The New Zealand open
Englishman Bill Andress gained some consolation for his visiting
Loose Cannons team losing the test match to New Zealand, when
he won the New Zealand Open played in Hamilton Cosmopolitan
Club from 6th-8th October 2000.
A field of 24 players lined up on the first morning, this number including
all four members of the “Loose Cannons” squad. The tournament also
saw the welcome return of former New Zealand champion Ken Giles.
The 24 players were divided into 6 sections of 4 based on current
ranking positions. All of these matches were 2 hours duration.
In Section 1, Ken Giles showed he had lost few of his earlier skills when
he won all three matches to top his group. This included a 483-364 win
over current New Zealand champion Wayne Carey, who, with two
wins, went through as runner-up.
In Section 2, Merv Stewart proved unstoppable with three big wins,
knocking in breaks of 87 and 70 in one match, and 81, 51 and 51 in
another. Newcomer Brendan Bateman showed good form to take the
runner-up spot with two victories. Bateman was this year’s Upper
North Island B Grade tournament winner, and shows great potential.
Once all-round billiards knowledge is added to his phenomenal potting
powers, he will go far in tournaments. Colin Taylor finished third in the
section, and qualified for post-section play as one of the best third
Darcy Boyce won all his matches in Section 3, and visiting Englishman
Derick Townend with two wins, including a narrow 17 point win over
Ron Milicich, finished runner-up. Milicich also featured on the wrong
end of another close result, a 14 point loss to Boyce, but he finished
third in the section, and qualified for post-section stages as another of
the best third placed players
Visiting Englishman John Smith was undefeated in Section 4, scoring
heavily in all his three matches. He made breaks of 81, 61, 52 and 50 in
one of these, and 88, 78 and 55 in another. Gary Oliver was runner-up
with two wins, making breaks of 95, 79 and 73 in his match against Ian
Hazelton. Malcolm Cooke with one win finished third in the section,
and qualified as one of the best third-place players. Cooke scored
breaks of 112, 55 and 53 in his match against Oliver, but still lost by 56
Paul Stocker won Section 5, and was in brilliant form against Kevin
Crichton, scoring 919 points in the 2 hours, including breaks of 173, 74,
60 and 53. Stocker scored another century (101) in his match against
Joe Ifa. Visiting Englishman Bill Andress also scored heavily, knocking
in breaks of 114, 66, and 60 in one match, and 91, 87, and 51 in another.
The Stocker v Andress match was a thriller, Stocker just prevailing 561-
547. Andress qualified as runner-up in the section.
In Section 6, Peter Shelley won all three of his matches comfortably. He
scored the highest number of points in section play (2,497), and was
No.1 qualifier in the draw for the knockout stages. He broke the magical
1,000 barrier in his match against Paddy Tattley, scoring 1,037 points
which included breaks of 155, 65 (twice), 64, 61, 57, 56, and 55. His
speedy break building was a joy to behold. Ray Habgood upset the
seedings by beating Tony Stephens 502-333 to take the runner-up
position, but Stephens still qualified for post-section play as one of the
four best third-places.
Peter Shelley broke the 1,000 mark for the second time in the tournament
in his last 16 match, and scored a beautiful 225 break (the highest of the
tournament) in the process. Gary Oliver had a narrow 13 point win
over Wayne Carey, and newcomer Brendan Bateman was far from
disgraced against Darcy Boyce, making a 53 break in losing 573-408.
Ron Milicich finished 66 points clear of John Smith, and despite a good
91 break, Tony Stephens lost by 163 points to Merv Stewart. Derick
Townend and Giles had a thriller, Townend just getting home by 2
points right on the bell. Bill Andress was very fluent against Ray
Habgood, an 86 by the Englishman being the highlight. Paul Stocker and
Malcolm Cooke had a high scoring match, Stocker winning 649-506.
Stocker made two centuries (119 and 101), but still had to work very
hard to overcome Cooke, who responded well with a break of 96.
D Boyce (73) 573, B Bateman (53) 408; R Milicich (70) 452, J Smith 386; M Stewart (60) 514, T
Stephens (91) 351; D Townend 432, K Giles (52) 430; B Andress (86) 653, R Habgood 356; P
Stocker (119, 101, 89) 649, M Cooke (96) 506.
