PRO-AMS AT TEESSIDE
Two weeks in August saw some of the region´s professional players in action against local amateur opposition. The first of these was at the
Ironopolis Club, Middlesbrough, followed by an event at the South Bank Albion Club.
Tommy Arnott Memorial Billiards
This now established annual event sees invited players compete in
limited time matches to commemorate Tommy Arnott, a lifelong
supporter of billiards and a former Coach in the Teesside Boys Billiards
The Arnott family sponsors the event and makes an award to a player
or organiser who has contributed most to billiards in the previous year.
All 10 players are handicapped and matches up to the semi finals are
the boys league norm of 30 minutes moving up to 45 minutes thereafter.
All recorded results are nett; accounting for handicap deficits being
cleared then scores accumulated.
The preliminary matches saw Paul Bennett (-20) play Lee Connor (+10)
and beat him 119114 while Geoff Charville (+10) beat Ironopolis
Club team-mate Darren Kell (scr).
Robin Wilson (+40), the 14 year old dual English Junior Champion
then took on Paul, the dual English Amateur Champion, despite a 47
break by Paul it was Robin who went into the semi final by a single
point at 130129.
Defending Champion Paul Boden (-30) eliminated Peter Gilchrist
(-60) by a 9643 margin. Peter has yet to produce a worthwhile
winning performance in any of the stagings of this event, a 58 break
was his best offering this time.
Simon Snee (scr) was deputising for an absent Chris Shutt who chose
Willow over Ash for his sporting activity that night. Simon fell to
Geoff Charville 10061.
Alf Nolan (scr) journeyed up from Newcastle and found himself pitted
against David Causier (-60). The veteran had little opportunity to play
as David made a break of 115 to win 11757.
The semi finals saw Robin play Paul Boden and David face Geoff.
Robin and Paul made identical 52 breaks but it was the youngster who
went through by a 210165 margin.
A 40 break took Geoff to a 172 score but David with runs of 96 & 44
made a total of 205.
Host´s, the Middlesbrough Ironopolis Club, provided a buffet to all
assembled and a raffle in support of the Butterwick Hospice produced
a £100 contribution to their funds after a top up from the Arnott family.
David had not lost his appetite for the game after the repast, when play
resumed he continued his good early form and produced a typical
quickfire break that only showed signs of faltering when he lost his
opponents white on exactly 200. The break ended at 215.
Robin meanwhile was accumulating 184 points but David ran in breaks
of 41, 53 & 40 to total 447. The match aggregate in 45 minutes was
691 points scored. Causier averaged 26.3 and Wilson 11.4
Derek Arnott distributed the £300 prize fund, which saw David take
£100 as winner and £20 for the highest break. Robin received £50 as
The Tommy Arnott Memorial Award went to John Hartley. Having
reached 4th place in the English Junior ranking lists John claimed a
semi final place in this year´s English U19 billiards championship.
A former boys league player with Eston Institute he was “retired” as
per league ruling at 18 but has now gone on to Coach the Institute
At 19 years and 2 months John has taken on the role of Chairman of
the Teesside Boys Billiards League. We believe he may be the youngest
ever officer of a leagueunless you know any different!?
South Bank Albion
Some months ago I advocated to you all that Billiards exhibitions were
a good means of promoting the game, your club, league, etc, and could
provide some earning capability for those involved as brewers, etc,
would provide support whether in cash or kind to fund it.
Having recently become involved in a club that is games oriented but
was in need of some input of interest and finance I determined to put
my ideas into practice.
I recruited Peter Gilchrist, David Causier and Chris Shutt to provide
the interest at a pocket money rate and in an instant secured the funding
from the club´s wholesale supplier of drink
The Beer Seller were happy to provide the club with a quantity of their
fayre at no cost so it was only required to make the Teesside populace
aware of the opportunity of attendance.
Referee and marker were arranged and the night determined, in the
going Chris Shutt swapped his bow tie for cricketing whites but Paul
Bennett was happy to deputise as this would provide him with vital
match practice prior to travelling to Australia for the Walter Lindrum
Centenary Billiards Championships (World Open).
The Round Robin event would see Peter, David and Paul in matches
of 1 hour´s duration.
Paul opened up against David but sadly for him it proved not to be the
happiest of nights as he seemed devoid of fluency and breaks from
him were a rarity.
Paul´s best efforts were an early 40 and a late 45 as he scored 254.
David meanwhile ran in a break of 116 on his 4th visit and made other
runs of 35 & 45 to total 327.
Against Peter he also struggled, runs of 30, 40 & 34 twice were his
best efforts to score 238 at an average of 18.3 per visit.
The world No. 3 pro fared somewhat better with runs of 34, 49 & 50
until a run of 151 pleased the audience. Later runs of 32 & 80 followed
leaving him on 465 at an average of 35 per visit.
The determining match saw David, the world No. 6, watch Peter open
up with a break of 52 but he responded with a run of 55 almost
A 59 by Peter was countered with an 82 by David. At 169141 David
made a masterly 208 break but this time it was Peter who needed to
kick into quick action and he did with a 219 break on the back of
Still with some leeway to make up Peter scored another 12 points
before the bell sounded leaving David the victor at 397372 with
respective averages of 49.6 & 46.5 points. The hour saw 769 points
scored overall and a delighted crowd of spectators.
A Success Story to be Copied ?
Malcolm Croaker representing sponsor The Beer Seller offered to
support further events of this kind, so it was winners all round.
The Club had a healthy trade, the players received some small reward
for their services, the sponsor was delighted and the spectators saw a
feast of billiards. I told you it would work! so how about a night of this
type in your club/area ?
behind the scenes, his contributions will be greatly missedEd