Ironopolis Club, Middlesbrough
India in the Middlesbrough pro-am.
Peter Gilchrist prepared for his trip to the
World Professional Championships by
winning the Tommy Arnott Memorial Pro-Am
Tournament at the Ironopolis Club in
Middlesbrough on Thursday 29th July 1999.
Seven of the region´s best amateurs were joined
by three local professionals in the shape of
World No.3 David Causier, [owe 120] Peter
Gilchrist, now ranked No.5, [owe 80] and Chris
Shutt, who is one place lower in the list at No.6
[owe 100]. The Amateurs were headed by Lee
Lagan [owe 40], Geoff Charville and Paul
Boden [owe 20], Paul Bennett [scr], Darren Kell
[rec.10], John Hartley [rec.20], and Alf Nolan
The entertainment commenced with the English Champion Lee Lagan
producing two 70+ breaks to overcome a determined challenge by
Ironopolis player and tournament organiser, Geoff Charville. The last
of these, 77, being made on his final visit to secure a win by 56 points.
Alf Nolan, aided by 20 points start, edged past John Hartley in a
relatively low scoring encounter which could have gone either way.
|A. Nolan[rec.20]||93||J. Hartley||89|
The star performance of the first round came from Chris Shutt. Veteran
Alf Nolan had started the game rather well, a 40 break extending his
handicap allowance into a lead of 170 points. Missing a difficult forcing
in-off, one spectator was heard to remark well, at least he´s left them
safe. It took Shutt four shots to convert this safety to perfect top-of-the-table position and thereafter he occupied the table for the remaining
18 minutes of the game to record an unfinished break of 331, the
highest of the night.
Playing on his home table, Darren Kell dominated his match against
English Champion, Lee Lagan. Building upon his 50 points start, Kell
made a fine break of 102, the only century made by an amateur on the
night. Lagan could find no answer, and even a late break of 59 could
only increase his final score to 81.
Receiving a massive 120 points start, Paul Bennett was also sadly out
of touch, adding just 15 points in his game against David Causier. The
World No.3 was relentless in compiling breaks of 149 and 130 to
aggregate 343 points in the allotted 30 minutes.
Peter Gilchrist kept the century breaks coming
with a run of 155 to take some revenge on Paul
Boden, the player who had eliminated him from
this event on the previous two years.
finals (30 min)
The semi-finals saw the duration of the games
increase to 45 minutes, but the handicaps
remained unaltered. Peter Gilchrist produced
some consistent scoring and with breaks of 80,
70 and 86, recovered his handicap and
established a lead of 81. With time running
out, Kell then produced a determined break which brought the scores
level, and with just two minutes remaining looked set to snatch a
dramatic win. However, an unexpected miss at a half-ball loser from
hand, presented the match to Gilchrist, who made no mistake in playing
out time to win by 32 points.
In the other semi-final, the first scoring visit by Causier produced a
break of 181. This was immediately followed by a 58 and Chris Shutt,
even with his 20 start suddenly found himself over 200 points behind.
He never threatened to make inroads into this deficit and a final effort
of 139 unfinished by Causier completed an impressive performance.
181, 58, 139 unf
86, 80, 70
The final saw Gilchristwho was receiving 40 points start from the
World No.3become the first to register a significant break with a run
of 92. Causier, having switched tables for this final match, seemed to
be struggling with the positional side of his game and still trailed by 41
points after 30 minutes. At this point Gilchrist settled the matter with
careful break of 119 which occupied 11 of the remaining 15 minutes.
Peter Gilchrist received the £100 winner´s cheque and David Causier
took £50 as runner-up. The high break prize of £10 went to Chris Shutt
for his 331 unfinished, which seems scant reward for such a magnificent
effort. As a warm-up for the World Championships, all the local
professionals looked sharp and ready for the big challenge in India.