English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Amateur Billiard Player : April 1997

The Amateur Billiard Player : April 1997

News from the editor’s chair

Photo of The Editor (27k)

The English Amateur

As the climax to the amateur season approaches in terms of the destination of
national titles, we have the unusually intriguing prospect of a wide open field for the English
Amateur with no clear favourite, as has been the case over the past few years. The preeminence
of players such as Causier, Shutt and Goodwill always made the likely finalists a
fairly predictable affair but this year we have the possibility of a new name on the trophy and,
by my reckoning, any one of half a dozen or more players could carry off the coveted title.

My tip is that Teesside will continue to be strongly represented by Tony Mackinder,
Darren Kell and the fast improving Paul Bennett who is enjoying good success on the ABC
circuit and I’d be surprised if those ever consistent ABC stalwarts Steve Crosland and Peter
Shelley don’t have a strong say in the final outcome. Neil Rewhorn, whose laconic style and
effortless cueing remind me so much of Norman Dagley (and I can’t think of many better
compliments than that) has the game to upset anyone as his impressive break-building
record in the Midlands Counties league demonstrates, and don’t forget that Welshman Dave
Edwards has now returned to the amateur ranks and is perfectly capable of taking yet
another English title. I had never seen Dave play until my recent encounter with him in the
ClU and he is obviously a class player with bags of natural talent.

Having now cursed all the above by tipping the winner to come from within their
ranks, an outsider will probably sneak in to upset the form book against ail the odds!

Whatever the outcome, we should welcome the fact that this year’s championship is so open
and while we await the next superstar to emerge from Teesside, or wherever, we should be
grateful for a big slice of unpredictability, just for a change.

Tom Terry

I well remember the confusion, speculation and many unanswered questions that
followed Tom’s decision to discontinue the BQR and we included a letter from Tom on the
subject in an earlier issue. However, I am now delighted to report that he has offered to
contribute regular articles for the “Amateur Billiard Player”. Tom’s involvement with billiards
and its leading players during the existence of the BQR and before has made him a
respected authority on the game and 1 personally always found that his observations about
players and match reports were perceptive and thought provoking. The billiards cupboard of
available commentators is not exactly bulging with riches right now and the game can ill
afford to lose people of his ability; welcome back Tom!

WPBSA and Billiards

I understand that Rex Williams is likely to be installed, if this has not already
happened, as the new chairman of the WPBSA and that a separate billiards committee
comprising, among others, Mark Wildman and Bob Close has been formed. Rumour has it
that tentative proposals have been made to evaluate the possibility and practicability of the
English Amateur Billiards Association., which this magazine represents, becoming more
closely aligned to the WPBSA as its formal representative of the amateur game. There have
been many false starts and failed initiatives in this convoluted political arena but the proposal
does seem to make some sense. My view is that amateur billiards will always be a very small
side-show for the WPBSA, and for very obvious and perfectly understandable reasons.

However, if this time there is a real and sustained will to let the people who understand and
have run the amateur game so successfully over the past few years then the two sides
should at least talk. The acid test will be funding and autonomy, I await the outcome with

The Friendly Cup

Although not a participant this year, I was delighted to hear that Derrick Townend’s
splendid initiative to establish a regular representative match between Northern Ireland and
an English team selected from the ranks of the ABC circuit has continued with a return fixture
on home soil this year. A full report of results is included in this issue and I’m glad to see that
Irish captain Davy Rogue’s legendary capacity for alcohol remains undiminished! Long may
the fixture continue and for those on the fringes of selection I can think of no better incentive
than the prospect of next year’s inevitably warm welcome in Belfast… but you will need a
strong constitution to enjoy the crack!

Local News/Contributions

Thanks to everyone who has submitted articles, letters, reminiscences, local league
news, etc.. I apologise if everything does not get included but we do our best, so please don’t
be discouraged if your bit is not in; we still depend on your input. The fact that we are not
short of material and are now in a position to cover such a wide range of topics is testimony
to the strength of the magazine and hopefully you appreciate how far we’ve come in a
relatively short period of time and look forward to your regular fix. From a logistical point of
view and until we get a more sophisticated printing mechanism (any sponsors out there
please?), it would help enormously if you could submit input in a format that can be
incorporated directly into the magazine without the need to re-key or edit it. That means that
articles and letters produced by plain old fashioned typing, by word processing packages or
anything sent via media such as diskette make our job much easier, I realise that not
everyone has access to technology and the last thing I want to do is discourage you from
sending things in, but please help us to keep things simple at our end if at all possible. OK,
soapbox session over; enjoy the issue!

David Burgess

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