English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Amateur Billiard Player : November 1999

The Amateur Billiard Player : November 1999

IBSF WORLD BILLIARDS CHAMPIONSHIP

17th-26th August 1999 – The Ivy Rooms, Carlow, Republic of Ireland

The Players

Australia
David Collins
John McKay
Joe Millen
Austria
Clemens Kunkel
Franz Mészáros
England
Terry Azor
Paul Bennett
Stephen Crosland
Brian Harvey
Darren Kell
Tony McKinder
David Nichols
Alf Nolan
Gary Rogers
Peter Shelley
Ernest Shorney
Bob Slee
John Smith
Derick Townend
Phillip Welham
Malta
Paul Mifsud
New Zealand
Wayne Carey
Malcolm Cooke
Derek Gibb
Northern Ireland
Tony Buttimer
Sammy Clarke
Sammy Currie
Paddy Donnelly
Jimmy McLaughlin
John McIntyre
Davy Pogue
Republic of Ireland
Dick Brennan
Lee Byrne
Larry Codd
Larry Drennan
Eugene Hughes
Phil Martin
Tommy Martin
Timmy Murphy
Aidan Murray
Anthony O'Flaherty
Victor O'Gorman
Singapore
Chye Hian Soh
Teik Chong Puan
Sri Lanka
K.H. Sirisoma
Thailand
Praprut Chaithanasakun
Udon Khaimuk
Wales
Joseph Bird

An impressive entry of 48 players commenced the Group qualifying
sections of the 1999 IBSF World Championships on Tuesday 17th
August. The tables at the Ivy Rooms in Carlow had been specially
recovered for the event, providing playing conditions which competitors
described as “superb”.

English Champion, Lee Lagan, who had intended to compete,
unfortunately suffered an accident at work and was unable to travel.
The Australian entry was also modified to include John McKay, after
Neil Croft and Joe Minici announced that they would not be making to
trip.

Photo of Dave Collins (23k)

Australian Champion David
Collins made beaks of 252
and 193 in his first match.

Before a ball was struck there were even more changes as English
representative Paul Dunning was forced to withdraw on the eve of the
tournament due to a family illness, and S. M. Shaharwardi of Sri Lanka
failed to appear without explanation. These last-minute vacancies in
the draw gave an unexpected opportunity to John Smith and Bob Slee,
who had arrived purely with the intention of being spectators and now
found themselves drafted into action. Fortunately, both of these English
enthusiasts had brought along their cues in the hope of “a knock”, but
certainly not anticipating being tested against the World’s best amateurs.

For the preliminary stages, players were divided into eight groups of
six, which were roughly arranged to disperse nationalities and players
of known abilities. Matches were round-robin format of 3 hours
duration, with the winner and runner-up in each group progressing to
the knock-out stages. At this point the competitors would be re-seeded
based on their results, and the draw structured accordingly.

GROUP A
David Collins
252, 193, 83, 68
928 (21.1)Darren Kell
98, 90, 75, 66
710 (16.1)
David Collins
99, 74, 63, 53, 53, 53
1089 (16.5)Tony Buttimer
82, 65, 59
854 (13.1)
David Collins
144, 108, 106, 84, 70, 62
1421 (22.5)Larry Drennan
59, 59, 56
481 (7.6)
David Collins
125, 122, 99, 72, 69, 57
1236 (17.7)Terry Azor
53, 58unf 65
515 (7.5)
David Collins
218, 116, 106, 103, 102
1483 (14.8)Liam Byrne
90, 80, 53
345 (4.7)
Darren Kell
130, 112, 112, 108, 85, 84, 83
1342 (26.3)Liam Byrne
74, 66
261 (5.1)
Darren Kell
91, 84, 67, 63, 51
803 (10.6)Tony Buttimer
70, 56
724 (9.7)
Darren Kell
183, 138, 118, 107, 58, 58, 53, 52
1247 (25.4)Larry Drennan
57
469 (9.8)
Darren Kell
162, 123, 108, 79, 76, 64, 50
1067 (22.7)Terry Azor
58
544 (11.3)
Tony Buttimer
62, 51, 51
872 (10.8)Terry Azor
50
623 (7.6)
Tony Buttimer
184, 136, 101, 92, 69, 60
1282 (17.3)Liam Byrne
387 (5.1)
Tony Buttimer
79, 51
870 (12.1)Larry Drennan
76
745 (10.3)
Terry Azor
70
705 (8.6)Larry Drennan
51
587 (7.1)
Terry Azor
70, 69
757 (9.7)Liam Byrne
472 (6.1)
Larry Drennan
67, 66, 58
1012 (13.1)Liam Byrne
400 (5.1)
Photo of Paul Bennett (23k)

