English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Amateur Billiard Player : November 2000

The Amateur Billiard Player : November 2000

Tommy Arnott Memorial Pro-Am

Ironopolis Club, Middlesbrough

Thursday 11th August 2000

The second of the pre-season Pro-Ams took place at the Ironopolis
Club in Middlesbrough on Thursday 11th August. This event is
sponsored by Derrick Arnott in memory of his father who used to
coach youngsters in the earliest days of the Teesside Boys’ League.
Geoff Charville, who is an Ironopolis club player, again took on the
task of organising the competition in addition to taking part.
Anyone who doubts the viability of billiards as a spectator sport would
have done well to witness the crowd which turned out on this hot
summer evening. Around 200 people crammed into the billiard-room
filling all available vantage points to watch some of the best players in
the World display their skills.

The early rounds were 30 minute games with the semi-finals and final
extended to 45 minutes. The evening´s entertainment started with two
preliminary matches involving Lee Lagan against Paul Boden and Geoff
Charville against Alf Nolan.

PRELIMINARY ROUND
Lee Lagan
58
112 (8.0)Paul Boden (rec.20)
99 (6.1)
G. Charville
81, 42
146 (14.6)Alf Nolan (rec.50)
105 (5.5)

Lee Lagan played a particularly cautious game against Paul Boden
(rec.20), which may have been connected with the Ironopolis player
having beaten him twice in League games last season from a level start.
An early break of 58 by Lagan cancelled out his handicap and established
a narrow lead which he held to the end. Just 13 points being the difference
after 30 minutes.

Alf Nolan, as usual, made the long journey from Newcastle by public
transport, arriving just a few minutes before the start. Receiving 50
start, he soon found himself trailing after runs of 81 and 42 by Charville
took him to a 137-64 advantage. With Nolan no longer able to score as
quickly as in the past, there was never enough time for him the make up
the difference and he went down to a 41 point defeat.

QUARTER FINALS
Darren Kell (rec.10)
134 (7.8)Paul Bennett
65 (4.1)
David Causier
97
210 (19.1)John Hartley (rec.150)
202 (4.7)
G. Charville (rec.100)
197 (12.1)P. Gilchrist(128,
49 
Chris Shutt
147, 111
294 (58.8)L. Lagan (rec.80)
59
197 (29.3)

The first of the quarter-finals renewed the acquaintance of old rivals
Darren Kell and Paul Bennett, with the former receiving 10 points from
his professional opponent. With most of the game devoted to safety
tactics, Kell finally managed to put some shots together late in the
game. An aggregate of 66 points without reply from his last three visits
was the difference between the players as Kell won by 69 points.

Bennett, as he had in the previous Pro-Am, looked sadly out of form,
although he admitted to having been playing well in practise.
David Causier was set a stern task to concede 150 points in his 30
minute match against John Hartley, but with the aid of a 97 break duly
overtook his opponent at 192-167 with time to spare. However, Hartley
rallied to regain the lead with an immediate 39 break and thereafter it
became anyone’s game as Causier edged home by just 8 points.

The next match between Geoff Charville (rec.100) and Peter Gilchrist
proved to be even closer, although with the scores standing at 182-19 in
favour of Charville, this never looked to be a prospect. At this point
Gilchrist added 49, and with perfect timing ran in a break of 128 at his
next visit to pass Charville’s score with just seconds remaining. However,
just one point in front, he missed a vital pot red giving Charville an
opportunity to pot Gilchrist’s ball and win the game just as the bell
sounded.

After Chris Shutt broke off in his thirty minute match against Lee
Lagan, he had just four more visits, these producing contributions of
36, 147, 0, and 111. This was enough to finish almost 100 points in
front of Lagan who still managed to add runs of 29, 29 and 59 to his 80
points start, closing with a very respectable average of 29.3.

SEMI-FINALS
Chris Shutt (rec.20)
264, 87, 41 82
494 (39.5)David Causier
213 (17.8)
Darren Kell
222 (11.2)Geoff Charville (rec.10)
100 (4.7)

The semi-finals which were extended to 45 minutes, pitted the two
remaining professionals against each other, with David Causier
conceding 20 points to Chris Shutt. These seemed hardly necessary as
Shutt launched into a break of 264 at his first opportunity. After this,
Causier was always struggling and another run of 87 by Shutt took him
to an unassailable lead of 427-113. Causier responded with a break of
82, but he needed to produce something very special to close such a
huge gap, and this was not forthcoming.

Club-mates Darren Kell and Geoff Charville (rec.10) made up the other
semi-final. It was a dour contest with both players knowing they were
evenly matched and consequently giving each other the greatest respect.
However, with safety tactics dominating, it was Kell who gradually
pulled away and putting in the stronger finish, completed a 122 point
victory.

FINAL
Chris Shutt
303, 108
481 (26.7)Darren Kell (rec.90)
214 (6.9)
Photo of Darren Kell and Chris Shutt (20k)

Darren Kell and Chris Shutt
line up for the final.

The last time Darren Kell played against Chris Shutt he had the privilege
of watching the World No.5 put together a break of 361. This time Kell
started much better, gradually adding to his 90 points start to lead 148-
24 as Shutt seemed to struggle to find his touch. Then it all came
together for Shutt in a magnificently fluent break of 303. This surprisingly
ended when still in position at the top of the table, Shutt just misjudging
the weight of a cannon which finished a fraction short. At his next visit
he added a break of 108, containing some spectacular “exhibition” shots,
which made sure there was going to be no come-back for Kell. A final
scoreline of 481-214 reflected the one-sided nature of the contest.
Derrick Arnott presented a cheque for £125 to Chris Shutt which
included £25 for the high break of the evening. Darren Kell took £50 as
runner-up with the prize of £15 for highest break by an Amateur going
to Geoff Charville who made 81 in his opening match.

Photo of Michael Donnelly (8k)

Fourteen year-old Michael
Donnelly received the Arnott
annual award which is given to
the most improved billiard player
in the region. This was in
recognition of his amazing
progress since taking up the game
last year, during which time he
has produced a top break of 95.
Michael received an inscribed
tankard and is seen being
congratulated by Derrick Arnott.

A collection was taken on behalf of the Teesside Boys’ Billiards League,
with Derrick Arnott having pledged £1 for each point over 200 scored
in a single break. This resulted in a cheque for £280 going to the cause,
having been boosted by no small extent by the efforts of Chris Shutt.


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