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Billiard Records : 2000 CIU Individual

2000 INDIVIDUAL BILLIARDS CHAMPIONSHIP

The entry of 27 for the CIU National Billiards Championship was two less than last year, with perhaps the most notable absentee being the 1998 Champion, Neal Rewhorn. With a total of £1,300 in prize money, this contest is the last to be sponsored by Newcastle Breweries although arrangements have been made for Newcastle´s parent company, John Smith´s, to take over sponsorship next year.

Preliminary Round

The current Champion, Tony Mackinder, started his defence of the title by travelling to the Northern Social Club where he overcame the challenge of Jackie Sinclair. Mackinder made breaks of 80 and 75 in a comfortable victory. Also in good form was Jack Hedley, who raced to a massive 420 point victory which included a break of 104. However, the highest break of the preliminary round came from Peter Shelley with a run of 105. An additional break of 94 sealed his win.

Four of the preliminary round matches were unplayed with the tie being awarded to the “away” player in each case. Paul Bennett, in anticipation of his move to the professional ranks, conceded his match to Alf Nolan.

Jack Hedley
(Maidenhead Ivy Leaf Club)
104
500 Ivan Stevenage
(Nat. Ass. of Railway Soc.)
80
G. Hope
(Crewe Pioneer Anglers Club)
179 Maurice Chapman
(Selly Oak Inst)
500
Peter Shelley
(Ball Green W.M)
105, 94
500 M.A. Faddes
(Crewe Pioneer Anglers Club)
134
Bem French
(Boston Railwaymen’s Social)
500 P. Emerson
(Riverside Social)
167
John Ingleby
(Bradley & Colne Bridge Club)
500 Derick Townend
(Oaklands Mount W.M.)
282
Steve Best
(Billingham Social Club)
281 Geoff Charville
(Acklam Garden City Social)
88
500
Jackie Sinclair
(Northern Social Club)
319 Tony Mackinder
(North Ormesby Institute)
80, 75
500
F. Crawley
(Hayes W.M.C.)
scr. G. Lee
(Durrington W.M.C)
w/o
M. Downing
(Crewe Pioneer Anglers Club)
scr. P. Johnson
(Monks Road W.M.)
w/o
T. Matthews
(Riverside Social Club)
scr. M.A. Lowndes
(Crewe Pioneer Anglers Club)
w/o
Paul Bennett
(Acklam Garden City Social)
scr. Alf Nolan
(Western Social)
w/o
Last 16

The sensation of the second round was not only the departure of the Champion but also last year’s finalist! Tony James turned in a magnificent performance to defeat Tony Mackinder by almost half the game on the Champion’s own table!

Lee Lagan also made an unexpected exit at the hands of Geoff Charville, who is highly regarded in the Teesside area but who has not, so far, made a great impact on the national scene. A break of 109 helped Charville to level the scores at 455 and at this point he took his opportunity, running to game with an unfinished break.

Alf Nolan won the first of his nine CIU titles in 1953 and the most recent in 1989. Playing in the tough Northern area, he almost caused a major upset as he came very close to defeating the 1997 Champion, Darren Kell. With Kell taking an early lead of almost 100 points Nolan played his way back into the match levelling the scores at 360. He then put together a run of eighty points to go clear, subsequently advancing his position to just 5 points from game. Over eighty points in arrears and faced with almost certain defeat, Kell responded in magnificent style to snatch the game with his next two visits, each producing a contribution in the forties.

Peter Shelley made two century breaks to overwhelm Sean Bean, and with the elimination of Lagan and Mackinder, establish himself as the one of the favourites for this years title.

G. Lee
(Durrington WMC)
500 F.E. Page
(Swanley Junction WMC)
180
Maurice Chapman
(Selly Oak Inst)
500 Jack Hedley
(Maidenhead Ivy Leaf Club)
77
488
M.A. Lowndes
(Crewe Pioneer Anglers Club)
320 John Ingleby
(Bradley & Colne Bridge Club)
500
Simon Bean
(Riverside Social Club)
269 Peter Shelley
(Ball Green WMC)
109, 102
500
P. Johnson
(Monks Road WMC)
315 Bem French
(Boston Railwaymen’s Soc.)
500
Alf Nolan
(Western Social Club)
495 Darren Kell
(Acklam Garden City Social)
500
Geoff Charville
(Acklam Garden City Social)
106
500 Lee Lagan
(North Ormesby Institute)
455
Tony Mackinder
(North Ormesby Institute)
252 Tony James
(Throckley Union Jack Club)
500
Quarter-finals

Tony James, who had sprung a surprise by defeating the current CIU Champion, Tony Mackinder, in the previous round, was himself defeated in the quarter-finals by Teesside player Geoff Charville. James was struggling to find his touch throughout the match and Charville kept up the pressure with regular contributions in the 40’s and 50’s eventually completing an impressive win by 254 points. James was the only “home” player to lose, although Maurice Chapman had a close call, just edging out G. Lee by 22 points.

Maurice Chapman
(Selly Oak Ex )
500 G. Lee
(Durrington WMC)
478
Peter Shelley
(Ball Green WMC)
500 Bem French
(Boston Railwaymen’s Soc)
205
Darren Kell
(Acklam Garden City)
500 John Ingleby
(Bradley & Colne Bridge)
202
Tony James
(Throckley Union Jack)
246 Geoff Charville
(Acklam Garden City)
500
Semi-Finals (3 hours)

Maurice Chapman pictured in 1965 when, as part of the Tyseley WMC team, he was winner of the CIU National Team Snooker Championship. Maurice had also been part of the team when they were losing finalists in 1962 and 1963.