Paul Bennett produced some
outstanding performances in
his group matches.

Playing in the first match of their Group, Darren Kell seemed to be in

control for much the time against Dave
Collins, but a late break of 252 followed
by another of 193 by the Australian
Champion were too much for the
English No.3 who finished 218 points
in arrears. This early result effectively
decided the winner and runner-up in
the group as both Collins and Kell then
went on to complete comfortable
victories in their other matches. Tony
Buttimer had the distinction of making
a personal record break of 184 in his
match against Lee Byrne, a feat which
would be achieved by several other
competitors during the course of this
tournament, giving testament to the
excellent playing conditions.

GROUP B
Paul Bennett
210, 121, 119, 108, 93, 85, 71, 68, 57, 55
1455 (26.9)Victor O’Gorman
62
503 (9.3)
Paul Bennett
246, 135, 130, 126, 101, 93, 65, 63, 60, 55
1499 (32.6)Sammy Currie
237 (5.2)
Paul Bennett
148, 136, 106, 89, 83, 71
1364 (20.7)Malcolm Cooke
543 (8.2)
Paul Bennett
193, 161, 146, 143, 129, 125, 113, 88, 81, 84, 65, 60, 120unf
1799 (36.7)Clemens Kunkel
127 (2.6)
Paul Bennett
191, 139, 126, 122, 73, 72, 70, 64, 53
1355 (24.2)John Smith
103
371 (6.6)
John Smith
98, 67
803 (12.0)Malcolm Cooke
581 (8.9)
John Smith
80, 57
911 (11.8)Clemens Kunkel
232 (3.1)
John Smith
94, 85, 50
745 (9.6)Victor O’Gorman
58
702 (9.1)
John Smith
736 (11.7)Sammy Currie
512 (8.1)
Sammy Currie
544 (5.0)Clemens Kunkel
202 (1.9)
Sammy Currie
54
676 (8.3)Malcolm Cooke
529 (6.6)
Victor O’Gorman
90, 83, 83, 59
963 (12.3)Sammy Currie
532 (6.8)
Victor O’Gorman
81, 77, 65, 65, 55, 52
1098 (13.2)Malcolm Cooke
726 (8.3)
Malcolm Cooke
78, 50
870 (4.5)Clemens Kunkel
271 (1.4)
Clemens Kunkel
w/o  Victor O’Gorman
scr.  

Paul Bennett was in outstanding form throughout his five Group B
matches, winning them all with ease. He put together breaks of 210

and 246 in his first two games against
Victor O’Gorman and Sammy Currie
respectively, and demolished Clemens
Kunkel—running in eight century
breaks in a total of 1,799 points. The
entry of Kunkel, and his Austrian team
mate Franz Mészáros came as surprise
to many who did not realise that any
devotee’s of the English game existed
in that bastion of three-cushion
billiards. Kunkel, who has a highest
practice break of just 47 was
predictably overwhelmed by the talent
on show in this event, but his
appearance as a representative of one
of the lesser-known billiards playing
nations, was nevertheless very
welcome. He returned home with the
consolation of at least a “paper”
victory over Victor O’Gorman, who
was forced to concede his final match
against the Austrian to attend a
doctor´s appointment.

If anyone thought they would have an easy time against John Smith,
who had effectively been drafted in from the audience, they would
soon be disillusioned. In a borrowed waistcoat and bow tie, he first
defeated Malcolm Cooke, then the 1996 Irish Champion Victor
O’Gorman; sailed past Clemens Kunkel, and dismissed the challenge
of the experienced Sammy Currie. Going into his last match against
Paul Bennett, he knew that these four wins were already enough to
qualify from the group, which amongst the many outstanding
performances of these championships, must rank amongst the best.
Although totally out-gunned by Bennett, he still managed to produce a
memorable moment by compiling a break of 103.

