expected, with Matthew
Sutton and Gavin Lewis winning through to the finals of the under-19
competition. They were joined by Dean Bavister and Jim Chambers.
Sutton had two breaks over fifty in his match against Fraser Adams,
which included the best of the day, a 58.
Dean Bavister, Matthew Sutton
English Under-16 Championships
Matthew Sutton and Gavin Lewis also qualified for the finals of
the under-16 event, with Sutton in particular showing good form.
Calvin Daws, who had lost to Sutton in the under-19 competition,
made it through with victories over Sian Kidd and Nathan Mann. Aaron
Spencer was the fourth qualifier from the region.
Aaron Spencer, Matthew Sutton
The four surviving counties from the qualifying rounds gathered at
the Pocket Snooker Centre in Kidderminster on Sunday 3rd January
1999, to decide the title of English County Champion and the
distribution of the £500 prize fund.
Pre-match favourites, Cleveland “A”, suffered an early setback as David
White established a 115 point advantage for Cornwall in defeating
Darren Kell. However, after this the Cleveland side had things entirely
their own way, as first Lee Lagan then Paul Bennett put together a
string of big breaks to cruise through to the final.
Norfolk´s Phil Welham set his side off to a winning start, including a
59 break in his 61 point victory over Tony Keeling. Fos Wilson then
increased this advantage to 202 as his opponent, Ernie Houghton,
struggled to find his form. This left Peter Shelley with too much to do
for Staffs/West Midlands, and although he won his match against David
Nichols, the Norfolk team went through with an aggregate win of 119
|Cleveland A||Cornwall A|
|Darren Kell||179||David White (72)||294|
|Lee Lagan (99 94 64 61)||448||Keith Olver||168|
|Paul Bennett (101 66 59)||407||Charlie Gay||174|
|Phil Welham (59)||241||Tony Keeling||180|
|Fos Wilson||232||Ernie Houghton||91|
|David Nichols||207||Peter Shelley||290|
Phil Welham, with a string of early breaks, establish an early lead of
almost 200 points against Paul Bennett, but could not maintain the
momentum as the English Champion pulled back to within 49 points
at the close. Darren Kell also started brightly for the Cleveland side,
putting together early breaks of 89 and 60, but thereafter had difficulty
in shaking off the challenge of Fos Wilson, eventually winning by 73
points. As the last pairing came to the table the match could hardly
have been more balanced, with Cleveland holding an advantage of just
24 points. For most of the game, neither player could establish a
dominant position. Then, with just 15 minutes left on the clock, Lee
Lagan settled the matter with breaks of 103 and 91 unfinished to take
the title for the Cleveland side.
|Paul Bennett||237||Phil Welham (66 48 45 47)||286|
|Darren Kell (89 60)||288||Fos Wilson||215|
|Lee Lagan (103 91 unf)||414||David Nichols||217|
Third place was secured by Cornwall “A” when they defeated Staffs/
West Midlands in a play-off. David White was particularly impressive,
running in consecutive breaks of 101 and 109 to defeat Peter Shelley
by 280 points. Tony Keeling redressed the balance for the Staffs/West
Midlands side with a 233 point victory over Keith Olver, which included
a break of 73. However, the come-back was halted at this stage as
Charlie Gay steered the Cornwall side to victory with a comfortable
win over Ernie Houghton.
EABA Chairman Peter Shelley presented the winning Cleveland side
with a cheque for £200 and Norfolk took £150 as runners up. The
superb playing conditions at the Pocket Snooker Centre brought
favourable comment from several of the competitors who hoped that
this venue may again be used for EABA competitions.
INTER-COUNTY TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Inter-County Championship was first established as a national
competition back in 1905, but over recent years has been held only
intermittently. The 1996 event, which had been the first since 1990,
was replaced last year by a national team championships (open to any
team of players). However, this was not well supported, and this season
the EABA reverted once more to the County format. The event attracted
an entry of 16 teams nominated by various Associations.
Three regional centres were selected to determine the teams who would
contest semi-final and final. The three-man teams all competed on
Sunday 6th December in games of one hour duration, the result to be
decided on aggregate score.
Brian Harvey an Michael White both made century breaks to steer
their Wessex side past the first hurdle of Cornwall B. The Cornwall
A side had a much closer struggle against Devon with Charlie Gay
eventually holding off the challenge of Bill Andress to see them through
by just 14 points.
