In the early part of this month there will be what may be termed” grand billiards “in London, for Stevenson meets Gray level at the Holborn Hall, and Reece and Inman meet in a level money match at Leicester Square. The Reece Inman match is the result of Inman’s general challenge, mentioned in The Billiard Monthly last month, and Reece has also challenged any man in the world, and especially Stevenson, at English billiards, on level terms, for £100 per side, the winner to take all the gate receipts.
When Reece was playing Harverson recently he commenced by carrying a suspended 13 to 297, and it was then discovered by Harverson that he had been playing with the wrong ball, and Harverson humorously suggested that as the break had been made with his ball he ought to score it.
Lindrum, the young Australian champion, is now in England, and will be entertained on the 13th instant at luncheon by the Council of the Billiards Control Club.
He has been practising himself into form during the month and commenced a fortnight’s exhibition match against local professionals at Liverpool on the 27th ult. On Boxing Day he will begin an eleven days’ match against Reece at Leicester Square, followed on January 8th by a match at the same place against Inman. In February he tours Scotland and meets there the Scottish champion, Aiken.
Thus far George Gray has only been beaten in this country by Diggle and young Smith, of Darlington, but he has been beaten by the latter player two or three times. At Redcar, on November 24, Smith actually scored 1,100 points to Gray’s 498. On the other hand, at Darlington, Gray made 1,500 to Smith’s 346, and at West Hartlepool 1,500 to Smith’s 973. Gray conceded Smith 400, but the foregoing are the net figures representing the actual points scored. In the Diggle-Gray match, however, Diggle scored 50 fewer actual points than Gray.
In the next professional championship the winner will take half the receipts instead of two-thirds, as last year. The championship will again by fought out by Stevenson, Inman, and Reece, the two latter meeting in the first instance. During the month Inman has beaten Diggle by 8,000 to 4,126 and Reece has beaten the same great player by 8,000 to 6,933. Meeting Stevenson in the tournament Inman was successful by 8,000 to 4,205. Doubtless the previous play with composition balls by both Diggle and Stevenson had much to do with their low scoring on these occasions. At the same time such out-and-out wins have naturally been very gratifying to the younger players, who will, it is quite certain, be representative In the near future of all that is best in English billiards.
Stevenson reached England on November 10 after his five months’ tour through Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, in which he was accompanied by his wife.
The Jockeys’ Handicap, held at the Victoria Hotel, ended in a victory by 13 for the ex-champion jockey, E. Wheatley, whose opponent in the final was R. Stokes, who received a start of 55 against the winner’s 8.