Amateur Billiards Circuit
15th OCTOBER 1995
My thanks to Derick Townend who has as usual supplied the
results from the last three A.B.C. tournaments which I
have in turn converted into match reports; due to family
commitments it is difficult for me to get to many of
these events so if there are any volunteers or regulars
out there who would be prepared to knock up a few brief
notes covering the highlights of the day it would enhance
the coverage that we are able to give. The Odsal Top Bradford
event produced 37 entries including 4 juniors and saw the
usual hard core contingent up from the West Country in
addition to the more locally based players and the
inevitable onslaught from Teesside.
Chris Shutt was quickly into his stride with a 524 total
and several sizeable breaks but no century, and there were
other good wins by Lee Lagan, Jim McCann, Paul Bennett
and Mark Hirst.
Bill Andress won the West Country clash in convincing
style against Brian Harvey and Lee Lagan prevailed in his
Teesside duel with Paul Bennett; Chris Shutt continued
his form of the previous round with a comfortable win over
This round saw some high quality pairings with Peter
Shelley getting home by almost one hundred against Bill
Andress and Jim McCann just squeezing out Lee Lagan
by 9. Chris Shutt moved up a gear with a couple of
centuries and Mark Hirst also booked his place in the
Chris Shutt proved just too strong for Peter Shelley with
a 451 total including a break of 161 and Jim McCann got
home in a nail biter against Mark Hirst by a mere 4 points.
Chris Shutt broke the 500 barrier for the second time in
the day and also knocked in breaks of 197, the day’s
highest, and 94 for good measure on his way to the first
A.B.C. title of this season’s programme. Jim mustered
206 points and can be well pleased with his day’s efforts,
it looks as if Chris is establishing the same sort of A.B.C.
pre-eminence once enjoyed by Causier and Goodwill and it
will take a man on top form to oust him.
J. Moore 156 B. Hoole 104 (retired ill)
19th NOVEMBER 1995
The Kings Lynn event was well supported with a total entry
of 57 including 3 junior players. With several of the
leading amateurs missing, (and even with them there!!) the
wise money would have been on Chris Shutt to continue his
meteoric rise through the ranks by adding this title to
the one he picked up in Bradford the previous month.
The pick of the games saw good wins for Karen Corr, Robin
Sutcliffe and Phil Welham with the top clash between
Chris Shutt and Steve Crosland producing a fairly
comfortable win for the Middlesbrough man.
Robin Sutcliffe narrowly edged out Karen Core, Fos Wilson
had a very creditable win over Dick Watts, always a hard
man to beat, and Chris Shutt moved ominously into form
with a score of 565 including a couple of centuries.
Jim McCann prevailed over Robin Sutcliffe, Chris Shutt
topped the 600 mark with 620, including another big
century, Mark Gray had a good win over Fos Wilson
including a 94 break and Derick Townend fell to the
increasingly impressive Jamie Moore.
Jim McCann dug in deep and ran the favourite, Chris
Shutt, very close, the margin being only around 50 points
Shutt had the expected century and Jim chipped in with
62 & 54. In the absence of any other top ranking player
at this stage of the tournament it was difficult to see
anyone upsetting the from book. In other semi Mark Gray
had a comfortable win over Jamie Moore and thus booked
his passage to a first A.B.C. final appearance, in itself
no mean feat.
As expected Chris Shutt proved too strong for Mark and
ran out a comfortable winner 478-306 with breaks of 104
and 94 for his second A.B.C. title of the season. With
seven centuries in the day and a 600+ total Chris is
following in the recent Causier/Goodwill mould and has
clearly got the pros in his sights.
P. Shelley 263, P. Bennett 273.
10th DECEMBER 1995
Another good entry of 52 with 3 juniors especially given
the dreadful weather conditions with freezing fog over
much of the country, is anything capable of keeping
billiards nuts at home on the first Sunday every month?
The Nuneaton club is a good venue with a separate match
area and it was announced during the day that it would
be the venue for the latter stages and finals of this
year’s English Amateur Championship.
The pick of the round were good wins by Lee Lagan over
the fancied local man Neal Rewhorn including a century
Steve Crosland saw off Jim McCann with a couple of 50’s
and Jamie Moore continued his good form by beating Dick
Watts and knocking up a good century on the way. Phil
Welham had a good 400+ total. Brian Harvey prevailed
over Darren Kell despite a century from his opponent,
Chris Shutt moved into gear with a customary century against
Dean Bavister and organiser Derick Townend condemned
yours truly to an early bath down the A34 with a solid all
Lee Lagan and Phil Welham were the pick of the bunch in
round two both scoring centuries in 400+ totals while
Steve Crosland, Bill Andress and Tony Keeling all moved
steadily through. Chris Shutt actually failed to make a
century but still had too much for Paul Dunning.
The top match on paper was between Lee Lagan and Steve
Crosland and the Yorkshireman contributed his first
century of the day when he needed it to reach the semi
final. Branston Hoole had a good win over the always hard
to beat Bill Andress and Phil Welham included the day’s
best break of 174 in his victory over Tony Keeling. Chris
Shutt moved on with a number of middling contributions but
did not manage to reach 400 for the first time in ages,
was this an omen for events to come?
Steve Crosland and Branston Hoole produced a real nail
biter with Steve winning by 2 points and claiming his
second A.B.C. final place. The trend of the earlier
rounds continued in the other semi with Phil Welham recording
a great win over Chris Shutt by 408-187, there can’t be
many times when Chris fails to reach 200 in one hour’s
play (see Albert Hanson’s secretary’s report for some hair
raising scoring statistics) but all credit to Phil for a
well deserved victory.
The final turned out to be a comfortable win 372-201 for
the ever solid Steve Crosland with a consistent string
of middling breaks to his credit. Steve is one of those
undemonstrative, unassuming players with a very strong
all round game who is always hard to beat and so it proved
on this occasion. Phil had a great day and maybe mentally
had played his final in the previous round but such is
billiards. Congratulations to Steve and Phil for causing
a hiccup in the Shutt roller-coaster.
E. Lloyd 297, A. Marsden 192.
Another good day’s billiards so typical of the A.B.C.
circuit. No particular fireworks no massive breaks but
intense and friendly competition of the highest order
and a chance to catch up with news, gossip and meet up
with old friends, long may it continue!
A.B.C. representative teams goes to Ireland
As we go to press an English A.B.C. representative team
organised by Derick Townend is about to depart to Belfast
for a weekend of competition against a Northern Ireland
side. Derick’s intention has been to gather a team that is
representative of the top echelon of amateur billiards
taken from the four corners of the land, this factor being
a greater importance than just selecting the top players
per se, hence all areas of the country are represented. The
event promises to be a very competitive and, given the
traditional hospitality of the Irish, hopefully a very
sociable affair and Derek hopes to make it an annual event.
We gather that interest and press coverage in Belfast will
be high and as a member of the team I will be well placed
to provide extensive coverage of the event in the next
issue: the team is as follows:-
Jim McCann, Peter Shelley, Phil Welham, Brian Harvey,
Chris Shutt, Bill Andress, David Burgess, Steve Crosland.
ABC Ranking List
The following list has been put together by Derick Townend
based on results in the above three A.B.C. tournaments; it
therefore goes without saying that inclusion in the list
depends solely on these tournaments so if you want to get
in the rankings get involved in the A.B.C.!!