English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Amateur Billiard Player : Winter 2002

The Amateur Billiard Player : Winter 2002


New Zealand Open

The 2002 New Zealand Open was held from 4th-6th October at the
Hamilton Cosmopolitan Club. There was an excellent entry of 28,
including the four “Loose Cannons” from England back for another
visit. A fifth Loose Cannon, Brian Harvey, entered the tournament but
did not turn up. He was replaced at the last minute by local player
Brendan Bateman.

Wayne Carey was top qualifier from Section 1, winning all three of his
matches. Visiting Englishman Peter Shelley finished runner-up, and he
looked impressive in scoring 939 points against fellow Englishman
David Smith, Shelley scoring six breaks over 50 in the 2 hours. The
Carey versus Shelley encounter produced Billiards of a high quality,
Carey winning a free-flowing match 556-535. Shelley scored a break of
150 early on and a 67 later in the match. Carey’s major contributions
were breaks of 51, 68 and 65, and it was a good win for the New

In Section 2, Englishman Paul Dunning finished top qualifier with three
wins, scoring breaks of 75, 57, 58 and 70 against Ross Exley, and
breaks of 91, 89 and 51 in a 597-358 win against section runner-up
Malcolm Cooke.

Joe Ifa was the winner of Section 3 with three wins to his credit, and
Peter Stephens came runner-up with two victories. Ifa scored breaks of
86, 72 and 54 against Paddy Tattley, and 87, 67 and 80 unfinished
against Stephens.

Tony Stephens was the clear winner of Section 4, and Englishman Bill
Andress the runner-up. Stephens played very well against the wellperformed
Englishman, winning 608 (including breaks of 87, 71, 66 and
51) to 327. Stephens also scored well against Steve Gupwell, winning
710 (93, 61, 71, and 61) to 281. Byron Brook scored a personal best
523 points in his win over Steve Gupwell. There was plenty of scoring
in the Andress versus Gupwell match, Andress winning 646-528.

Section 5 was won by Derek Gibb with three wins, and Paul Wilson
with two wins finished runner-up. Gibb scored breaks of 88, 77, 53
and 51 in his match against Ian Hazelton.

Merv Stewart won Section 6 with three wins, and Ron Milicich came
runner-up with two wins. Darcy Boyce was a clear winner of section
7 with three wins, but all the other 3 players had one win each. Ray
Habgood eventually finished runner-up based on points differential.

In the quarter-finals, centuries were scored by Gibb (133) and Shelley
(also 133). Shelley’s breaks in his match against Dunning were 75, 96,
57 and 133, and he won easily by 433 points. Carey scored five breaks
over 50 against Andress in the 2 hours.

Stephens scored two good breaks (90 and 116) in his semi-final, but he
still lost to Shelley by 121 points. Shelley made breaks of 86, 65 and

Carey made an excellent start to final, scoring a very good break of 137
early on. After 40 minutes he lead 254-28. Shelley came back well, and
with the aid of a break of 114 the score was 318-279 to Carey after 1
hour 10 minutes. A further useful break (66) was made by Shelley, and
he took the lead, 392-346 after 1 hour 25 minutes.

Early in the second session, the players were accompanied by the
singing of a visiting Irish Tenor busy rehearsing his songs for his
engagement at the club later that evening. Carey appeared to be offsong
for a while. He played a bad shot, intending safety but instead
leaving the balls in good scoring position for his opponent. Shelley
made a break of 65 from Carey’s error, and had a lead of 87 points (503-
416) after 25 minutes. Shelley made a further break of 58 shortly after,
and led by 116 points (628-512) with 40 minutes to play. With 30
minutes left Carey made a break of 61, to reduce his deficit to 68 points
(644-576). It was then Shelley’s turn to play a bad safety shot, but
Carey, in scoring 21, was unable to take full advantage. Shelley then
made an extraordinary error and picked up the incorrect cue ball whilst
in hand. Carey spotted the balls up from the foul but could only make
7, he then tried a double baulk, did not achieve it, and Shelley, with the
balls in good position, made only 11 points and so he too missed
another good scoring opportunity.

With only 5 minutes left, Shelley led 700-632, and his supporters must
have fancied his chances of winning the match. Carey, however, is well
known in New Zealand for his ability to finish his matches strongly,
and under tremendous pressure he scored a break of 61 to make the
score 700-693 to Shelley. Shelley did not score again, and Carey on his
last visit made a break of 38 unfinished, and he won 731-700, a
tremendous result for the Kiwi, and a fitting climax to a great

Ray Habgood
Last 16
Paul Dunning
69, 67, 60
571  Bryce Good
Peter Shelley
81, 50, 133, 74, 75
957  Ron Milicich
Joe Ifa
385  Chris Anderson
Tony Stephens
87, 54, 59, 53, 87
724  Paul Wilson
Wayne Carey
522  Ray Habgood
Bill Andress
51, 58
711  Darcy Boyce
Merv Stewart
486  Malcolm Cooke
Derek Gibb
492  Byron Brook
Peter Shelley
96, 57, 133
767  Paul Dunning
Tony Stephens
67, 62, 51
551  Joe Ifa
Wayne Carey
67, 59, 58, 51, 50
567  Bill Andress
57, 50
Derek Gibb
65, 133
468  Merv Stewart
Peter Shelley
86, 55, 51
559  Tony Stephens
90, 116
Wayne Carey
401  Derek Gibb
(3 hours)
Wayne Carey
137, 61, 61, 38unf
731  Peter Shelley
114, 66, 68, 58
Highest break: Peter Shelley 150.
Plate final
(1 hour)
D. Weir

222 I. Hazelton

Flight final
(2 hours)
M. Cooke

388 C. Anderson


Mike Russell New Zealand tour

The Mike Russell tour enabled us to see Billiards of the highest quality
from the best player in the world. In Auckland for his first engagement
he made a break of 377, in Hamilton on his second night a break of over
350, and the other major highlight was a break of 501 unfinished in
Christchurch. Although not a top Snooker player, he was also happy
to compete against several of our leading Snooker players on his tour,
and he played very well, winning frames against several leading players,
including Daniel and Harry Haenga, both former New Zealand
champions. Russell and his wife Kavita were delightful people, making
friends wherever they went. Perhaps Russell’s greatest attribute was
his willingness to impart his expert knowledge to anyone who wanted
to be told. Some top players are inclined to guard their knowledge and
not share it, but not Russell, he would tell anybody anything, any time.

His future plans include extending his coaching to full-time, and he
would be very good at it, if not the best in the world, for both Billiards
and Snooker. After leaving New Zealand and Australia, he had a coaching
assignment to return to in England, one-on-one with Ronnie O’Sullivan,
so that illustrates the high regard in which he is held. The New Zealand
players also received the benefit of his coaching prowess before they
flew out to attend the IBSF World Billiards Championships in Sydney.

The New Zealand Billiards and Snooker Association invested a lot of
money to get Russell here to tour. The itinerary was Auckland, Hamilton,
Mt Maunganui, Hastings, Wellington, Christchurch (2 nights), Oamaru,
Invercargill, then back to Auckland for the coaching of the New Zealand
team. As you can see, we kept him very busy, but he took it in his
stride, nothing was ever too much trouble, and he and his wife were a
pleasure to have here. The tour was the best opportunity we have had
for years to promote and develop the game, and it was without doubt
a great success. The newspaper coverage was extensive, he was on
radio on two separate occasions including an hour on the Murray Deaker
sports programme, and there was a segment on TVS news. May they
return again soon.

Ray Habgood

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