ABC Billiards Handicap
Cambridge SC (Sunday 13th October, 2002)
October saw the introduction of another new event (and
format) to the Amateur Billiards Circuit which is organised
and run by Derick and Peggy Townend. For the first time a
handicap competition was arranged and this took place at the
Cambridge Snooker Centre, the results of course, not counting
towards the final ranking positions. Even without the enticement
of ranking points, a total of 31 players still travelled from
widespread regions of England to take part. As usual, the games
were one-hour duration.
The event was sponsored by billiards stalwart, Jock McGregor,
who generously donated a trophy from his private collection.
Indeed, this was no ordinary trophy, having last been presented
to that famous Yorkshireman, Leslie Driffield, for his victory in
the Indian Amateur Billiards Championship in January 1953.
Driffield, who was reluctant to enter this National Championship,
had been encouraged to do so by the Indian Association after
his win in the World Amateur Championship held in Calcutta
immediately prior to this event. His victory interrupted the reign
of one of India’s greatest players, Wilson Jones, whom he
defeated during the course of this Championship.
Fittingly perhaps, the trophy was collected on this occasion by
another Yorkshireman, Steve Crosland, who came through the
competition as the joint back-marker (scratch), defeating John
Carman (+70) 450-272 in the final. The other scratch player was
Dave Burgess, who lost to Carman in the quarter-final, but not
before he had recorded the highest break of the day with 123 in
his first round match. This was later equalled by Steve Crosland,
both players therefore sharing the high break prize.
Following his impressive debut at Bradford, the manager of the
Cambridge SC, Phil Mumford (+30), made another good showing
in this event, progressing to the semi-finals before becoming
one of Steve Crosland’s victims. In the other semi-final, John
Carman who received 30 points from David Rees, pulled off an
impressive 307-249 victory, including a break of 76.
This is the first time the Amateur Billiards Circuit had visited the
Cambridge Snooker Centre and the venue attracted a great deal
of praise from the competitors, many of whom will no doubt be
back when the Circuit returns for a ranking event in December.