English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Amateur Billiard Player : February 2002

The Amateur Billiard Player : February 2002


New Zealand

New Zealand Open

The 2001 New Zealand Open concluded the season at the Hamilton
Cosmopolitan Club, October 12-14. Despite the absence of three
regulars from the New Zealand Billiards circuit, the field of 26, swelled
by seven English players touring New Zealand, was the largest for a
ranking tournament since at least 1994. Matches were all 2 hours until
the final, which was extended to three hours.

The entries included the defending champion Bill Andress and eight
New Zealanders who had played in the recent IBSF Championship in
Christchurch. There was some interest in whether this exposure to
world class Billiards would encourage them to attempt more break

Apparently it did. The eight players scored seven centuries between
them, possibly the greatest number of centuries scored in the Open by
New Zealanders; one player made more than 900 in two hours, a rarity
in New Zealand, and another, Malcolm Cooke, set a personal best
break of 132.

The English players were not to be outdone. They scored 19 centuries
between them, Peter Shelley leading the way with nine, including one
of 187, the highest of the event. Three players scored more than 1,000
in two hours.

Despite the higher scoring by the English, it was two New Zealanders,
Gary Oliver and Paul Stocker, who contested the three hour final, with
Stocker emerging the victor of a close match 688-648.

Five of the seven English players had made it through the group stages
into the last sixteen. Peter Shelley had been in convincing form, winning
all of his matches by at least 400 points and scoring 1168 in one of
these. The other tourists who made it through to the knock-out stages
were Brian Harvey, Bill Andress, Paul Dunning and Derick Townend.
The defending champion, Bill Andress, went out at this hurdle as he
lost to Joe Ifa by just five points. Brian Harvey, in contrast, had a good
win over ex-New Zealand Champion Wayne Carey. Apparently cruising
at one stage, a late run of form by Carey narrowed the deficit to five
points with a minute to go, but Harvey held on to win 485-476. The
remainder of the English contingent also made it through to the quarter-

Gary Oliver had already beaten Joe Ifa by 496 in section play, so was
expected to win again when they met in the quarter-finals. This he did,
although the winning margin was only 75. Peter Shelley’s good run
came to an end in this round when he was beaten 520-448 by Paul
Stocker. Paul Dunning went though by beating Malcolm Cooke 569-
432 and Brian Harvey had an easy win over Derick Townend 854-286.
In his semi-final match, Paul Stocker had established a strong position
as he led Brian Harvey by nearly 200 points with 30 minutes remaining.
Although Harvey made a strong recovery in these closing minutes, the
deficit was too much to make up and the New Zealander went through
620-571. The other match, between Gary Oliver and Paul Dunning,
had less scoring and there was little in the game going into the last 45
minutes. At this point Oliver established a significant advantage with a
60+ break and went on to win 464-349.

The final started with a flurry of scoring as Paul Stocker opened with a
77 on his third visit. Oliver replied with 40 and Stocker returned a 44 to
lead 121-40 after four visits. Thereafter the scoring slowed, but Stocker
had the better of it, and went to the interval leading 332 (av 11.9)-298
(av 10.3). Starting the second session, Oliver made a 51 to lead 384-
369, his first time in front. Stocker responded with 54 and 74 to regain
the lead 641-477, the latter break starting with a sequence of 13 red
hazards, demonstrating his strong all-round play. Oliver, with time
running out, responded well, making 80 on his next visit, quickly
following this with a 79, twice checking the clock as he walked around
the table. The effort arrived too late however, as Stocker held on to take
the Open title by 40 points.

Source: Philip Sharp. Electronic Newsletter
Last 16 (2 hours)
Peter Shelley
1013 Peter Stephens
Paul Stocker
564 Darcy Boyce
Brian Harvey
485 Wayne Carey
Derick Townend
501 Ron Milicich
Gary Oliver
785 Brendon Bateman
Joe Ifa
485 Bill Andress
Paul Dunning
434 Merv Stewart
Malcolm Cooke
688 Keith Knight
Quarter-finals (2 hours)
Paul Stocker
520 Peter Shelley
Brian Harvey
854 Derick Townend
Gary Oliver
408 Joe Ifa
Paul Dunning
569 Malcolm Cooke
Semi-finals (2 hours)
Paul Stocker
620 Brian Harvey
Gary Oliver
464 Paul Dunning
Final (3 hours)
Paul Stocker
77, 54, 74
688 (12.7)Gary Oliver
86, 51, 80, 79
648 (11.8)

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