New Zealand Billiards Championship
5th-9th July 1999
The New Zealand national championships attracted a field of 22
players to the Pukekohe Cosmopolitan Club, situated south of
Auckland, which in 1964 had been the venue for the World Amateur
Billiards Championships. The players were seeded according to current
ranking positions and divided into four groups of six for the qualifying
stages, although withdrawals reduced two of these groups to five players.
Each group played round-robin games of two hours duration to find
four players who would progress to the knock-out stages.
2 : Derek Gibb and Ron Milicich. Group 3 : Garry Oliver and Peter Stephens.
Group 4 : Malcolm Cooke and Merv Stewart.
Joe Ifa 693; Peter de Groot 1244, Peter Stephens 444; Garry Oliver 1259,
Ray Reid 687; Tony Stephens 948, Malcolm Cooke 817; Ron Milicich 1047,
Rob Elvin 768; Merv Stewart w/o, John Keatley scr; Wayne Carey 1015,
Paul Wereta 625.
522; Garry Oliver 891, Peter de Groot 763; Tony Stephens 939, Ron Milicich
693; Wayne Carey 740, Merv Stewart 658;
The semi-finals had much in common with the previous
year’s championship, with three of the players (Derek Gibb, Garry Oliver
and Tony Stephens) again in the line-up. Gibb repeated his success
over Oliver, generally having the upper hand throughout the match.
Carey led Stephens by about 230 points at the end of the first session
and thereafter protected this lead by some tactical safety play. At one
point Stephens looked set to threaten Carey’s lead, being on 90 with
the balls in good position, but missed a simple pot red.
Gibb contest the final of the
New Zealand Championships
Gibb started well and at the
end of the first hour was ahead 193-
111. For the remainder of the session
his lead varied from 50 to 100 and the
first 2 hours ended with Carey still
trailing by 57 points. Midway through
the second session, Gibb occupied the
table for 15 minutes to compile a
controlled break of 117, the highest
of the final. This helped him to
establish a lead of 109 points
approaching the last 30 minutes of the
match. At this point the situation
changed dramatically, Carey making
breaks of 53, 34, 26 and 11 on
consecutive visits, with Gibb
managing only 40 points in reply. With
less than 5 minutes to go, Gibb still
held a narrow six point advantage.
Carey then came to the table, his second to last visit, scoring 17 to take
the lead. Now under time-pressure, Gibb’s reply ended at 9, accidentally
making a six-shot while potting from hand into the middle pocket, and
missing the resulting cannon off the spotted red. Carey still gave Gibb
one last chance after he added just 2 to lead by 3 points with about 30
seconds remaining. Unfortunately Gibb missed (a none too easy stroke)
and Carey had his first New Zealand title and his tenth tournament in
a row. The player’s averaged 8.21 and 8.16 in a low scoring match
which saw just 1,309 points and two breaks over 50 scored during the
NEW ZEALAND LADIES CHAMPIONSHIP
1st-4th August 1999
Considering that organised billiards for women in New Zealand is a
relatively new concept, and entry of 13 players for the inaugural
National Championships was an encouraging sign for the future. With
a high break of 28, the standard of play obviously still has some way to
progress, but this was more than balanced by some close and exciting
games. Several matches were decided at the last visit, and the quarterfinal
between Sandy Claxton and Sharon Wilkie required an extra 10
minutes when the scores had finished level after the allotted 1 hour.
Sharon eventually won this encounter by just 4 points and went on to
reach the final where she defeated Zoe West in another exciting finish.
Results (1 hour)
128, Annette Moeahu 103.