Both semi-finals were again held at the Batley Carr WMC, the first involving Darren Kell and Peter Shelley taking place on 4th March. Neither player was on particularly good form in the three-hour match, with many early chances being lost, mainly due to faulty positional play. However, this ensured a close contest, with little separating the players during the first session. This situation changed shortly after the start of the second session when Peter Shelley opened up a gap of 130 points with consecutive breaks of 94 and 44. However, he failed to capitalise on this advantage as Kell brought himself back on terms with breaks of 51 and 78. This latter contribution started with a fluke, and ironically ended unluckily when a bad “kick” caused him to miss a simple centre-pocket in-off when still in excellent position. Going into the last 10 minutes, Kell had established an advantage of 61 points, but Shelley looked set to overhaul him when his break of 43 ended unexpectedly at what appeared to be a simple cross-loser. From this point both players had chances to put the game beyond doubt, but Kell just managed to hold on to his advantage and go through to his third CIU Individual Final.

The following Saturday was the turn of Birmingham’s Maurice Chapman and Geoff Charville from Middlesbrough. Charville had the distinct advantage in terms of support, having brought a bus full of members from the Acklam Club, which more than filled all the available seating. Both players were making their first appearance in the semi- final stages, although the sprightly Chapman, who belied his 64 years, had won the CIU Team Snooker Championship some 35 years previously! In a rather nervous opening session most of the chances seemed to fall to Chapman, but he was unable to capitalise on his frequent openings. His best effort during this period being a break of 50 which started with a fluked pot red, and rather typified the run during the first half. Under these circumstances, an advantage of 51 points to Chapman at the interval should really have been much greater.

Geoff Charville (left) and Maurice Chapman with referee Jim Callaghan at their CIU Billiards semi-final.

A score at this stage of 284-233 with respective averages of 6.8 and 5.5 is an indication of the slow nature of the play. Perhaps it was something in the Batley pork pies – served as an interval refreshment – or perhaps it was Charville’s decision to substitute his first-half orange juice with a pint of lager, but whatever the reason, he looked a different player as he started the second session. His first visit produced a break of 68, putting him into the lead, and he followed this with additional runs of 67 and 64. Chapman, to his credit, also raised his game, replying to Charville’s efforts with contributions of 52 and 71. The latter was the highest of the match and it brought Chapman back to within 50 points of his opponent. But with time running out, Charville, who had never been shy to employ safety tactics, now carefully defended his lead and made sure Chapman received no more chances. A second session average of 16.5 by Charville showed that despite his lack of experience at this level, he is capable of taking the CIU title if he can play to this standard consistently. It was regrettable that the match finished on a rather sour note when, towards the end, Chapman stopped mid-break to ask one of the Teesside supporters to refrain from making comments while he was playing – something which he later stated had been happening throughout the match.

Darren Kell
78, 51
681 (10.0) Peter Shelley
94
652 (9.7)
G. Charville
68, 67, 64
612 (9.3) M. Chapman
71, 52, 50
500 (7.7)

National Individual Billiards Championship – Final

With both Darren Kell and Geoff Charville having entered the CIU Individual Championship from the Acklam Garden City Club in Middlesbrough, the 3-hour final of the competition was held at that venue, being played on Saturday 29th April. Unlike last year, when a special table was erected, the match was played on the club’s billiard table. This came with such a reputation that although Charville had made a run of 106 on this surface in an earlier round, there were confident predictions that the competition high-break of just 109 by Peter Shelley, would be difficult to beat.

Darren Kell is presented with the winner’s trophy by CIU representative Colin Wright

Play started cautiously, but quickly came alive as Kell took an early lead with a break of 65. Thereafter a period of unremitting safety-play saw Charville gradually claw back this deficit and establish an advantage at one stage of 88 points. Charville’s main strength is red-ball play, and he employed this technique well to make several small but useful contributions, “ten-hazards” being called by the referee on a number of occasions. Towards the end of the first session Kell fought back, a break of 90 recovering lost ground and putting him briefly into the lead. The first session finished with Charville again front 297-257, the respective averages of 9.0 and 7.8 reflecting the careful nature of the play.

The second session saw a slightly more open game, with Kell, helped by a break of 59, regaining the lead at 361-319. Charville responded with his best spell of the match which included runs of 53, 52 and 47 in the space of four visits. This gave him an advantage of 50 points, which Kell immediately reduced with a break of 44, and with 20 minutes remaining, the scores where once more locked together. With both players now starting to look a little nervous, Charville was still just in front by a slender 9 points entering the last 8 minutes. At this point Kell drew on his greater experience and held himself together to compile a crucial break of 46, leaving Charville just 3 minutes to make up the deficit. This he failed to do, although he did close to gap to just 15 points at the end. Kell’s winning total of 584 just managed to avoid the dubious distinction of being the lowest ever made in a final since to competition changed to a time format in 1954. That particular accolade still belongs to Alf Nolan with his 572 scored against Dave Edwards in 1989.

Darren Kell, who was also the winner of this event in 1997, received the trophy and cheque for £500 from Colin Wright who was representing the CIU. Charville took £300 as runner-up and the high-break prize went to Peter Shelley whose 109 in an earlier round was enough to earn him £100. The match official was John Rhodes from the Teesside Referees Association.

Final Score
Darren Kell
90, 65, 59
584 (10.1) Geoff Charville
53, 52
569 (9.8)