Lincoln Individual Billiard League
The Lincoln area has seen Billiards grow over the last couple of years
mainly due to the efforts of League Secretary Bernie Barker and league
Chairman Roger Clark. Bernie devised the Lincoln individual billiards
league which is now in its third season and last year they had five
divisions of players. The players are put into groups of similar abilities,
with the Premier and 1st divisions playing 1½ hours duration and the
others 1 hour duration. For the first two years former under-19 all
England billiards champion Tony Mathews won the premier league as
well as the high break trophy, his highest was a break of 147. Tony as
now left the area and is no longer playing. He will be sadly missed. His
ability to come from the brink of defeat and construct a sizeable breaks
in the last few minutes was remarkable. Time and time again Tony had
the ability to step up one gear.
The other divisions have all been very close with most players capable
of beating each other and several games have been won by just one or
two point’s. In fact, during the three years the League has been operating,
two games have resulted in a tie.
The presentation of the individual league was in the form of a
competition, played off league handicaps, and again Tony Matthews
dominated the competition.
Lincolnshire County League
During it´s history, no single team has dominated the County League,
with the championship being shared around the clubs. Last season saw
the youngsters from Breaks Snooker Club lift the trophy. Team captain
Roger Clark hardly played, but his ability to pair the players correctly
was a big factor in their success. The team consisted of newly crowned
under-16 All England champion Peter Gamblin, former finalist of the
under-19 All England Championship Matthew Lee, and semi-finalist
and Lincoln junior champion Wayne Bean. Over the last five years the
handicap system was altered every week with five points being deducted
or added every time the players has played, again this has improved the
standard of play.
The Lincolnshire County league has just been reformed with its first
season coming to a conclusion. Although the billiards has only four
teams, two from Grimsby and two from Lincoln, the standard has been
very good. A surprise visitor to Lincoln was that of former World
Professional Champion and club owner Ray Edmonds, along with son
Alan, who play for Grimsby “B”. Alan has made a break of 102 and
Ray is averaging 570 points.
The championships will be played in September when the players are
starting their new season. If anyone in the Lincolnshire area is interested
in playing in the County league please contact Bernie Barker on 01522-
Lincoln also hope to be staging some billiards coaching week-ends with
current World Billiards Champion Mike Russell. Mike will also be
playing in the Lincoln League, although only a few games, it is a big
coup for the League.
For several years Lincoln have staged a regional qualifying round of the
All England Billiards Championship as well as the English under-16
and 19 tournaments (the latter two having record entries this year) and
the Junior team final. On this point the Lincoln Association would like
to thank Breaks Snooker club for their help in staging the events and to
Brian Briggs for supplying the match balls. Brian is a table fitter from
the Sheffield area and is constantly seen in Lincoln at the various clubs
in the town.
Eastern Counties League
In the Eastern Counties billiards league Lincoln have done very well,
winning the second division, runners up in the first, and Tony Matthews
getting to the final of the Eastern Counties individual event. Two Lincoln
players have won the Eastern Counties most improved player. They
are Mick Challen and Alex Lawford. Both will have coaching lessons
from Mark Wildman. Lincoln Reports: Bernie Barker.
Massingham Junior Billiards Classic
The annual Junior Billiards Classic was held at the Social Club, at
Massingham and drew an enthusiastic entry. Home players took the
honours in both events, with Neil Attew winning the under-19’s
competition and Robert Pettar the Under-16´s.
Attew (Massingham) 75, Darren Noble (Norborough) 65.
John Stobie won the Lincolnshire Senior Billiards title for the fifth
consecutive year, bringing his total number of wins to seven.
The Spalding & District League has just completed another very
enjoyable season, its 51st in all. The presentation evening at the
Springfields Restaurant Complex was a great success mainly due to the
hard work done by our excellent committee.
The League has about 450 registered players, of which about 80 play in
the handicapped billiards league. This year there were 16 teams of three
players who took part and the Pinchbeck “A” team finished top of the
League after a very close finish which went to the last game of the
Rob Childs (Crowland RBL) won the scratch singles championship,
while Jim Thompson (Donington “B”) won the handicap event. Mick
Johnson took the highest break trophy with an effort of 128.
A special award was made to John Manton (Spalding Consti) who at
nearly 90 years old still plays every week in the billiard league and also
appeared in the Billiard Shield final. John is the oldest player ever to
appear in the final of this event. He practises twice a week and also
does voluntary car transport for the local Health Authority. The League’s
President, Mr. Bill Parker, made the award to John saying that it showed
that age is no barrier to enjoyment and success where the game of
billiards is concerned.