Much has been heard during the month of challenges on behalf of Gray by John Roberts, who is now conducting the Gray tours, and Roberts himself has been in turn challenged. But it has come to nothing, conditions that are designated impossible being stipulated all round. Incidentally, Gray has made a break of 2,196 unfinished and has also made his twentieth thousand break for the season. This is somewhat reminiscent of Stevenson’s one thousand breaks of over 100 two years ago. But no one counts Gray’s hundred breaks. Next year Gray will challenge for the championship.
As will be seen from our tabular records, the Tournament at the Soho Square Salon resulted in Diggle and Inman sharing the £100 prize. The snooker shield was finally won by Harverson, the holder, and £20, for the highest red ball break, by Reece, with 228.
There was a very large attendance at the Green Man, Ipswich Street, W., on March 20th, when the proprietor, Mr. W. G. Hayes, played Mr. Ernest Smith, a well-known Balham amateur, 750 up level. Smith, whose best breaks were 43, 30, and 27, won by 16. Hayes’s chief contributions were 29, 27, and 26.
The return match between teams of four a side representing Stock Exchange Brokers and Jobbers was concluded at the Palmerston Restaurant, Old Broad Street, E.C, on March 31. The Brokers won the match by 3 games to 1, and aggregated 1,392 points to 1,297; but on the two sets of games the Jobbers had a majority of 293 points.
The second annual dinner of the I.D.P.’sa benevolent institution confined exclusively to markerswas held at the Hercules, Kennington Road, on April 2. During the interval the prizes for the I.D.P. handicap were presented as follow:First, Tom Nelson; second, H. Graham; third, G. Simpson; fourth, C. Holloway; special prize for red ball break, C. Norburn (66).
The sixth annual dinner and distribution of prizes in connection with the Press Invitation Handicap took place on Saturday evening at the Bedford Head Hotel, Tottenham Court Road, Mr. Sydney Pardon presiding. The vice-chair was occupied by Mr. Harry Young, president of the handicap. The winners of the handicap to date are as follows: 1905-6, E. A. Humphreys; 1906-7, C. V. Diehl; 1907-8, T. A. Edge; 1908-9, A. S. Galtry; 1909-10, George Reid; 1910-11, G. J. Groves.
The second annual dinner of the Billiard Professionals’ Association took place at the York Mansions Restaurant, York Street, Westminster, on April 2, when T. Reece, who presided, announced that he would become a member and present a prize for next season’s handicap. During the evening the chairman presented prizes to Bert Elphick, winner of the championship; Ernest Eve. runner-up; H. Furze, winner of the handicap; and W. J. Long, runner-up.
In the final for the Professionals’ Association Championship, Elphick beat Eve by 879 in 2,000 up. In making his last 1,000 Elphick averaged 22½ and made in all five breaks exceeding 100. In the first of the four sessions Eve also exceeded the 100.
Stevenson is going abroad for a holiday and Reece and Inman will respectively be playing in Australia and South Africa.
The Highgate Temperance Billiard Hall was opened on April 5 with a match between Harverson and Mack. It contains ten full-size standard tables by Burroughes and Watts.
Gray is with us and the boy professional champion has been with us always. Now we are getting the boy amateur champions, such as Master Harry Taylor, of Bradford, and Master Jack C. Lister, of Croydon.
It is understood that Miss Ruby Roberts, niece of Charles Memmott, the ex-Australian champion, and who is described by John Roberts as the finest lady player the world has ever seen, will not appear in public until next season.
A match of 9,000 up for £25 aside for the championship of Liverpool, between J. Pearson and J. W. Collens, is to take place, play commencing on Easter Tuesday, April 18th, and finishing on the following Monday, April 26th.
Roberts signalized his return to England and to home billiards by beating Cook, to whom he conceded 6,000, by 18,000 to 17,409, and although scoring more than three points to two, he spent considerably the lesser time at the table..
T. Newman, at the Durham Castle, Finsbury Park, N., on March 13, in a match of 800 up level against Fred Lawrence, ran to game in seven innings, averaging 114. His breaks were 57, 163, 153, 87, 107, 109, and 124 unfinished, and he won by 627 points. On April 6, at Hornsey Rise, Newman also beat W. H. Sparrow in 800 up by 332, and made a break of 283 and another of 194.
Gray maintains his unbeaten record, and, according to the average test, should be able to give anybody one-third of the game start. His latest exploit is to play with bonzoline balls as though it did not matter, although bonzolines are just as difficult for his game, in comparison with crystalates, as ivories. Indeed, as The Billiard Monthly has already shown, the two different classes of ivories, followed by crystalates and bonzolines, mark four successive steps in regard to throw-off, and the greatest of these is bonzoline.
The final heat in the London Charity Handicap proper was played on March 16, at Mannock’s Rooms, Bedford Head Hotel, the finalists being J. Hobbs (rec. 100) and F. Scott (rec. 166), the latter having qualified at the King’s Arms, Peckham Rye, and the former at headquarters. The saloon was well filled, and a very interesting game resulted in a win for Hobbs by 46, including runs of 22, 26, 50, and 17. The prizes were duly presented and during the evening an exhibition 300 up was given by Mr. A. W. T. Good and B. Elphick, who won by 17 after conceding 80. The winners to date of the handicap have been:1903, Howard Stevens; 1904, J. N. Stirton; 1905, W. Hyett; 1906, H. Atherton; 1907, W. H. White; 1908, J. Turner; 1909, A. G. Appleyard; 1910, A. S. Lyndall; 1911, J. Hobbs.