Billiard Stars at Snooker
English Champion Lee Lagan tried his hand at snooker with some
measure of success, reaching the final of both the Southfield and
Redcar League Pairs competition, in partnership with Hemlington
snooker star, Chris Jones. Unfortunately the pair were defeated in
both finals, losing out in the Southfield competition to another of the
area’s top billiard players, Paul Boden, who was partnered by Brian
Durham from the Ironopolis Club.
Top Scalp for Nolan
Although he lives in Newcastle, Alf Nolan has been representing
Middlesbrough’s Western Club for so long they have named their
billiard room after him. Although now 72 years-old, he showed recently
that he was still capable of beating the best when he defeated the
current English Champion Lee Lagan, 120-48 in the Friendly League’s
end-of-season cup match.
In the Southfield League Individual Billiards, Paul Bennett
(Hemlington) defeated Darren Kell (Ironopolis) by 68 points in the
250 up final. With neither player producing anything like the standard
of which they are capable, only Kell with breaks of 52 and 51 could
exceed the half-century.
In the League, Ironopolis had travelled to Hemlington knowing that
they needed to win all the three billiard games to take the championship.
Although successful in two of these, Hemlington won the single game
they needed to clinch the title by just 1 point. Last season, the two
teams had finished level at the top of the billiards section.
The League’s knock-out cup came to its climax in June and once more
brought together the rival teams of Ironopolis and Hemlington in the
final. The three games of 120 up all went to the Ironopolis squad,
Darren Kell providing the start performance with a break of 115
unfinished in his game against Lee Lagan. Earlier, team-mate Geoff
Charville had recorded breaks of 40 and 57 unfinished to defeat Paul
Bennett, and Paul Boden had come from behind to pip Hemlington’s
Mark Hatton by just two points.
(Ironopolis names first)
Charville (40, 57unf) 120, P. Bennett 71; P. Boden 120, M. Hatton 118; D.
Kell (115unf) 120, L. Lagan 31.
Stockton & District Games League
Paul Bennett set a new record for the Stockton Games League with a
run of 124 unfinished, strategically completing his 120 up game with
a five-point shot. Bennett additionally took the league’s Individual
Championship, defeating Tony McKinder (Elm Tree) in the final. His
team, Cowpen SC, also won the billiards division of the League.
Teesside Boys’ Billiards League
The League’s Individual Championship was this year renamed The
Albert Hanson Memorial Trophy, in honour of Albert’s years of work
in making the League successful. The final, between Robin Wilson
and Martin Shutt, was played in the presence of World No.6 Chris
Shutt, who was there to support his younger brother. If this was a
distraction for Wilson, it was not apparent, as he completed a 191-128
The “Ralph Macklin” under-15 Individual Championship was assured
of a new champion as Robin Wilsonwho had won the event the
previous four yearswas no longer eligible to enter. After winning
his semi-final by just 3 points, Andrew Fairley (Redcar) took the title
by defeating Danny Cornwell (Eston) 115-98.
The League celebrated the completion of it’s 25th season with a
presentation night at the Elm Tree Social Club, home of the League
winners. Captain Ben Hooton was playing his last season, having
reached “retirement” age, and had contributed 18 wins over the course
of the season. Team-mate Martin Shutt also had an impressive record
with 17 wins from 18 appearances and an average aggregate of 174 in
the 30 minute games. The Elm Tree squad, which additionally includes
Jeff Henderson, Billy Bousfield and Glen Blythman also secured the
Redcar Games League
Darren Pinchbeck of Grangetown St. Mary’s won the individual
billiards championship by defeating Paul Mackell of Grangetown