The Gordon Lewis Memorial Scratch Billiards Championship 2012-13

Reigning champion John Mullane (Chandlers Ford Central, right in picture above) powered his way to another prestigious Gordon Lewis Memorial Championship Trophy as he overwhelmed his teammate Daniel Zagaroli 807 – 504 in the two-hour final at Churchill’s Eastleigh



 Reigning champion John Mullane (Chandlers Ford Central, right in picture above) powered his way to another prestigious Gordon Lewis Memorial Championship Trophy as he overwhelmed his teammate Daniel Zagaroli 807 – 504 in the two-hour final at Churchill’s Eastleigh

Mullane started the match with the yellow ball on the fast and true number one table at Churchill’s, and on his fourth visit to the table he made a 39 break to show his intent not to relinquish his crown to Zagaroli – himself a multiple winner

He then made 38 at the top-of-the-table, moving away to continue the break to 50, then returning to the top to push on to 82. At 93 he found his yellow ball touching Zagaroli's white ball, so a re-spot was automatically called. He took the break on to exactly 100 with a nerve jangling pot red across the table into the left middle pocket, when his cue ball was tight on the opposite rail!

Zagaroli tried to respond but could not recapture the free flowing game he had played against Terry Azor (strangely missing at the final) in the semis the week before. A couple of double baulks and misses ensued but this was just a precursor to Mullane's next achievement...

He gathered the balls at the top-of-the-table at a break of 19 and took this to a wonderful 73, moving away from the top spot when he needed to. Four delicate cannons got him back in position at the top, and he continued to another magical 100. More cannons took his tally to 112 and a fluked pot red, after a gathering cannon, moved him on to 130. He reached 139, and it looked as if a huge break was looming, but missed a close quarters run through in-off white, into the top left pocket thanks to an untimely 'kick'!

Zagaroli responded with a break of 42, but Mullane led by 364 – 71. With his tail now up, Mullane made another visit to the top, and a break of 80 was constructed. A run of 29 and 7 at the one hour buzzer gave him a 487 – 118 lead

After a ten-minute break the two players resumed their battle. Mullane took his run of 7 on to 46 (36 points at the top). Then after Zagaroli had missed on 8, he left his cue ball hanging over the bottom right hand pocket. Mullane measured up a fine in-off and pushed his yellow towards the waiting white. Disaster – he missed Zagaroli's cue ball completely for a 2 point foul! Zagaroli had the balls re-spotted but broke down on 19 at the top. 

Mullane then played a perfectly weighted drop cannon to arrive at the top again for a fine 64, followed by 23, to lead 621 – 149. However Zagaroli was also inspired, as he put together breaks of 47, a controlled top-of-the-table 63, followed by a 52 to trail by 685 – 345. He was making a great effort at clawing back Mullane's huge advantage, where other lesser players would have wilted completely

Then Mullane made runs of 21, 47, 11 (missing an in-off red into the right middle pocket from hand – unheard of!) and 16 to leave himself ten minutes from the buzzer. Zagaroli made one last effort with breaks of 33 (his cue ball ending up touching the red for another automatic re-spot), 20 and an unfinished top-of-the-table 38, to gracefully concede that Mullane "has learnt so much", and played wonderfully to win the gleaming cup by 807 – 504, with a match average of 20.69 over the 39 visits to the table

Aerostructure's late Gordon Lewis, who was a fine all round billiard player himself, and who the competition is named after, would have approved of the fabulous billiards skill on show – well done John and Daniel.

Semi Finals

The happy semi finalists, Terry Azor, John Mullane, Mike Kunzi and Daniel Zagaroli.

The semis were played at Churchills Club Eastleigh and spectators witnessed some fine all round play from the pairings of Terry Azor and Daniel Zagaroli, and holder John Mullane and Mike Kunzi

Azor started his game, but left the red ball slightly out of baulk in the centre of the table. You don't need to give Daniel Zagaroli that sort of chance, even early on in a match, and he duly obliged with a magical run of 83 which included 13 hazards

He followed this with breaks of 57 (14 hazards) and 39 (13 hazards). Azor responded with a 64 but could not stop his opponent leading by a huge 291-90 at the 3/4 hour buzzer

On the other table, holder John Mullane made breaks of 78 and 83, and with Mike Kunzi replying with two 38s, led by only 180 to 100 at their half way point

At the resumption, Zagaroli seemed subdued, as he only added a run of 29 to his tally of breaks. This inspired Azor who made runs of 64 and a magnificent 81, to give himself a chance of clawing back the large deficit. However Zagaroli was not to be denied, as he made a run of smaller breaks to win 417 to 293 at the 1 1/2 hour total

Mullane was not to be outdone by our ex-professional snooker player Zagaroli, as he made breaks of 57, 42 and 64. Kunzi replied with a 31 and 33 but could not stop Mullane from winning by 414 to 272, to set up an intriguing 2 hour final between Mullane and Zagaroli at Churchills next Wednesday 29 May at 7.30pm

Quarter Finals

Mullane wins through to semi final

Current champion John Mullane (Chandlers Ford Central) booked his place in this Wednesday's semi final at Churchills Eastleigh with a 'close' win over Paul Adams (Churchills Eastleigh) on Saturday 18 May

In the 300 up scratch format tournament Adams started positively with a first visit break of 32 and followed this with a fine 56, narrowly missing a run through in off white into the left middle pocket from hand. Mullane replied with a 34 but trailed the three times champion in the first third

Adams steadily built up a 90 points lead over the ex England amateur number one. But this inspired Mullane to compile runs of 34, 42 and 38. Adams took his point's tally to 176 and with both players loving the Churchills table, believed he could topple the champion!

Then it just had to happen! Showing us just how 'easy' the game of billiards can be, Mullane compiled what was to be a wonderful break of 113 unfinished to win 300-176. The break was full of delicate cannons to guide the three balls around the top-of-the-table. Mixed with some confident potting and forced cannons to send the first object ball around the angles to land back with the other two balls, it was a master class of how we should all aspire to play

Adams had beaten Mullane in the 2005 final with an 85 break, but Mullane is a different player now and it was a joy to be part of a great game with our league's best player. Well-done John

Gordon Lewis Senior Billiards Championship – scratch, 300-up

Mike Kunzi (Totton Rec) BYE

Paul Adams 176 V 300 John Mullane

Terry Azor  V Wayne Crotty (Wayne conceded due to damaged wrist)

Steve Allen 223 V 300  Daniel Zagaroli (50, 36)