WORKING MENS CLUB & INSTITUTE UNION
National Individual Billiards Championship
Tony James, who had sprung a surprise by
defeating the current CIU Champion, Tony
Mackinder, in the previous round, was himself
defeated in the quarter-finals by Teesside player
Geoff Charville. James was struggling to find his
touch throughout the match and Charville kept up the pressure with
regular contributions in the 40’s and 50’s eventually completing an
impressive win by 254 points. James was the only “home” player to
lose, although Maurice Chapman had a close call, just edging out G.
Lee by 22 points.
(Selly Oak Ex)
(Ball Green WMC)
(Boston Railwaymen’s Soc)
(Acklam Garden City)
(Bradley & Colne Bridge)
(Throckley Union Jack)
(Acklam Garden City)
of the Tyseley WMC team, he was winner of the
CIU National Team Snooker Championship.
Maurice had also been part of the team when
they were losing finalists in 1962 and 1963.
Both semi-finals were again held at the Batley Carr WMC, the first
involving Darren Kell and Peter Shelley taking place on 4th March.
Neither player was on particularly good form in the three-hour match,
with many early chances being lost, mainly due to faulty positional
play. However, this ensured a close contest, with little separating the
players during the first session. This situation changed shortly after the
start of the second session when Peter Shelley opened up a gap of 130
points with consecutive breaks of 94 and 44. However, he failed to
capitalise on this advantage as Kell brought himself back on terms
with breaks of 51 and 78. This latter contribution started with a fluke,
and ironically ended unluckily when a bad “kick” caused him to miss
a simple centre-pocket in-off when still in excellent position. Going
into the last 10 minutes, Kell had established an advantage of 61 points,
but Shelley looked set to overhaul him when his break of 43 ended
unexpectedly at what appeared to be a simple cross-loser. From this
point both players had chances to put the game beyond doubt, but Kell
just managed to hold on to his advantage and go through to his third
CIU Individual Final.
The following Saturday was the turn of Birmingham’s Maurice
Chapman and Geoff Charville from Middlesbrough. Charville had the
distinct advantage in terms of support, having brought a bus full of
members from the Acklam Club, which more than filled all the available
seating. Both players were making their first appearance in the semi-
final stages, although the sprightly Chapman, who belied his 64 years,
had won the CIU Team Snooker Championship some 35 years
previously! In a rather nervous opening session most of the chances
seemed to fall to Chapman, but he was unable to capitalise on his
frequent openings. His best effort during this period being a break of
50 which started with a fluked pot red, and rather typified the run
during the first half. Under these circumstances, an advantage of 51
points to Chapman at the interval should really have been much greater.
A score at this stage of 284-233 with respective averages of 6.8 and
5.5 is an indication of the slow nature of the play.
Perhaps it was something in the Batley pork pies – served as an interval
refreshment – or perhaps it was Charville’s decision to substitute his
first-half orange juice with a pint of lager, but whatever the reason, he
looked a different player as he started the second session. His first visit
produced a break of 68, putting him into the lead, and he followed this
with additional runs of 67 and 64. Chapman, to his credit, also raised
his game, replying to
of 52 and 71. The
latter was the highest
of the match and it
back to within 50
points of his
opponent. But with
time running out,
Charville, who had
never been shy to
tactics, now carefully defended his lead and made sure Chapman
received no more chances. A second session average of 16.5 by
Charville showed that despite his lack of experience at this level, he is
capable of taking the CIU title if he can play to this standard consistently.
It was regrettable that the match finished on a rather sour note when,
towards the end, Chapman stopped mid-break to ask one of the Teesside
supporters to refrain from making comments while he was playing –
something which he later stated had been happening throughout the
68, 67, 64
71, 52, 50
The result ensures an all-Teesside final for the second year in a row.
This will take place at the Acklam Garden City Club on Saturday 29th
April. Full coverage will appear in our next issue.