Categories
Tournaments

2004 National Individual Billiards Championship

Semi-finals
Farncombe W M Social Club, Godalming, Surrey (Saturday 6th March, 2004)
Jack Hedley
50, 52, 131
730 (10.6) Dave Burgess
59, 123, 66, 77
706 (10.1)
Chilton & Windlestone Club, Darlington Road, Chilton, Ferryhill, Co Durham (March 13th)
Simon Snee w/o Lee Lagan scr
Lee Lagan conceded this match since his return to professional status would have made him ineligible to compete in the final were he to get through.

Final
Grassmoor W M Club, Mill Lane, Grassmoor, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Saturday May 29th, 2004

Jack Hedley (Maidenhead Ivy Leaf) retained the CIU Individual Billiards title when he defeated Simon Snee (Blytholme, Stockton) at the Grassmoor WMC, Derbyshire, on 29th May 2004. Snee was taking part in his first CIU final, but Hedley was appearing for the third time and having made all his previous appearances at this club, was in familiar surroundings. Last year he defeated Darren Kell on a specially erected table in the club’s concert room, the new cloth providing a treacherous surface for both players. This year, the arrangements were the same, and once more, the conditions proved detrimental to performances.

Snee, who was reported to have made a break of 216 in practice a few days earlier, seemed to have the measure of the table when after 15 minutes he took the lead with a run of 50, but Hedley cancelled this effort and went in front with an immediate reply of 46. From this point he would continue to improve his position, drawing ever-further ahead. Despite this promising start, the remainder of the first 90 minute session was a dour struggle, with neither player approaching breaks of this magnitude again. Hedley generally made the better of his chances and at the interval had carved out a lead of just over a hundred points, the scores standing at 370-262.

It was clear that if Snee was to stand any chance of recovery he would have to quickly unravel the mysteries of the playing conditions in the second session, but after a slow start it was Hedley who at last found his touch. A break of 86 unluckily ended with a kick, but this was enough to visibly lift his confidence and he now played a more fluent and relaxed game. Hedley followed this with breaks of 94 and 93, while Snee, who could barely muster a contribution over twenty, must have realised that his chance had gone. A final break of 65 helped Hedley a total of 526 points for the last 90 minutes of the match and an ultimately easy 896-478 victory.

The win was worth £500 to Hedley and this second consecutive success gives him a chance to win the magnificent CIU trophy outright, which he would achieve with a third victory next year. Simon Snee took £300 as runner-up and semi-finalists, Lee Lagan and Dave Burgess, received £200. Lagan also earned £20 for the competition high break of 362 unfinished in his first round match.

Peter Ainsworth

L-R: Colin Pattimore (Referee), Jack Hedley, Danny Thompson (CIU Executive representative)
Jack Hedley
94, 93, 86, 65
896 (12.6) Simon Snee
50
478 (6.8)
Entry forms for next season’s billiards championship are now available, and with the minimum requirement for entry having been raised to 29 it is clear that an improvement on this year’s entry of 23 must be achieved. Failure to reach this target will mean that the CIU, who have been supporting amateur billiards since 1920, will abandon this important championship which would certainly be a sad loss to the billiards community. Closing date is 22nd June 2004 and entry is just £10 through any affiliated club.