GROUP C
Phillip Welham
176, 103, 89, 77, 59
1064 (12.5)Joe Bird
56
541 (6.1)
Phillip Welham
80, 55, 53, 50
770 (10.7)Eugene Hughes
118, 89, 61, 55
717 (10.0)
Phillip Welham
107, 81, 61, 54, 50
794 (11.0)Joe Millen
90
645 (9.0)
Phillip Welham
62, 58
693 (9.6)Alf Nolan
60, 54, 51
624 (8.7)
Phillip Welham
76, 65, 57, 53, 52
833 (10.8)Davy Pogue
52
602 (7.9)
Eugene Hughes
123, 101, 81, 80, 67, 63, 59, 56
941 (20.0)Joe Millen
121, 64
667 (14.2)
Eugene Hughes
185, 114, 112, 104, 98, 87, 85
1151 (16.9)Davy Pogue
477 (7.0)
Eugene Hughes
173, 109, 105, 90, 64, 63, 58, 57, 54, 51, 51unf
1400 (22.2)Joe Bird
51
458 (7.3)
Eugene Hughes
77, 65, 52, 51
691 (14.7)Alf Nolan
93, 77
656 (13.7)
Davy Pogue
78, 76
602 (8.9)Alf Nolan
102
469 (6.9)
Davy Pogue
53, 51
572 (7.4)Joe Bird
67
541 (7.0)
Alf Nolan
64, 57, 53
595 (9.3)Joe Millen
572 (8.9)
Alf Nolan
62
594 (7.4)Joe Bird
574 (7.2)
Joe Millen
67
620 (9.4)Davy Pogue
584 (8.8)
Joe Millen
75unf
988 (12.4)Joe Bird
519 (6.5)
Photo of Eugene Hughes (20k)

Eugene Hughes was the only
professional player to compete.

Eugene Hughes was the only professional player to enter, having
received special dispensation from the general WBA ban. Ranked No.23
in the Professional billiards ranking list, he warmed up for the event by
representing the Republic of Ireland against Wales at snooker; which
was played at the same venue immediately before the billiards. Although
he managed to qualify from Group C, he did not perform as well as
many had expected, his 134 break in the earlier snooker match only
being bettered twice on the billiard table.

Phillip Welham topped the group,
winning all his matches. The most
important of these was a victory over
Hughes by 53 points. Another close
finish came against the veteran Alf
Nolan, who despite advancing years
retains a great enthusiasm for the
game. He also showed that he retains
some of the skills which at one time
ranked him alongside the World’s
billiards elite. Despite his somewhat
eccentric use of the short rest to assist
with his cue action on some shots,
he recorded wins over Joe Millen and
Joe Bird, and was only narrow
defeated by the two qualifiers, Phillip
Welham (69 points) and Eugene
Hughes (35 points).

GROUP D
Udon Khaimuk
117, 87, 71, 67, 66, 65, 63, 62, 60, 57, 52
1229 (18.6)Franz Mészáros
187 (2.8)
Udon Khaimuk
101, 97, 83, 75, 66, 63
863 (13.9)Phil Martin
70, 50
635 (9.9)
Udon Khaimuk
80, 63, 59
648 (13.2)Derek Gibb
101, 72
560 (11.7)
Udon Khaimuk
72, 70, 58, 54
786 (15.1)Peter Shelley
117, 96, 78, 53
765 (14.7)
Udon Khaimuk
218, 172, 96, 91, 91, 71, 60, 56
1229 (22.7)Ernest Shorney
224 (4.1)
Peter Shelley
163, 76, 75, 68, 67
1324 (13.5)Franz Mészáros
237 (2.5)
Peter Shelley
150
872 (11.3)Phil Martin
51
686 (9.0)
Peter Shelley
132, 102, 94, 81, 74, 72, 69
984 (22.4)Derek Gibb
79, 59
579 (13.2)
Peter Shelley
92, 73, 68, 60, 58, 54, 52, 51, 51
1240 (18.8)Ernest Shorney
511 (7.7)
Derek Gibb
65, 51
833 (11.4)Phil Martin
116
423 (5.8)
Derek Gibb
55
631 (7.1)Ernest Shorney
429 (4.9)
Derek Gibb
121, 95, 91, 72, 65, 59
1161 (15.1)Franz Mészáros
159 (2.0)
Phil Martin
57
1175 (13.8)Franz Mészáros
244 (2.9)
Phil Martin
88
807 (8.2)Ernest Shorney
533 (5.4)
Ernest Shorney
803 (7.7)Franz Mészáros
246 (2.4)

