English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Amateur Billiard Player : May 1999

The Amateur Billiard Player : May 1999


The Oatlands Mount S. C. Harrogate (16th-17th January 1999)

The Players & Rankings

England Northern Ireland
Paul Bennett (1) Paddy Donnelly (1)
Neal Rewhorn (2) Davy Elliott (2)
Lee Lagan (3) Tony Buttimer (3)
Darren Kell (4) Sammy Clarke (4)
Stephen Crosland (5) Davy Pogue (5)
Peter Shelley (6) Jimmy McLaughlin (6)
Phil Welham (7) Eugene Rogan (7)
David Nichols (8) John McIntyre (8)
Photo of  (17k)

National Champions, Paul Bennett
and Paddy Donnelly lead their
teams in competition for the
“Friendly Cup”.

The Oatlands Mount Social Club in Harrogate proved to be an
excellent venue for this popular and keenly fought encounter
between England and Northern Ireland. The club´s two billiard tables
were supplemented by Riley´s, who generously erected their two
professional match tables in the concert room. These were the very
tables in use at the UK Championships when Mike Russell compiled
his World record break, and it gave the top amateurs a rare chance to
display their skills under strict professional conditions.

The eight-man teams engaged in a series of games for the “Friendly
Cup”, each playing one of 500 up and a set of 3 x 150 up, with opponents
arranged according to relative ranking positions. Three points were
allocated to each encounter, with total of 48 points at stake. Alongside
the senior event, a squad of junior players from each country competed
for the “Kingsman Cup”.

3 x 150 up (1 point/game)
L. Lagan
74, 52, 66
1 Sammy Clarke
D. Kell
3 Tony Buttimer

Lee Lagan and Sammy Clarke were the first in action for the seniors,
playing the 150 up format. Despite a break of 74 from Lagan, it was
Ireland who took the first point when Clarke, with breaks of 47 and
44, took the opening game. Clarke also took the second game 150-98
before Lagan opened his account by taking the last 150-124 including
breaks of 66 and 46 unfinished. Meanwhile, Darren Kell experienced
no such difficulties on the adjoining table, where he registered a 3-0
win over Tony Buttimer to establish a 4-2 lead for the English team.

1 x 500 up (3 pts)
P. Shelley
73, 65, 60, 57
500 J. McLaughlin
D. Nichols
500 J. McIntyre
S. Crosland
87, 59, 55
500 D. Pogue
P. Welham
82, 61
500 E. Rogan

All of the first day´s 500 up games went England´s way, with Peter
Shelley registering breaks of 73, 65, 60 and 57 in his victory over
Jimmy McLaughlin, who himself put together a break of 70. David
Nichols extended his unbeaten run as an England International player
by defeating his Irish opposite number in the closest of the encounters.
Stephen Crosland and Phil Welham were less troubled as they
dominated their games to emerge comfortable winners.

3 x 150 up (1 point/game)
P. Bennett
137unf, 72 unf
2 D. Elliott
89, 55
N. Rewhorn
68, 112 unf
1 P. Donnelly

Saturday´s matches concluded with the top seeds competing on the
club´s own tables in the upstairs billiard room. Bennett and Elliott

started in spectacular fashion
when Elliott put together a
break of 89 at his first scoring
visit, only to stand and watch
as Bennett ran to game with
137 unfinished ! A 55 break in
the second took Elliott to
within 16 points of game only
for him to see Bennett again put
together 72 unfinished to steal
the points. Despite these early
set-backs, Elliott held his game
together to win the last session
150-92, helped by breaks of 43
and 32.

On the adjoining table, Neal Rewhorn was experiencing problems with
the All-Ireland Champion, Paddy Donnelly, who took the first two
games for the Irish—a break of 68 in the second by Rewhorn having
been countered by one of 60 from Donnelly. Rewhorn´s best effort
came in the last game, when an unfinished break of 112 gave him a
150-0 victory.

Saturday finished with England holding a commanding 19-5 lead,
needing to take just six of the 24 points available on the following day
for overall victory.

Sunday 17th January 1999

3 x 150 up (1 point/game)
P. Welham
1 J. McIntyre
D. Nichols
3 F. Cahoon

England/Northern Ireland contests are always a sociable affair, and
with the sociability going on late into the Saturday night, a match starting
an 10.30am the next morning was sure to be more than the just a test of
skill. John McIntyre set the Irish off to a good start, winning the first
two games against Phil Welham by 49 points and 106 points respectively.
Welham then put in a run of 60 to win the third 150-125, despite a
break of 53 by McIntyre. However, while this was going on, David
Nichols was cruising to a 3-0 win against Freddie Cahoon, (who
substituted for Eugene Rogan) to edge England closer to victory.

1 x 500 up (3 pts)
N. Rewhorn
382 D. Elliott
D. Kell
82, 75
500 S. Clarke
P. Bennett
193, 140
500 P. Donnelly
L. Lagan
91, 67
500 T. Buttimer

With England needing one win from the afternoon´s 500 up games,
Neal Rewhorn and Darren Kell entered the arena charged with that
task. The Riley match-tables were proving to be an exacting test for all
the competitors. Rewhorn in particular seemed to struggle as Davy
Elliott put in a 97 break right at the death, to keep the Irish in the match
with an 118 point victory. However, if England were looking for
someone who could set aside all distractions and give 100%
commitment, they could not have selected a better candidate than Darren
Kell. With characteristic determination, he held off a strong challenge
by Sammy Clarke to put the English team past the winning post,
including breaks of 82 and 75 in his 117 point win.

The remaining matches may have been a formality as far as the overall
result was concerned, but the players were given a good reason to
perform well as ex-World Champion Mike Russell arrived at the venue
and discreetly viewed proceedings from the back of the main match-
room. Paul Bennett took the opportunity to demonstrate his improving
break-building talents, to put together runs of 193 and 140, the former
being the highest of the event. Lee Lagan, described in the match
programme as “one of the most promising stars on the horizon”, lived
up to his billing by registering a comfortable victory over Tony Buttimer.
A description of “promising” would probably come as a surprise to
most players in Teesside, where he has been firmly amongst the “big
three” in the area for many years. His recent decision to compete more
regularly on a national basis will no doubt bring appreciation of his
talents to a wider audience.

3 x 150 up (1 point/game)
S. Crosland
2 J. McLaughlin
P. Shelley
74, 61
3 D. Pogue

Tucked away in the Club´s own billiard room, which had little provision
for spectators, the competitors for the concluding 150 up games were
given little incentive to produce their best. The final game of the Shelley/
Pogue encounter however, saw the most exciting finish of the day, as
Peter Shelley (61 break) got home by a single point, with Davy Pogue
also registering a break of 55.

The presentation of trophies was made by Mike Russell, who in a short
address, made a point of paying tribute to Norman Dagley, whom he
described as a “friend and mentor” from his earliest days in the game.
The aptly named “Friendly Cup” was presented to England Team
Manager and event organiser, Derick Townend and the irrepressible
Irish showed that they were still in high sprits by airing their vocal
talents in a melodious conclusion.

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