English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Amateur Billiard Player : February 2000

The Amateur Billiard Player : February 2000

TRI-NATION BILLIARDS CHALLENGE

20th-21st November 1999

Celbridge, Co. Kildare, Irish Republic

It was a “new look” English team which travelled to Celbridge in
defence of their Tri-Nation crown. Due mainly to a late change in
the dates for the event, only four of the top ten players in the ranking
list could make the journey. This resulted in unexpected call-ups for
Paul Dunning, Bill Andress, Richard Lodge and Jim McCann. With
so many “new” players it was a superb performance by England to
retain their title in what proved to be an exciting conclusion which saw
all teams having a chance of victory going into the final session.

Details:

England v Irish Republic
2 hrs. (3 pts per game)
P. Dunning
67
418 V. O’Gorman
111, 57
631 
W. Andress
62
572 P. Martin
52
580 
P. Welham
87, 68, 67, 59
645 D. Brennan
88, 71
432 
S. Crosland
272 A. Murray
413 
J. McCann
389 L. Drennan
59
378 
D. Nichols
50
544 M. McCrudden
562 
England 6, Irish Republic 12

England made a bad start to their defence, winning only two games.
Paul Dunning was given little chance as Victor O’Gorman played some
solid billiards which included a fine break of 111. Also playing in his
first match for England, Bill Andress suffered a narrow defeat as he
lost out to Phil Martin by just eight points.

Martin McCrudden is tipped to be the Republic’s snooker star of the
future, and in his match against David Nichols he scored heavily from
the red ball to edge another close-fought game, helping the home side
to a lead of 12-6 after the first session.

The scoreline could have been a lot worse except for the efforts of
Phillip Welham and Jim McCann who held off determined challenges
from Dick Brennan and Larry Drennan respectively.

Northern Ireland v Irish Republic
2 x 150 up (1 point per game)
T. Buttimer
124,150 M. McCrudden
150,108 
T. Murphy
150,124 D. Brennan
112unf
39,150 
D. Pogue
50
94,150 P. Martin
150,130 
J. McIntyre
86,150 V. O’Gorman
150,53 
D. Elliott
83, 77
150,150 L. Drennan
53,116 
P. Donnelly
150,150 A. Muir
101,61 
Northern Ireland 8, Rep. Ireland 4

The Northern Ireland side also had a few changes from last year, with
new caps for Tommy Murphy (a former snooker professional from
Newtownards), Frank Trainor from Belfast and Eugene Rogan of
Bangor. Their top two players, Davy Elliott and Paddy Donnelly were
the mainstay of the match against the Republic, both taking the full
two points from their games while all the others finished level. Dick
Brennan impressed for the Republic, making a break of 122 unfinished
in his second game against Murphy.

England v Northern Ireland
2 hrs (3 pts per game)
J. McCann
70, 66
442 P. Donnelly
132
383 
S. Crosland
75, 54, 53
715 E. Rogan
56
400 
R. Lodge
88, 73, 50
675 F. Trainer
225 
G. Rogers
61, 60
354 D. Elliott
105, 72, 72, 58
654 
P. Welham
89, 64
629 T. Buttimer
60, 53
503 
D. Nichol
107
419 J. McIntyre
98, 75, 50
523 
England 12, Northern Ireland 6

Paddy Donnelly again looked in good form against England newcomer
Jim McCann, putting together the highest break of the competition with a
run of 132. Undaunted, McCann responded with some fine tactical play
to record an excellent victory. Another century maker to finish on the
losing side was David Nichol. His run of 105 being more than adequately
countered by breaks of 98, 75 and 50 from John McIntyre.
In the battle of the debutantes, Richard Lodge scored heavily to
overcome Frank Trainor and take the points for England. With good
performances evident throughout the England squad, this useful 12-6
result helped them into an overall lead of just two points at the end of
the first day.