The lesser-known member of the Thailand team, Udon Khaimuk, turned
in a solid performance to top Group D. This included a personal best
break of 218 in his match against Ernest Shorney—the first time he
had exceeded the double-century in match-play.

The key encounter of the group was Udon’s last game, where he met
Peter Shelley; both players being undefeated to this point. Although
Shelley made the only century of the match (117) he went down by the
narrow margin of 19 points. However, with Shelley picking up his last
game in the round-robin series against Ernest Shorney, he also qualified
from the group as runner-up.

GROUP E
Paul Mifsud
191, 129, 117, 76, 62, 53
994 (24.2)Stephen Crosland
101, 87, 68, 59, 56
813 (20.8)
Paul Mifsud
241, 211, 90, 72, 71, 71, 60, 57, 54, 54, 52
1490 (31.0)John McIntyre
381 (8.1)
Paul Mifsud
194, 145, 123, 86, 64, 62, 59, 55, 54, 54 72, 62
1281 (26.7)Dick Brennan
626 (10.8)
Paul Mifsud
260, 201, 157, 153, 141, 140, 128, 92, 76, 53
1897 (42.2)John McKay
325 (7.2)
Paul Mifsud
136, 124, 101, 83, 81, 79, 74, 70, 67, 65, 63, 58, 56, 55, 56unf
1757 (23.7)Larry Codd
363 (4.9)
Stephen Crosland
80, 66, 60, 59, 58, 54, 52
1127 (15.2)Larry Codd
59
519 (7.0)
Stephen Crosland
55, 55, 52, 50
817 (14.3)John McIntyre
518 (9.4)
Stephen Crosland
72, 65, 57
709 (11.4)Dick Brennan
150, 61
690 (11.1)
Stephen Crosland
125, 93, 92, 79, 68, 61, 52, 52, 51, 51, 50, 123unf
1455 (27.5)John McKay
311 (5.8)
Dick Brennan
59, 160unf
1054 (11.1)Larry Codd
433 (4.6)
Dick Brennan
103, 77, 57, 54, 50
1090 (13.1)John McKay
521 (6.3)
Dick Brennan
89, 56, 54
710 (11.5)John McIntyre
71, 60
638 (10.1)
John McIntyre
104, 72, 61
960 (12.8)John McKay
429 (5.6)
John McIntyre
119
833 (8.7)Larry Codd
54
491 (5.1)
Larry Codd
769 (7.3)John McKay
645 (6.1)
Photo of Paul Mifsud (20k)

Paul Mifsud : World Amateur
Champion in 1979.

Paul Mifsud had won this competition twenty years ago, and was still

considered good enough to start this
event as one of the favourites. This
status was confirmed as he turned in
some impressive performances to
dominate the group. This included two
double centuries against John
McIntyre, and a repeat performance
against John McKay. In this latter
match, Mifsud established the biggest
aggregate score of the three-hour
games with 1,897.

Stephen Crosland came the closest to
the Maltese champion, but was still
defeated by 181 points. This however,
was his only set-back as Crosland won
all his remaining games to go through
in second place.

Dick Brennan threatened to better his personal match break of 179
when he completed his win over Larry Codd with a run of 160
unfinished.

