English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Amateur Billiard Player : November 2001

The Amateur Billiard Player : November 2001

Tommy Arnott Memorial Pro-Am

Ironopolis Club, Middlesbrough (8th-9th August 2001)

Photo of Geoff Charville (8k)

Geoff Charville receives the
winner´s trophy from tournament
sponsor, Derrick Arnott.

The second of Teesside’s Pro-Ams started on 8th August at the
Ironopolis Club in Middlesbrough. Extended over two consecutive
evenings, the invited professional quartet saw Chris Shutt come in to
replace Mike Russell with the remainder of their line-up the same as for
the previous event.

Preliminary Round (1 hr)

The first evening involved only the eight Amateurs who played off for
the right to meet a professional opponent in the next round. Lee Lagan
had to withdraw at short notice, having taken a contract job in another

part of the country. His replacement
was 15 year-old Michael Donnelly
who justified his selection by
demolishing the experienced Alf
Nolan 281-132 including breaks of
58 and 48. However, the highlight
of the evening was a tremendous
game between Ironopolis team-
mates Darren Kell and Paul Boden.

Photo of Alf Nolan (7k)

The achievement
award went to Alf Nolan for his
lifetime contribution to the game.

Looking in great form, Kell raced into
the lead with a break of 89 at his
second visit. Adding 105 a little later,
Boden was in a hopeless position
trailing 242-32 after 35 minutes.
However, he reduced his arrears by
following Kell’s century with one
of his own—an excellent all-round
109—which proved to be the

highest in the competition. Without any recourse to top-of-the-table,
the effort had taken 15 minutes of the available time and Kell, with a
safe lead of 101 points, rounded off the match with 38 and 39 unfinished
to complete a 326-144 victory. Kell’s average of 40.8 indicates the
quality of this performance and Boden with an average of 16.0 must
have wished he had been favoured with a different opponent in the

Lee Connor and Geoff Charville also progressed at the expense of John
Hartley and Mark Hatton respectively. With Hatton having defeated
Charville at South Bank a few weeks earlier, there was some interest to
see if he could repeat the feat on Charville’s home table. However, the
match was a disappointingly one-sided affair, and with Hatton unable
to produce anything approaching his best game he was quickly

Michael Donnelly (58, 48) 281 (av 9.4) Alf Nolan 132 (av 4.6); Lee Connor (80, 48) 273 (av 9.8) John
Hartley 152 (av 5.2); Geoff Charville (58, 51) 252 (av 11.0) Mark Hatton (52) 160 (av 7.3); Darren
Kell (105, 89) 326 (av 40.8) Paul Boden (109) 144 (av 16.0)
Quarter Finals (45 min)

For the remaining rounds to be completed in one evening, the quarter
and semi-final matches were reduced to 45 minutes. Various handicap
allowances were now made to the amateur players. The professionals
made a slightly better showing than they had the previous month, with
two of them—Chris Shutt and Paul Bennett—progressing to the semi-
finals. Bennett in particular was made to struggle by Lee Connor (rec.
80) who looked to be coasting to victory until late breaks of 66 and 85
allowed Bennett to scrape home by just 7 points. There was an identical
winning margin in the match between Michael Donnelly (rec. 150) and
Peter Gilchrist, but this one went to the Amateur player. Donnelly also
looked to be well placed in this match, leading by 90 points with just
minutes remaining. However, a simple missed pot allowed Gilchrist to
quickly gather the balls at the top, and at full speed, he had amassed 83
points when the bell ended his effort while still in perfect position.

Michael Donnelly (rec.150) 291 (av 7.1) Peter Gilchrist (83 unf) 284 (av 14.2); Paul Bennett (85,
66) 258 (av 15.2) Lee Connor (rec.80) (49) 252 (av 9.6); Geoff Charville (rec.100) (72) 326 (av 10.8)
David Causier (44) 204 (av 9.7); Chris Shutt (67, 64, 46) 322 (av 20.1) Darren Kell (rec.70) 208 (av
Semi-Finals (45 min)

In the semi-finals, Geoff Charville (rec. 100), who had eliminated David
Causier by more than his allotted handicap in the previous round, now
repeated the performance against Chris Shutt. Always in command,
breaks of 55, 49 and 52 unfinished were enough to give him a winning
margin of 172 points. Paul Bennett again struggled to find any fluency
in his match against Michael Donnelly (rec. 100). Having produced

nothing of note for most of the match, he capitalised on a fluke at 25 to
run in a late break of 86 which gave him the advantage he needed to hold
on for a 298-260 victory.

Geoff Charville (rec.100) (55, 49, 52 unf) 349 (av 20.8) Chris Shutt (47, 46) 177 (av 13.6); Paul
Bennett (86) 298 (av 14.2) Michael Donnelly (rec.100) 260 (av 7.6)
Final (1 hr)

During the evening, Bennett had produced just a few glimpses of the
form which had established him as England’s best Amateur player prior
to joining the professional ranks. These had been enough to carry him

through to the final, but here, even
those patches of brilliance deserted
him as Charville (rec. 50) built upon
his handicap to run out an easy
winner. Two late forty breaks from
Bennett made the score a little more
respectable but the winning margin
of 90 points meant that Charville
had the distinction of outscoring all
of his professional opponents in the
short season of Teesside Pro-Ams.

Geoff Charville (rec.50) (67, 49) 300 (av 13.2)
Paul Bennett (46, 40) 210 (av 11.1)

Charville received the winner’s
cheque for £150 with Bennett taking
£75 as runner-up. Incredibly,
Bennett’s 86 was also the highest
break by a professional on the night

and this earned him an additional £40. Paul Boden with 109 had to be
satisfied with £20 for the best Amateur break. The annual award for
outstanding achievement was given to Alf Nolan for his “lifetime”
contribution to the game.

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