With Reece in Australia
(Special to The Billiard Monthly.)
The interest in the match between young Lindrum, the
Australian champion, and Reece, which ended in the Englishman
being victimized by another red ball” fiend, “as
enormous. Commodious as is Messrs. Alcock’s salon in
Elizabeth Street, it proved altogether inadequate to
“house” more than one half of those who were desirous
of witnessing how the popular idol (Lindrum is an immense
favourite throughout Australasia) would fare against one
of the old country’s most brilliant artists.
There was a feeling that if Lindrum could beat Reece
there was a great chance of the world’s championship coming
this way in the immediate future. This was
undoubtedly a compliment to the Lancastrian, who, by the
way, has already established himself an immense favourite
as much by reason of his genial demeanour at and away
from the table as for his attractive playadjudged to be
the prettiest ever witnessed in Australia.
But the “battle” was a most unequal onein conditions
and in the result, which afforded one more demonstration,
if any were needed, that the “all red route” is miles and
miles in front of the “all round route” followed religiously
by Reece. It is interesting to note that Lindrum discarded
to some extent the “Gray” stroke during the first three
days, with disastrous results, for Reece led by nearly 500
points at the end of that period. This was a surprise to
Lindrum and his friends, who expected to find Reece “easy
game,” partly from the fact that he had been less than two
weeks off the water when the match commenced.
Another factor operating against the Englishman’s
chance, in the view of many here, was Reece’s very short
acquaintance with the bonzoline balls, with which excellent
spheres Lindrum has performed in a vast majority
of his games since he commenced playing billiards. Great,
then, was the consternation of Lindrum and his admirers
when Reece not only out-manoeuvred his younger cousin
but actually overplayed him for three days, and that, too,
on a table on which the Australian had had five weeks’
solid practice and with Lindrum’s own set of bonzolines in
“I have not the ghost of a chance against this man
(Reece) at the all-round game I must put the losing
hazards across him, “he writer heard young Fred remark
to one of his friends at the close of the third day’s play.
And the following morning Lindrum put in three or four
hours’ solid practice with the” tomato, “s the red ball
is termed here, and fastening on to the all red route the
same afternoon in the match, Reece’s leading margin was
soon converted into a big deficiency.
No useful purpose can be served by going through the
details of the match from this stage, because the red losing
hazard is not a thing I can raise enthusiasm over at this
time of day. Reece struggled gamely and played billiards
that gained for him unstinted applause and admiration, but
all to little purpose, so far as the actual result was concerned.
He was beaten by 5,960 in a game of 16,000 up.
Wide as this margin is, it represents the best performance
on either side of the world against a red ball expert, and for
that reason Reece is to be congratulated on coming out of
his first big engagement on this side with so much credit.
He played very well indeed, and, taking all the circumstances
into consideration, put up a fine achievement in
averaging over 38 for the whole match. Lindrum averaged
just over 61, thanks to his expert red ball play, which gave
him such brilliant breaks as 1,239, 840, 830, 591, 553, 512,
438, etc. (A complete list of the breaks in the match is
appended). The 1,239 and 840 are Australian records
and wipe out George Gray’s 836 made in August, 1909, and
are signal tributes to the bonzoline ball, which now holds
both the amateur and professional records on this side of
While Lindrum is not yet a Gray on the red ball, he is
good enough to thrash anyone else by its aid. Moreover,
he plays the stroke much more attractively than Gray and
scores the 33 losing hazards on the average about one
minute faster than the wonderful youth who is now in your
own midst. The most remarkable feature of Lindrum’s
red ball play lies in the fact that he uses the top pockets
almost as frequently as the middles. He has not the
mechanical precision which enables young George Gray to
bring the red down into the middle pocket zone for long
spells, but it is the absence of mechanical precision which
makes Lindrum’s play the more attractive.
To sum up the whole situation, Lindrum is superior to
Gray on the top pockets but a long way behind the boy in
the middle pocket-phase. Many here profess to believe that
Lindrum could beat Gray now, but I do not share that
belief, as, in my opinion, it would be good for Gray to give
the Australian champion a quarter of the game start and
a beating. Why I arrive at that conclusion I must hold
over until my next letter.
Just a word relating to the followers of billiards here.
They are the most broad-minded sportsmen I have known.
They, of course, like to see their own man win, but never
fail to appreciate to the fullest extent the good points of his
adversary. And how they did” roll up “to the Reece-
Lindrum match, which, without doubt, proved the biggest
billiards draw ever staged in Australia. Indeed, the success
of Reece’s tour is already assuredsocially and financially.
Result of Match
1,239, 840, 830, 591, 553, 512, 438, 386, 330, 318, 291, 282, 274, 274, 274, 238, 232, 209, 197, 177, 172, 163, 161, 155, 152, 147, 146, 140, 138, 138, 135, 134, 132, 132, 127, 127, 124, 114, 110, 104, 103, 101
286, 245, 238, 221, 218, 216, 208, 195, 184, 183, 180, 179, 162, 161, 156, 143, 143, 141, 140, 138, 133, 130, 124, 121, 121, 118, 114, 110, 104, 101, 100, 100
When Gray first passed his 1,000 in this country there
was a great demonstration of applause, but in Australia
they do not, apparently, proceed on equally emotional lines.
Of Lindrum’s first thousand The Adelaide Daily Herald
says:”He had passed the 1,000 and broken all local
records, but the marker merely called the score, and, except
for whispers there was no comment and no applause.” The
Melbourne Argus says somewhat differently:”As Lindrum
passed the 1,000 mark there was an outburst of
applause, but it was checked almost instantly. Lindrum
bowed slightly and then relieved the strain by chalking his
cuehis usual resource.”
That the quality of amateur play will be greatly enhanced
in the near future may be taken for granted. Private
practice on a set plan is the great thing and the determination
to have a table ofone’s own in the home is a
marked symptom of the present day.