GROUP F
Paddy Donnelly
98, 76, 55
700 (13.0)Wayne Carey
64
621 (11.7)
Paddy Donnelly
130, 115, 59, 57
1175 (15.7)Bob Slee
197 (2.6)
Paddy Donnelly
119, 118, 96, 57, 51
976 (18.8)Tony McKinder
101
502 (9.7)
Paddy Donnelly
120, 96, 78, 73, 65
1094 (16.8)Timmy Murphy
354 (5.5)
Paddy Donnelly
138, 86, 83, 79, 59, 58, 54
960 (19.2)Gary Rogers
66, 56
436 (8.7)
Wayne Carey
97
702 (12.3)Gary Rogers
520 (9.1)
Wayne Carey
92, 89, 76, 57, 55, 53
937 (9.7)Bob Slee
264 (2.8)
Wayne Carey
60
568 (6.5)Tony McKinder
64, 52
507 (5.7)
Wayne Carey
115, 92, 79, 64
949 (15.3)Timmy Murphy
54, 52
566 (9.0)
Tony McKinder
238, 56
679 (13.3)Gary Rogers
69
524 (10.3)
Tony McKinder
125, 80, 65, 57
1009 (15.8)Timmy Murphy
88, 59
524 (8.0)
Tony McKinder
158, 142, 134, 129, 117, 100, 84, 68, 66
1706 (24.0)Bob Slee
203 (2.9)
Gary Rogers
102, 66
804 (11.8)Timmy Murphy
465 (6.7)
Gary Rogers
93, 81, 51
943 (12.7)Bob Slee
256 (3.5)
Timmy Murphy
87
1031 (10.0)Bob Slee
283 (2.7)
Photo of Paddy Donnelly (21k)

Paddy Donnelly struck top form
to win Group F.

This group was perhaps the most open
of the tournament, but the player in
form turned out to be Northern Ireland
Champion, Paddy Donnelly. Apart
from Wayne Carey, who he defeated
by the relatively narrow margin of 79
points, he despatched all of his
opponents with some ease.

English National CIU Champion Tony
McKinder, showed flashes of his best
game, producing a break of 238
against Gary Rogers and running in
six centuries against Bob Slee.
However he failed to reproduce this
form at a consistent level, losing to
both Donnelly and Wayne Carey. This

latter defeat ensured that it would be the New Zealand Champion who
took runner-up position in the Group and a place in the last sixteen.

GROUP G
C. Praprut
155, 146, 110, 65, 52, 50
955 (24.5)Brian Harvey
226, 112, 54, 51
726 (18.2)
C. Praprut
369, 156, 155, 137, 118, 102, 74, 71, 55, 52
1800 (56.3)Soh Chye
   
C. Praprut
303, 145, 143, 121, 109, 81, 80, 75, 64, 55
1567 (60.2)Jimmy McLaughlin
69, 60, 59
410 (15.2)
C. Praprut
226, 133, 102, 91, 89, 71, 67, 59
1091 (28.0)Aidan Murray
51
431 (11.1)
C. Praprut
225, 193, 170, 103, 95, 81, 78, 69, 53
1265 (40.8)David Nichols
80, 68, 59, 50
490 (16.3)
Brian Harvey
66, 54, 53
937 (12.5)Jimmy McLaughlin
53
574 (7.7)
Brian Harvey
89, 75, 58, 53
913 (12.9)David Nichols
79, 74, 58
719 (10.1)
Brian Harvey
67, 67, 65, 56, 55
803 (13.8)Soh Chye
102, 94, 60, 54
   
David Nichols
92, 74, 66, 61, 57
769 (17.5)Aidan Murray
50
395 (8.8)
David Nichols
66, 61, 53
832 (12.2)Jimmy McLaughlin
588 (8.6)
David Nichols
103, 78, 77, 68, 65
1011 (20.6)Soh Chye
107, 75
   
Aidan Murray
90, 61
591 (11.8)Soh Chye
91, 54, 52
   
Aidan Murray
75, 55
590 (10.4)Brian Harvey
65, 60, 52
585 (10.4)
Jimmy McLaughlin
101, 62, 50
651 (15.1)Aidan Murray
75, 61, 50
600 (14.0)
Jimmy McLaughlin
51
771 (9.6)Soh Chye
   