In the qualifying game, it was the form of Cornwall´s David White
who effectively secured their place in the semi-final line-up by a 298
point victory. This gave Charlie Gay a 246 point advantage going into
the final game against Brian Harvey, which the Wessex player was
unable to reduce sufficiently.
|Michael White (105, 96)||347||Dave Clue||97|
|Carroll Walters||257||Noel Meagor||297|
|Brian Harvey (138)||343||Chris Mitchell||224|
|David White (64, 51)||202||Robert Marshall (69)||294|
|Keith Olver (74)||262||Bob Gold||232|
|Charlie Gay||320||Bill Andress (57, 54)||253|
|Keith Olver||158||Michael White||210|
|David White (58 52 72unf)||405||Carroll Walters||107|
|Charlie Gay||183||Brian Harvey||358|
Norfolk qualified as the representative for the South East with Phil
Welham producing the best performances for his team, setting them
off to a comfortable lead in both of their matches. Fosse Wilson and
David Nichols were only required to consolidate this position, and
both performed this task competently.
Albert Salisbury made the highest break of the day with 102 for
Cambridge in their first match against Kent.
|Albert Salisbury (102)||376||Chris Carpenter||181|
|Tony Henke (85)||311||Colin Summers||142|
|Dennis McGuigan (72)||291||Robert Shanks||212|
|Phil Welham||342||Ron Pike||156|
|Fosse Wilson||175||Bill Brokenshire||219|
|David Nichols||215||Paul Hilsden||218|
|Phil Welham (60 59 54)||347||Albert Salisbury (54)||200|
|Fosse Wilson||199||Tony Henke||194|
|David Nichols (62)||237||Ivan Chambers (52 52 48)||319|
The larger entry from the Northern area determined that two teams
would progress to the semi-finals from this section. Cleveland, who
have been without an Association for some years, where obliged to
form one in order to send two teams to this event. A formidable A
side was supported by a relatively weak B team, fired more by
enthusiasm than expectations.
However, Cleveland B gave some idea of the depth of talent on
Teesside when they completed a first round victory over Cheshire. Lee
Connor provided the pivotal game when he compiled a rapid-fire break
of 123 in the closing minutes to give them an aggregate advantage of
68 points. Simon Snee included a break of 86 to fend off the challenge
of Paul Dunning and provide his team with an unexpected victory.
Centuries were also made in the opening round by Merseyside´s Gerry
Dickson (102) and Peter Shelley (114) who was in the combined team
of Staffordshire and West Midlands.
If Cleveland B were inspired by their performance against Cheshire,
they were quickly put in their place in the next round by Cleveland
A who provided an awesome display to crush their junior side. A
string of big breaks came from the cues of Messrs. Kell, Bennett and
Lagan to confirm their position as competition favourites.
The second qualifying place was a much closer contest as an 180 point
advantage for Staffs/West Midlands was cancelled out by Gerry Dickson
for Merseyside, leaving Peter Shelley and Dennis Marr to determine
the outcome of the match. Despite a magnificent break of 130 by Marr,
it was Peter Shelley who emerged victorious, putting Staffs/West
Midlands into the Semi Finals.
|Joe Sweeney||211||Jim McCann||224|
|Gerry Dickson (102)||282||David Rees||158|
|Dennis Marr||198||Malcolm Gregory||262|
|Ernie Houghton||168||J. Binks 216|
|Tony Keeling (58)||248||P. Emerson||161|
|Peter Shelley (114)||375||Simon Bean||172|
|John Hartley||187||Joe Bird||218|
|Lee Connor (123)||284||Tony Done (59)||187|
|Simon Snee (86)||279||Paul Dunning||158|
|Paul Bennett (68 51)||402||Richard Lodge||134|
|Lee Lagan (68)||251||Steve Crosland (68)||261|
|Darren Kell (66)||253||Terry Ward||176|
|Cleveland A||Cleveland B|
|Darren Kell (86 81)||440||John Hartley||208|
|Paul Bennett (133 86 79) 450||Lee Connor||197|
|Lee Lagan (113 67 60 58)||498||Simon Snee (50)||212|
|Tony Keeling||305||Joe Sweeney||125|
|Ernie Houghton||76||Gerry Dickson (56)||262|
|Peter Shelley (73)||311||Dennis Marr (130)||262|