Whitworth Institute, Darley Dale (26th-28 September 2001)
The long awaited ‘Whitworth Masters’ took place at Whitworth Institute, Darley Dale, on the weekend of 26/27/28th September. Eight English
players were joined by Northern Ireland´s Paddy Donnelly (Belfast) and John McIntyre (Newtown Abbey) to compete for the honour of
having their name inscribed as the first winner of the ‘Whitworth Masters’ trophy.
The idea of the ‘Whitworth Masters’ was first mooted during a
conversation between Jim McCann, Derick Townend and Lewis Jackson,
a trustee of the Whitworth Institute, some three years ago. Lewis had
expressed a wish to help amateur billiards in some way and had
volunteered assistance from himself and the trustees of the Darley
Dale, Whitworth Institute. Permission was granted by the trustees to
hold an annual event and Lewis promised to look for a suitable trophy.
The whole idea was agreed in principal, but put to rest until further
work could be put into motion, to set up a suitable and amicable
arrangement for the timing and format of the competition. Everyone
agreed that the event could make an attractive addition to the E.A.B.A.
calendar, and members looked forward to the launch of the competition
in 2001. The Whitworth Institute has a great English Billiards tradition
and as well as supporting the ‘Masters’, for several years it has staged
the annual ‘Professional Invitation Tournament’. The last stages of the
English Championship are also staged at the Whitworth and are set to
remain there for the foreseeable future.
The ‘Whitworth Masters’ was envisaged as an invitation tournament,
with players being invited by the E.A.B.A. committee from any players
of a merit worthy background. The method of choosing English players
is not cast in stone and the number of other competing nationals is not
fixed. A decision on which players shall be invited to take part in any
one year will be approved and decided at a meeting of the E.A.B.A.
before the end of the previous season. The expense of staging this
tournament will in future be provided by a worthy sponsor or from the
E.A.B.A. funds. This tournament is seen as the icing on the cake of the
E.A.B.A. calendar. It will be played in the true spirit of Amateur
Billiards It will epitomise the character of those who play the game, of
those who serve it, and those who enjoy watching it.
We thank the Trustees of the Whitworth Institute for allowing the
E.A.B.A. to stage and set up this event. We thank the E.A.B.A. Referees
Section who took care of the administration, and who very ably officiated
at the Inaugural tournament. The committee is optimistic that this
event will take its rightful place in our sporting year and thanks everyone
who played a part in its inception.
The relatively short playing format of the ‘Masters’ gave a keen edge to
the proceedings and all players agreed that one had to be on one’s toes
to succeed. The Section play in the round robin format was sprinkled
with mixed fortune. Quite a lot of the matches were decided by just a
handful of points. Paul Dunning and Michael White were particularly
unfortunate to lose in this manner. Our two friends from Northern
Ireland had good results in the section play, Paddy Donnelly being
particularly successful. Progress to the semi-finals was decided firstly
by game wins, and where these were tied, the winners were decided by
aggregate score points difference.
On Saturday evening the players and officials joined local buffs and
their ladies at a Sixties knees-up and buffet at the Whitworth Hotel. As
we have now begun to expect, the evening was a huge success and
thoroughly enjoyed by all those who attended. The billiards fraternity
were congratulated by Lewis Jackson, the Mayor Elect of Darley Dale
and he thanked the organisers for providing a splendid weekend of
sport and entertainment.
Sunday saw the conclusion of the 2001 tournament. Paddy Donnelly
took on Phil Welham, and Steve Crosland tackled John McIntyre. A
one-sided match between Donnelly and Welham saw Paddy starved of
opportunity throughout the match and only able to start moving forward
when it was far too late to have any effect. On the other hand, Welham
took the chances which were presented to him and forged ahead, managing
to make the highest break of the tournament, a very sound 188.
John McIntyre has been slowly recovering from serious illness over
the last five years and it was gratifying to see him playing so well to
finish at the head of Group B. However, his semi-final against Stephen
Crosland was a dour struggle, two sixty breaks by McIntyre and a
century by Crosland kept the spectators interested. Both players had
the opportunity to take a stronger initiative but at the crucial time both
failed to capitalise. A struggle, but a fair result.
The final was also a close struggle with Crosland generally holding the
advantage throughout the two-hour match, two breaks of 53 being the
best contributions by the Yorkshireman. Entering the last five minutes
Phil Welham held the table with a crucial run of 47, taking him to the bell
and securing victory in the inaugural tournament by 42 points.
The presentation of trophies and personal mementoes concluded the
event much to the satisfaction of all concerned. Everyone agreed that
this had been superb tournament, well played, and thoroughly enjoyed
by all those who had the privilege to take part.
|Pos||Group A||Won||Points Diff|
|2||Stephen Crosland||Burley in Wharfdale||3||358|
(59unf) 263 Stephen Crosland (56) 207; Paddy Donnelly (91,83,83) 408 Bill Andress 89; Stephen
Crosland (95,91,69) 394 Bill Andress 148; Stephen Crosland (98,50) 301 Brian Harvey (63,57)
257; Stephen Crosland (111) 320 Paul Dunning 196; Brian Harvey (50) 262 Paul Dunning (61) 259;
Brian Harvey (50) 262 Paul Donnelly 208; Brian Harvey 325 Bill Andress 247; Bill Andress (55)
251 Paul Dunning 243.
|Pos||Group B||Won||Points Diff|
|1||John McIntyre||Newton Abbey||3||49|
|2||Philip Welham||Kings Lynn||2||134|
|4||Jim McCann||Darley Dale||2||-189|
|5||Michael White||Midsomer Norton||1||-47|
Michael White 165; John McIntyre 238 Phil Welham 163; Phil Welham (52) 231 Jim McCann
149; Phil Welham (71,55,55) 341 Peter Shelley (50) 211; Peter Shelley (112,71,66) 391 Jim
McCann 185; Peter Shelley 259 Michael White (89) 256; Jim McCann 224 John McIntyre 167; Jim
McCann (50) 195 Michael White 153; Michael White (49,48) 211 Phil Welham (51) 208.
188, 75, 66
113, 75, 54
|Phillip Welham ||493||Steve Crosland|