C. Praprut
155, 146, 110, 65, 52, 50
955 (24.5)Brian Harvey
226, 112, 54, 51
726 (18.2)
C. Praprut
369, 156, 155, 137, 118, 102, 74, 71, 55, 52
1800 (56.3)Soh Chye
   
C. Praprut
303, 145, 143, 121, 109, 81, 80, 75, 64, 55
1567 (60.2)Jimmy McLaughlin
69, 60, 59
410 (15.2)
C. Praprut
226, 133, 102, 91, 89, 71, 67, 59
1091 (28.0)Aidan Murray
51
431 (11.1)
C. Praprut
225, 193, 170, 103, 95, 81, 78, 69, 53
1265 (40.8)David Nichols
80, 68, 59, 50
490 (16.3)
Brian Harvey
66, 54, 53
937 (12.5)Jimmy McLaughlin
53
574 (7.7)
Brian Harvey
89, 75, 58, 53
913 (12.9)David Nichols
79, 74, 58
719 (10.1)
Brian Harvey
67, 67, 65, 56, 55
803 (13.8)Soh Chye
102, 94, 60, 54
   
David Nichols
92, 74, 66, 61, 57
769 (17.5)Aidan Murray
50
395 (8.8)
David Nichols
66, 61, 53
832 (12.2)Jimmy McLaughlin
588 (8.6)
David Nichols
103, 78, 77, 68, 65
1011 (20.6)Soh Chye
107, 75
   
Aidan Murray
90, 61
591 (11.8)Soh Chye
91, 54, 52
   
Aidan Murray
75, 55
590 (10.4)Brian Harvey
65, 60, 52
585 (10.4)
Jimmy McLaughlin
101, 62, 50
651 (15.1)Aidan Murray
75, 61, 50
600 (14.0)
Jimmy McLaughlin
51
771 (9.6)Soh Chye
   
Photo of Paprut (20k)

Praprut jetted in from Brunei to
produce some sensational
performances.

Praprut and Udon had arrived from distant Brunei just hours before

the start of the competition. Here they
had been competing in the South East
Asian Games, winning gold medals at
billiards for the singles (Praprut) and
pairs. With every right to feel effected
by “jet-lag” he still produced a good
performance in his first game, when
he overcame Brian Harvey to win by
229 points despite a late break of 226
by the Wessex Champion.

From this point onwards he was
untouchable. In his match against Soh
Chye—another competitor at the SEA
Games—he produced a personal
record break of 369, the first triple
century of the event. He followed this
with another (303) in his next match.
His averages of 56.3 and 60.2 for these
games would have done justice to a
top professional.

David Nichols needed to beat Praprut in his final game to be certain of
going through as runner-up in the Group. Although this may have
seemed a tall order, it began to look like a distinct possibility when
Praprut failed to turn up at the appointed time. The match had been
switched to a 10.00am start and this had apparently not been
communicated to Praprut, who does not speak English. Hurried phone
calls located him and Praprut arrived 27 minutes late—just 3 minutes
before he would have forfeit the match. The drama seemed to have no
effect on Praprut who won by a 775 point margin. Brian Harvey, largely
due to having received the lightest “drubbing” from Praprut, therefore
qualified in second place after finishing level on games won with David
Nichols.

GROUP H
K.H. Sirisoma
119, 60
758 (12.2)Teik Chong Puan
626 (10.1)
K.H. Sirisoma
59, 56, 76unf
701 (11.5)Sammy Clarke
116, 103
699 (11.5)
K.H. Sirisoma
99, 95, 81, 68, 65, 58, 58, 57, 55
1210 (16.8)Derick Townend
51
643 (8.8)
K.H. Sirisoma
148, 106, 88, 61, 59, 58, 57, 54, 53
1259 (21.7)Tommy Martin
507 (8.7)
K.H. Sirisoma
119, 86, 69, 53, 52, 51, 51
1100 (12.9)Anthony O’Flaherty
85
512 (6.0)
Teik Chong Puan
70, 55, 51, 50
911 (13.6)Derick Townend
650 (9.6)
Teik Chong Puan
59
697 (11.1)Anthony O’Flaherty
64, 61
492 (7.9)
Teik Chong Puan
667 (17.6)Sammy Clarke
316 (8.5)
Teik Chong Puan
66, 64, 52
748 (10.5)Tommy Martin
495 (7.0)
Derick Townend
905 (9.6)Anthony O’Flaherty
515 (5.6)
Derick Townend
54, 53
798 (8.8)Sammy Clarke
604 (6.6)
Sammy Clarke
81
775 (11.4)Tommy Martin
92
488 (7.2)
Sammy Clarke
77, 61, 59, 55
724 (12.1)Anthony O’Flaherty
59, 54
627 (10.3)
Tommy Martin
65
626 (7.1)Derick Townend
561 (6.4)
Tommy Martin
58
670 (8.9)Anthony O’Flaherty
563 (7.4)
Photo of  (22k)

