CIU National Individual Billiards Championship
The Final: 14th June 1997
Darren Kell v Dave Edwards
at Grassmoor WMC (Chesterfield);
Darren Kell might have been playing for
his first major title, but he showed no
signs of nerves, turning in one of his
best performances to defeat the
experienced Dave Edwards in the final
of the CIU Individual Billiards.
Having been considered by many
Teessiders as the local player most
likely to win the Amateur Championship this year, his defeat in the
first round at Nuneaton came as a surprise and disappointment
both to himself and his many followers. Confronted by no easy
prospect to salvage his season, he started this match in
determined mood, compiling 36 at his first opportunity and adding
an impressive 125 beak at the next visit, to put 161 on the board
before Edwards troubled the marker.
The contrast in styles was noticeable, with Kell giving maximum
concentration and deliberation to each shot, while the easy-going
Edwards was quick and fluent, appearing in position for the next
stroke almost before the balls had stopped rolling.
After five visits each, with Kell averaging 40 and Edwards a rapid-fire
25, it looked like being a classic. But the Welshman in
particular could not keep up the pace, experiencing more than his
fair share of difficulties with covers, kicks and unexpected rolls.
Meanwhile Kell was blissfully unaware of these table terrors and
after double baulking his opponent put together the highest break
of the match with a run of 146.
The interval saw Kell with a lead of nearly 300 points, but perhaps
remembering that Edwards had made a break of 219 in snatching
victory from Jack Medley in an earlier round, he started the second
session with the same intensity as the first, extending his lead to
over 400. Then Edwards had his best spell, showing wonderful
delicacy of touch in making consecutive breaks of 84 and 82. But
both of these efforts ended prematurely, with the Welshman
missing simple shots when in prime position – and worse – leaving
Kell with an easy opening. Any lingering thoughts of an Edwards
come-back were soon dashed by a 78 break from Kell, his best of
the second session, followed shortly afterwards by a 64 to put his
lead back over the 400 mark. From this point he coasted to an easy victory,
delighting the many Teesside supporters who had made the long journey, and
collecting the winners cheque of £300
Edwards also picked up £300 for his efforts which included £50 for the highest
break of the competition with his 219 unfinished against Medley.
This win continued the Teesside stranglehold on the competition, with the cup
returning to the area for the third year in succession.
|Session 1||Darren Kell|
146, 125, 50
|Session 2||Darren Kell|
|Final Score||Darren Kell||976||(24.4)||Dave Edwards||583||(14.9)|