West Country News
Billiards for the love of it!
Whilst enjoying the delights of top class Billiards on show at the World
Matchplay Billiards Championship, Midsomer Norton in the Spring,
enthusiastic Exeter & District Billiards player, Peter Wide met with
Bob Selby, also a Billiards enthusiast, from the Wrington Vale Billiards
& Snooker League. During conversation both agreed that to play a
friendly Billiards match on a ‘home and away’ basis between the two
areas would be an interesting venture. The idea was conveyed to fellow
billiard players of both areas who were also in attendance and all were
fully supportive of the idea. It was not possible, as originally intended,
to hold the matches during the Summer months but the first fixture is
now arranged to take place in Exeter on 11th November 2000.
In order to promote ‘even’ play and hopefully a closely contested
match, players will be selected and handicapped accordingly. The format
of the matches have yet to be finalised, but will be of reasonable duration.
Exeter & District League
Unfortunately, the origins of the Exeter & District League cannot be
accurately determined due to the early records being mislaid. However,
the Handicapped Billiards trophy is clearly dated 1919 suggesting the
league was in existence at this time. With 100 years approaching it
would be nice to know!
We know of no ‘great’ Billiard players of note emanating from our
league but, as in Billiard leagues all round the country, most of those
who participate enjoy the game win or lose in the true tradition of ‘The
Amateur Billiard Player’. Our current Billiard stars include well known
‘Loose Cannon’ Bill (Eddie) Andress, a regular on the circuit, and Robert
Marshall a former Snooker Professional who last year reached the final
stages of the English Amateur Billiards.
Former Exeter League Snooker players of note are Devonians John
Pulman (English Amateur Snooker Champion 1946 and World
Professional Snooker Champion for 10 years) and Michael Gold, former
professional and Captain of the English Home International team for
the last 4 years. Also, Tim Bailey (Swindon) former English Amateur
Snooker Champion (whilst studying for a degree at Exeter University!)
The Billiard league is made up of 13 teams of 4 players playing 200-up
home and away. The league operates on a player handicap basis ranging
from owe 300 to plus 100. Each game won attracts 1 point for the team.
This season has just begun and in his first game Robert Marshall registered
breaks of 50, 57, 67, 76 & 117, who, apart from some practice just
before his game, had not picked up a cue since the end of last season. In
his second game he notched 43, 69, 71 & 75 not having any further
practice between matches. All augers well for Roberts’ season if not for
Andrew Radford, Profession snooker player (UK Tour) is this year
trying his hand at Billiards and in his second game made an 82 break,
which I’m reliably informed didn’t include too many pot reds!
Sidwell Snooker Club – Billiards Handicap
Since 1994 Bill Whelan, Proprietor of the Sidwell Snooker Club has
promoted a monthly Billiards Handicap Tournament. The tournament
runs from September to April inclusive and attracts players from around
the South West Counties and on the odd occasion from as far afield as
Wales and Ireland. Players of note who compete include:- Dave Clue,
Charlie Gay, Brian Harvey, John O’Neil, Dick Watts, Graham Ward
and of course local players Bill (Eddie) Andress and Robert Marshall.
Needless to say a good day is had by all win or lose.
Alan Lovegrove is the stalwart responsible for organising every
tournament since 1994 with the enlisted help of one or two others, the
most recent being Geoff Setter a well known local Referee who can
play a bit (he did beat me in last month´s semi-final!)
Each month handicaps are adjusted accordingly, based on results, with
no complaints, mostly! The format is dependent on the number of
entries; if 25 or more players, games of 200-up, (increased for the
finals) on a knock out basis. A plate, 100-up is also run for the early
round losers. If less than 25 a round robin for the early rounds with the
finals being knock out. This flexible format ensures most players get
good value for their £5 entry fee. Last month’s final was short of
numbers if not quality due to holidays etc; but was hotly contested
between Geoff Setter (South Devon) and Jim Thomas (North Devon),
Jim taking the honours on this occasion.