Sirisoma won the closest
game of the tournament, by
just two points.

The two Asian representatives, K. H.
Sirisoma (Sri Lanka) and Teik Chong
Puan (Singapore), proved to be a cut
above their European opposition in
this group. Drawn together early in the
programme of matches, Sirisoma’s
victory, set him on the road to five
consecutive wins.

However, things could easily have
turned out differently as in his next
match against Sammy Clarke he found
himself 74 points in arrears with just
3 minutes remaining. Incredibly, he
ran in an unfinished break of 76 to
snatch a most exciting victory.

Sammy Clarke was again centre of
attention in a later match against Teik
Chong Puan, when, overcome by heat
and fatigue, he was forced to concede
with an hour of the match remaining.

Fortunately he had recovered sufficiently to complete his remaining
fixture against Derick Townend the following day.

Last 16 (3 hrs)
Paul Bennett
116, 104, 100, 91, 57
1026 (20.5)Brian Harvey
89, 71, 62, 56
627 (12.5)
Peter Shelley
187, 99, 89, 80, 73
1123 (15.3)Phillip Welham
78, 73, 65
651 (8.9)
Paddy Donnelly
108, 63, 62, 57, 52
852 (21.8)Eugene Hughes
83, 74, 72, 70
751 (19.2)
David Collins
220, 73, 66, 65, 59, 58
1163 (18.8)Wayne Carey
615 (11.2)
C. Praprut
247, 123, 86, 60, 57, 53, 53, 52
1071 (27.5)Teik Chong Puan
68, 51
541 14.2
Udon Khaimuk
156, 97, 90, 67, 54
779 (20.5)Stephen Crosland
114, 83, 75, 59, 55
689 (18.1)
Darren Kell
88, 72, 70, 67, 55, 53, 50
921 (15.9)K.H. Sirisoma
75, 54, 50
611 (10.5)
Paul Mifsud
214, 137, 111, 100, 86, 68, 52
1291 (23.5)John Smith
94, 69, 64
346 (9.8)

The knock-out stages were seeded according to earlier results, with the
group winners arranged one to eight, in order of games won and
aggregate score. The runners-up were seeded 9 to 16 using the same
criteria. On this basis the top four seeds were Bennett, Mifsud, Praprut
and Collins. Highest seed was drawn against lowest.

The only group winners who failed to progress to the quarter-finals
were Phillip Welham and K. Sirisoma who were defeated by Peter
Shelley and Darren Kell respectively. Double century breaks were
produced by David Collins (220), Praprut (247) and Paul Mifsud (214).
Paul Bennett also eased past Brian Harvey to ensure the top four seeds
were represented in the next round.

Quarter-finals (4 hrs)
Paul Bennett
295, 181, 119, 106, 89, 88, 86, 82, 61, 52
1642 (29.3)Peter Shelley
135, 57
627 (11.2)
Paddy Donnelly
188, 107, 114, 79, 79, 63, 63, 54, 50
1240 (24.8)David Collins
121, 117, 116, 114, 60
1053 (21.1)
C Praprut
415, 133, 115, 111, 82, 61, 59, 57, 54
1417 (35.4)Udon Khaimuk
124, 106, 99, 71, 71, 57, 53
953 (23.2)
Paul Mifsud
172, 167, 133, 83, 75, 68, 62, 60, 56, 52
1319 (19.1)Darren Kell
98, 83, 74, 56
985 (16.7)

Bennett started in top gear against Peter Shelley, beginning the first
session with a break of 181 and completing it with a run of 295
unfinished. This was his highest break in competitive play and gave
him an advantage of 650 points at the half-way stage. Bennett, having

left himself with a tricky shot, was unable to add to his break on the
resumption, but still cruised to an impressive win.

