The B.A. Amateur, Stock Exchange, and Press Handicaps are in progress; the two former at Messrs. Orme & Sons, and the latter at the Palmerston Restaurant. The Navy and Army Billiards Championship, promoted by Messrs. Thurston, is also in progress, and the London Charity Tournament is proceeding in its various sections.
In the Billiard Association Amateur Handicap (500 up) the winners of heats have been, in order of date:L. Oxford, Col. S. E. Atkinson, J. S. Stafford (2), H. Norris, H. Bessemer Wright, G. J. Calder (2), “Clarkson” (2), E. Eumorfopoulos, E. H. S. Berridge (2), A. C. Edwards (2), S. S. Fewings L. B. Withers (2), J. Kingsley T. A. Edge, C. H. Barber, and H. Gresham.
Amongst the winners of heats in the second round of the Stock Exchange Handicap have been:P. Wood, C. T. Golding, P. Harwitz, W. Fielding, H. C. Alderton, L. Heimerdinger, R. E. Rutter, D. Ingram, N. Millem, R. G. Candy, W. S. Townshend, C. Camroux, C. Coverton, C. Glassborow, S. H. Kittoe, E. Henderson, P. L. Shubrook, A. Humfrey, R. Saunders, S. Burn, C. E. Warre, G. Baker, H. P. Smith, E. A. Simpson, R. Regensburg, A. L. Hubbuck, C. Robeson, and R. J. Bullett. The flying handicap was won by W. Lewis (rec. 30).
The New Year Handicap of the Globe Club was brought to a conclusion on January 22. The heats were 200 up, and 64 players competed for four valuable prizes. Final scores were:Mr. J. Hare (rec. 68), 200; Mr. F. Eason (rec. 30), 164. The Committee Cup Competition, open to 128 players at one guinea each, starts on February 5.
The most prominent absentees from the Amateur Championship this year are:Mr. G. Heginbottom, Mr. H. G. Nutt, and Mr. E. H. Hinds.
In connection with the installation of a new Burroughes & Watts table in the Central Hotel, Edinburgh, two exhibition matches of 800 points up were played between Tom Aiken and Major Fleming (rec. 300). Aiken won both games, in the afternoon by 800 to 771, and in the evening by 800 to 745.
The entry list for the Amateur Championship of Scotland is a record one of 16, and includes Mr. Forrest, of Kilmarnock, Mr. R. Blair, Mr. Croneen, and Mr. Malcolm Smith. The event will be decided in Glasgow for the first time. The holder, Major H. L. Fleming, will not play through the competition, but holds to his right to meet the winner of the final. The first heats will commence on Monday, February 5.
Mr. J. Bailey, Penzance, the holder, and Mr. Robt. Thomas, Penzance, met at Penzance on January 12 in the final of 1,000 up of the amateur championship of Cornwall, which Bailey won with 1,000 to 994.
Mr. Alfred Jordan, who has just returned from a draught playing tour round the world, and recently won the Scottish championship, beating all comers, played a game of billiards at the Histon Institute on January 18 on a table with standard pockets and made a break of 160.
Amateur cueists will claim attention in the Liverpool district for the next six weeks. The campaign has been opened with the Liverpool and District Amateur Championship. There are 16 entrants, and the majority are well-known personalities in the local billiard world. Indeed no fewer than five of the competitors played in the first amateur championship decided in Liverpool in the year 1892.
The third of the series of matches between Stevenson and Gray commences at Caxton Hall on February 5, and is rendered more interesting from the fact that Stevenson wagers £100 to £150 on the result, which has been accepted on behalf of Gray.
Messrs. Burroughes & Watts furthermore promise £200 to the winner of this third match. The first of the three contests yielded to Stevenson 17,364 and 17,229 points respectively, against Gray’s 18,009 on each occasion. Consequently the £1,000 stake money was handed over to Gray, who also took 60 per cent. of the gate receipts.
On February 12 an interesting match with novel conditions commences at Leicester Square, between Diggle and Inman. The stakes are £50 on each side, with an additional £25 on the number of 300 breaks and also on the aggregate points scored by breaks of 100 upwards, The game is to be 16,000 level. Playing at Leicester Square at the beginning of the month, Diggle averaged 222 in the Wednesday afternoon session against Elphick’s total of 15 points.
Gray has been playing more strongly against Diggle and Tothill than he did against Stevenson, and has made several big breaks during the month. In practice he is said to have passed the 1,000.
Playing against Inman at Leicester Square, Stevenson made three breaks of over 100 in succession on January 26, and on January 27 made over 1,000 at each of the two sessions. Notwithstanding this, he finished the week 2,307 behind schedule in a game of 18,000 in which he was conceding 2,000. Amongst Inman’s good play was a sequence of 46 close cannons, which is something apart from his usual methods. At the evening session on January 25, Inman averaged 120.
W. Smith, jun., of Darlington, is prepared to play any of the following for £50 or £100 aside, 8,000 or 16,000 points up on level terms with 2 1/16 in. bonzoline balls:Mack, Harris, Elphick, Pindar, Raynor, Rimmer, Pearson, or Collens.
T. Newman, playing at Glasgow against Duncan on January 2, made his record break of 403 under standard conditions, ivory balls being also used. Newman is engaged to John Roberts for three years from January 29, and hopes at the end of his engagement to play for the championship.
There is to be a return match of 8,000 up for £50 aside at Darlington between E. C. Breed, Derby, and W. Smith, Darlington. In the previous match, which ended on January 6, Smith won by 8,000 to 6,149.
Lindrum has made a great show in two matches against Reece (who nevertheless played brilliantly in the London encounter), but failed unaccountably against Inman. These marked differences of form by the same player on different occasions are amongst the most peculiar phases of billiard playing.
As Stevenson is not defending the championship title this year on the score of health, Inman and Reece will contest the honour in a match of 18,000 up at the Holborn Hall, commencing March 18.
In a recent match for £25 aside, T. Tothill, we are informed, scored 347, 286, and 205 in succession on a standard table.
W. H. Sparrow and H. Holliwell will commence a week’s money match at Messrs. Burroughes & Watts’s, Soho Square, on March 18.