Day 1: England 18, Irish Republic 16, Northern Ireland 14.
England v Northern Ireland
2 x 150 up (1 point per game)
D. Nichols
62
111,150 P. Donnelly
150,125 
P. Dunning
124,142 E. Rogan
150,150 
G. Rogers
150,150 D. Pogue
106,127 
R. Lodge
150,122 D. Elliott
113,150 
S. Crosland
95, 121
150,150 T. Buttimer
43,28 
W. Andress
101,141 J. McIntyre
150,150 
England 6, Northern Ireland 6

The contest resumed at 11.00am on Sunday morning with England’s
second match against Northern Ireland. Paul Dunning looked set to
register his first win in his second game against Eugene Rogan.
However, a timely fluke by Rogan gave him an opening, and he held
his nerve to accumulate the 38 points he needed to win.

Stephen Crosland recovered from his slow start to the competition, to
produce breaks of 95 and 121, giving Tony Buttimer no chance.
David Nichols achieved his first success of the competition in some
style. With Donnelly looking poised to take the second game, Nichols
put together a fine run of 62 to snatch an important point from the Irish
No.2. Gary Rogers also recorded his first wins as an international player,
taking two hard-fought games from Davy Pogue.

Rogers and Crosland recorded “double” victories for England, but
Rogan and McIntyre did the same for Northern Ireland, making sure
that the scores finished level at six apiece.

England v Irish Republic
2 x 150 up (1 point per game)
R. Lodge
60
33,150 V. O´Gorman
88, 108
150,140 
J. McCann
62, 59
150,135 P. Martin
108,150 
G. Rogers
66,150 D. Brennan
150,105 
P. Welham
66, 59unf
150,150 A. Murray
23,145 
W. Andress
70
150,150 L. Drennan
74
129,131 
P. Dunning
96, 64
150,150 M. McCrudden
56,33 
England 9, Irish Republic 3

Paul Dunning, who had been suffering from a dreadful run of the ball
throughout the competition, must have felt this match against
McCrudden was going the same way as the others when his opponent
put together a useful run of 38 from a fluke. His response, a break of
95, was therefore all the more impressive, and as things at last started
to go his way, he secured two vital points for England.

Richard Lodge, having lost his first game to a break of 88 by Victor
O’Gorman, was facing an equally bleak prospect in the second when
O’Gorman made a run of 108. However, Lodge responded with a fine
break of 60 to take the game and earn a share of the spoils.

Another close finish was provided by Phillip Welham. His unfinished
break of 59 was enough to take the second game from Aidan Murray
by just 5 points, retaining his unbeaten record in the process.
With Bill Andress also winning his first games of the tournament—
despite a break of 74 by Larry Drennan—the English finished their
competition with an impressive 9-3 win. This put them thirteen points
ahead of Northern Ireland with the Republic one point behind them.

Irish Republic v Northern Ireland
2 hrs (3 pts per game)
M. McCrudden
51
372 P. Donnelly
103, 96, 51, 50
788 
D. Brennan
251 D. Elliott
118, 89, 85, 58, 51
882 
P. Martin
463 J. McIntyre
386 
V. O´Gorman
81, 53
538 D. Pogue
75
459 
L. Drennan
484 T. Murphy
304 
A. Murray
87, 60
401 T. Buttimer
58, 53
408 
Irish Republic 9, Northern Ireland 9

The England team could only watch as with 18 points at stake, they
knew that a big win by one or other of the Irish teams would see the
end of their reign as Tri-Nation Champions.

Paddy Donnelly and David Elliott were in superb form for the
Ulstermen, but with Martin, O’Gorman and Drennan taking the points
for the Republic, it ensured that neither team would achieve the margin
of victory they needed. Even a reverse of the close finish between
Murray and Buttimer would not have affected the overall result.

Final scores : England 33; Northern Ireland 29; Republic 28.

Photo of Derick Townend (7k)

England captain Derick Townend, receiving the Tri-Nation Trophy
from Geraldine Gillviary after his team’s win at Celbridge.

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