There may have been a general expectation of a Bennett-Collins semi-
final, but this was not shared by Paddy Donnelly, who produced another
first-class performance to eliminate the Australian Champion, despite
four century breaks from Collins.

Before this tournament, Praprut´s highest competitive break had been
341. Having earlier recorded a couple of triple centuries, he now
extended his personal best into the fourth century with a run of 415
against team-mate Udon Khaimuk. The Thai No.2 has demonstrated
much improved form over his previous appearance last year in Australia,
but it was insufficient to overcome Praprut who progressed to the semi-
finals. As generally anticipated, he would meet Paul Mifsud, who
proved to be too powerful for Darren Kell.

Semi-finals (6 hrs)
Paul Bennett
148, 101, 83, 71, 65, 52, 51, 50
1678 (16.1)Paddy Donnelly
174, 97, 78, 69, 63
1239 (11.9)
C. Praprut
327, 315, 175, 172, 165, 114, 97, 81, 78, 77, 75, 72, 61, 56, 53
2441 (42.1)Paul Mifsud
101, 221, 185, 144, 97, 83, 76
1401 (24.2)

With the players now on a routine of six hours play each day, it was
perhaps not surprising that neither Bennett or Donnelly reached the
heights they had both achieved in earlier rounds. Bennett established a
lead of 300 points after the first session and thereafter did just enough
to maintain his lead until the end.

Both Praprut and Mifsud on the other hand, seemed to revel in the
conditions. Mifsud started strongly, a break of 221 taking him to a 70
points lead after the first session. But Praprut struck back with breaks
of 315 and 327 to increasingly dominate the game, eventually winning
by over a thousand points; Mifsud falling away as the match progressed.

Final (8 hrs)
C. Praprut
471, 313, 259, 196, 186, 152, 148, 146, 140, 134, 85, 75, 72, 68, 65, 62, 56, 50
3201 (40.0)Paul Bennett
130, 129, 92, 91, 89, 81, 76, 75, 73, 68, 52
1657 (20.7)
Photo of Paprut (27k)

Praprut displays the “Empire” Trophy with
Sindhu Pulsirivong of the Thai Association,

Praprut began the final well, establishing an advantage of almost 300
points after the first of the two sessions to be played on Wednesday.
However, it was in the second session that Praprut put the match beyond
Bennett´s reach. At his first scoring visit he put together a break of
471, the highest in the competition and another personal best. With his
last visit of the session producing 186 he had established an overnight
lead of 900 points. Bennett battled on to the end, but never looked like
improving his position to any significant degree.

There is no doubt that Praprut
was consistently the top
performer in this
championship and was a
worthy champion. He was the
only player to make a break
in excess of 300, achieving
this feat seven times. His
average over the ten day
event, played on a range of
different tables, was 38.5 for
36 hours match-play. This is
high class billiards by any
standard. Considering these
fine performances, it is
incredible to think that he
only took up billiards two
years ago. His conversion
followed a visit to Thailand
by Peter Gilchrist who gave
him a month´s coaching in the
finer points of the game. It

certainly speaks volumes for the ability of the player—or perhaps the
coach—that it has taken so little time to reach this pinnacle in the
amateur game. Praprut is better known to his green baize fans in
Thailand by his nickname Rom Surin.

In closing, it came as a welcome surprise to the competitors to find
that prize money would be awarded, as this had not been advertised
prior to entry. Praprut took a cheque for IR£1,100 (£957) which
included IR£100 for the highest break. Bennett took IR£500 with cash
being proportionally allocated down to the losing quarter-finalist. All
competitors were given a certificate and the winner and runner-up
also received a cut crystal trophy.


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