English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Billiard Monthly : September, 1911

The Billiard Monthly : September, 1911

Lindrum-Reece’s Return—Amateur Form in Australia

(Special to The Billiard Monthly.)

MELBOURNE, July 27

Much against the advice of a majority of Australasian
billiard opinion, Fred Lindrum, the youthful champion of
Australia, has refused a very tempting offer from Messrs.

Burroughes & Watts to take part in the next big tournament
at Soho Square. It is, however, to Lindrum’s distinct
credit that financial considerations had nothing to do
with the declining of the honour offered to him by the
Soho Square firm. Fred has made a very big reputation
among Australian sportsmen solely by the aid of the bonzoline
ball, and he is afraid that going on to ivory with very
little practice, if any at all, would seriously damage the
reputation he is so proud to hold. As Lindrum explained to
me, he has never played a match with ivory balls in his
life, and he is a good enough billiardist to know that a
change to ivory after a life-long experience with the bonzoline
exclusively would have disastrous results to his game
for a time. The Australian champion is particularly anxious
that the success of his first tour in England should not be
jeopardized through playing under conditions which are
totally unfamiliar. He fully appreciates and values the
honour paid him by Messrs. Burroughes & Watts, and it
is with extreme regret he has been compelled to decline
the offer.

All the same, Lindrum is still firm in his intention to
visit England during the approaching billiard season, but
will go home as a “free agent.” He has already fixed up
with Reece for six weeks’ play at home, and has approached
me to arrange a programme for him that will carry him
through an English season. Lindrum, however, cannot
arrive in London before the middle or end of October, as
he has engagements here which will carry him into the
early days of September. Should the Australian champion
go home, as seems very probable as I write, his visit will
give a decided fillip to the game. Lindrum is a most attractive
player to watch, being a quick scorer and possessing a
beautiful cue action. He is a wonderful losing hazard
striker. Not such a dominant scoring force as his younger
countryman, George Gray, but a much prettier player and
in advance of Gray in those smashing long raking shots
into the top pockets that never fail to arouse interest among
spectators. Curiously enough, Lindrum, when on a red
ball effort, makes as much use of the top as the centre
pockets, which is in marked contrast to the methods of
Gray. Fortunately, and I say it with some trepidation,
Lindrum realizes that the days of the long runs off the red
are practically numbered, in England at any rate, and when
he goes home it will be to play the three ball game of which
he is indisputably the finest exponent ever turned out by
Australia.

Reece, who grows more in favour with the Australians
the longer he stays, has felt himself obliged to curtail his
tour by a fortnight owing to receipt of disquieting news
regarding his wife’s health. The return trip to Sydney—
thanks to the courtesy and kindness of Messrs. Alcock and
Stevenson and Lindrum—has been cancelled, and Reece
and myself sail by the Orient liner “Oronto” from Melbourne
on August 9, and are due in London on September
11 or 12. The news of Reece’s hastened departure has
evoked the keenest regret on all sides, and much sympathy
is expressed with the Lancastrian in the circumstances. He
is at present engaged in a match with Stevenson here, and
though only in receipt of 2,000 in 12,000 is winning very
easily. Reece is playing brilliant billiards just now and
promises to pretty well dominate the situation at home
next season. At least, that is my opinion, based on the
marked improvement shown by him since landing in
Australia. Stevenson played the billiards of the century in
the season following his former tour in Australia, and there
are indications that the genial Lancastrian will follow in
the champion’s footsteps. Reece scored 579 in two successive
hits last evening against the champion by means of
breaks of 426 and 153, the former being a real picture and
a credit to the player, the table, and the bonzoline balls.

The amateur championship of Victoria was brought to a
conclusion in Melbourne last week and resulted in the victory
a popular one—of Mr. C. Von der Luft. Arthur
Tricks, who won the Australasian championship last year,
was a non-starter, else I am afraid Mr. Von der Luft would
have been compelled to wait another year at least for the
honour. The form generally in the championship was very
poor and hardly up to our English standard. Only two
“century” breaks were compiled throughout the contest,
Mr. C. M. Cock, the runner-up, making 109, and Mr. B.

Kortlang, who was making his first appearance in the event,
108. It Cock, who is in advance of his fellows in the
technique of the game, could but reproduce his “private”
form, the championship would have been his a few years
ago. Kortlang is a very fine cricketer and may possibly
be included in the next Australian team. By the way, the
Victorian Amateur Billiard Association adopt a peculiar
method in deciding their championship. All the competitors
play against each other, the players losing two games dropping
out until only four are left in, and these four in turn
engage in a second American tournament to decide the
championship. Luft, the winner, and a very steady rather
than brilliant player, went right through the event with a
clean sheet, and defeated Messrs. C. J. Lane, B. Kortlang,
and C. M. Cock in the order named in the final round.

Cock defeated Lane and Kortlang, while the latter beat
Lane. The system is hardly one to be commended for
such an important event as a State championship.

Reece defeated Lindrum in short games at Castlemaine
(sixty miles from Melbourne), Melbourne Club, and Automobile
Club of Victoria (two evenings) last week.

Having persuaded Lindrum to limit losing hazards to 25
consecutively, Stevenson has fixed up two 18,000 up games
with the Australian champion, giving him 4,000 start in
each. The first game takes place in Melbourne, and the
second in Sydney, commencing on August 7 and August 21
respectively. Lindrum on form should win both games.

GEORGE REID.


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