Gary Oliver caused a big upset by beating the highly rated Englishman
Peter Shelley. Oliver’s uncharacteristically slow play at one stage earned
him a time wasting warning from the referee. Darcey Boyce advanced to
the semi-finals with a 98 point win over Ron Milicich, and Stewart beat
Derick Townend by 274 points. Bill Andress kept the English flag
flying with a hard-fought win over Paul Stocker.
Milicich (56) 418; M. Stewart (73) 618, D. Townend 344; W. Andress 493, P. Stocker (52) 465.
Oliver beat Darcy Boyce by 134 points to advance to the final, and Bill
Andress beat Merv Stewart by 313 points. Andress looked especially
good in the last 45 minutes of his match making breaks of 116, 85, 80
and 69 during this period.
(61, 56) 399.
Gary Oliver was on a high after having earlier eliminated top seed Peter
Shelley, and Andress had put on a very efficient display in the latter
part of his semi-final, so a keenly contested final was anticipated, and
an excellent match resulte
The final started at a fairly sedate pace, with the first break over 50
coming at the 90 minute mark. At this point, Andress, showing the first
sign of the fluency he had displayed in earlier matches put together a 61.
However, when he reached this figure, he suddenly decided to chalk his
cue for the first time in the break, and much to the mirth of the audience
could not find his chalk. There was quite a delay while he searched for
it, finally retrieving it from his coat pocket. Having chalked his cue, he
then promptly missed his next shot! Oliver also made his first reasonable
contribution at this point, making a 46 immediately afterwards. At the
interval Andress led 385-318.
Oliver started the second session well, and made a good 100 break early
on and took the lead for the first time in the match at 422-418. However
this was short-lived as Andress regained the advantage and opened up
a 122 point lead, thanks mainly to a good 76 break, again chalking his
cue just once at the end of the break.
Later, there was another amusing incident when Andress leant his cue
against the wall while his opponent was at the table, but when it came
to his turn had forgotten where he had left it! Like the earlier incident
with the chalk, there was much mirth while he searched everywhere,
but when the cue was finally located, he put it to good use by making a
58 break. This extended his lead to 728-554.
In the last 15 minutes Oliver considerably quickened his pace. He
scored 130 points during this time, Including consecutive contributions
of 30, 39 and 56. It was a good finish from the Canterbury player, but
the gap was too great to bridge, and the final score was 768-684 to
Andress. It was a good final, one befitting the status of the occasion.
Like all the Loose Cannons, Bill Andress was a very likeable fellow,
and his victory was a popular one. He looked more like an absent-
minded professor than a good Billiards player, but appearances were
certainly deceptive. Squinting intently through his thick glasses, he
moved quickly round the table at great pace, and put his rather
unglamorous looking cue with the thickish tip to very good effect. He
very seldom chalked his cuethis task seemed more like an afterthought,
but at his fluent best he was a joy to watch, and amazed us all with his
skills, especially his thin losing hazards played at pace. A very shy
man, he seemed lost for words after receiving his trophy
Stocker – 173, 119,101(2), 89, 88, 74, 61, 60, 53, 52; W. Andress – 116, 114; 91(2), 87, 86, 85, 80,
76, 69, 66, 62(2), 61, 60, 58, 51; M. Cooke -112, 96, 55, 53; G. Oliver -100, 95, 79, 73, 58(3), 57,
56, 54(2), 50; T. Stephens – 91, 84, 75, 65, 61, 56, 55, 52; J. Smith – 88, 81, 78, 61, 55, 52, 50; M.
Stewart – 87, 81, 73, 70, 60, 51(2); D. Boyce – 76, 73, 66, 56, 54, 50; R. Milicich – 76, 70, 50(2);
R. Habgood – 73, 67, 56; J. Ifa – 65, 57, 54, 53(2), 52; W. Carey – 61, 57, 56; 53, 52; K. Giles – 59,
52, 51; D. Townend – 58; B. Bateman – 53.
The first round losers of post section play were entered into a flight
competition, and John Smith added to England’s successes by winning
this in convincing fashion. His 419-240 victory over T. Stephens in the
90 minute final, included breaks of 94, 88 and 68.