Saturday 10th November I travelled to The Galaxy Centre,
Torquay for the West of England Billiards Open . . It was an early start and a very late finish !! . .The top players were seeded . . With the 8 tables, I played 6 forty-minute matches . . won 3 and missed out on qualifying by 3 points . . not potting my partners ball to win my last match! . . But played and won the Plate !! . . There were several 100 + breaks with the good standard. I managed a 38 and 46. Also, on the 4th November I qualified with Terry to the Intermediate stage of the English Amateur coming second in my group!
On 31st May I attended the Walter Child Clark League Presentation Night to receive two trophies.
The Cup was for winning the Snooker Veterans (over 50's) played last December. A one night event playing in a one frame knock-out . . I had five matches to win the Championship.
The Shield. I had five round robin matches . . won four and lost one and scored enough points to make the final which was 300 up played in May. I had a couple of over 30's and a well manufactured 63 in the final.
The Billiard Competition is over 120 years old and my dad won it twice (1964 & 1965) for me
. . now I've done it for him!
The games were played on excellent tables at St James Institute, Bournemouth.
See you at the AGM . . thanks Mick Kunzi
Our very own billiard superstars John Mullane and Terry Azor made a special guest appearance at the Mottisfont Social Club, Romsey on Tuesday 15 May, each playing a 90 minute exhibition match against two Test Valley Billiard League players. The test valley players both received a 200-point start to help them against our talented duo!
John Mullane made a 73 break after ten minutes to stamp his authority on the game against Ian Hares (’Cannons Cup’ winner) and continued to mesmerise his opponent and the crowd with three-cushion cannons. He also made some fantastic red ball potting from distance to get himself out of trouble. A 54 break a the-top-of-the-table in five minutes towards the end of the game helped wow the crowd once more.
Hares is a long established player in the Mottisfont league, but has never been put under this sort of pressure before. He displayed great potting ability and once John had caught him up after 40 minutes, relaxed and showed that he has a good billiards game too!
Terry Azor played some superb ’short jennys’ from tight positions in his game with Kallum Tarrant (Scratch Cup winner), and showed great control with his losing hazards into a middle pocket from hand. Azor levelled the scores after the hour mark, then showed some great all-round billiards. Tarrant is an up and coming talent for the league. He shows great potting ability and is working hard to improve his billiards.
John and Terry certainly helped both players and there was time at the end of the evening for both of them to show some shots and talk about billiards in general to an appreciative crowd!
(Words from Korbin Lowe)
Thanks for Mottisfont for hosting the event and to Korbin Lowe for refereeing and Peter Green for marking
J Mullane 509 (73, 78, 53, 64) V I Hares 384 (28)
T Azor 406 (63, 54) V K Tarrant 330
Terry Griffiths Snooker Room
Terry sent me a questionnaire to fill in before we met to find out what I wanted to achieve from the lesson and going forward. So after talking to him about wanting to be more consistent in my cueing and checking if I had picked up any bad habits since having a few lessons with the late great billiards player Jack Karman, back in the 1990s, we travelled north to Llanelli when staying in Gower Peninsula for a holiday in November 2011.
The lesson didn't start too well in my wife's mind, as Terry said he thought billiards was "a little boring"! However, after half an hour of tweaking my grip and various things, he had me consistently potting a red off of the middle spot into the top pockets with ease. The main thing he changed was my bridge hand / cue position in relation to how close to the cueball I was getting. Previously I was too far away from the cueball with my hand, something I hadn't really noticed over the years. After changing this and a few other 'secret' pointers he was really pleased with the improvement in my cueing. I was getting through the cueball much better which helped with accuracy and spin etc.
The proof was in the pudding so to speak. After getting back home and incorporating all the points Terry had suggested, I was amazed at how much better my game was. In fact, making a 131 clearance at snooker and 136 at billiards on the same day was a real bonus! It did take a while to get used to the new tweaks during league matchplay and some of the Hythe Social players during a match said "what has Terry done to your action? It's terrible!" But it all came good after a few weeks of getting used to it.
Terry was such a gentleman and chatted with my wife and I for much longer than our booked two hours. In fact we stayed for over four hours in total. My wife looked a bit bored at the end and was desperate for a coffee and cake, so we thanked Terry for a memorable day. A wife can only take so much chat about billiards and snooker from two green baize lovers!
Our very own Terry Azor and Korbin Lowe, who have been regular players on the world billiards circuit this year, will be jetting out to Bangkok next month to play in the Thailand open!
Both players have had a great success so far this season especially with Terry winning the challenge cup when they played up in Scotland. Their results have seen Terry rise to 38 and Korbin 65 in the world for this year’s order of merit which also gained them automatic qualification earlier in the year for the World Matchplay Championships.
With players such as the reigning world champion Sourav Kothari (India), the world number one Peter Gilchrist (Singapore) and the current Asian champion Dhvaj Haria (India) playing in the competition is should prove to be a truly memorable experience.
Just as England cricketer Ben Stokes found out when he made his wonderful 258 against South Africa this year at Newlands ground, Cape Town in South Africa, these knocks only come along once in a while, so you had better make the most of it! Terry being a keen cricketer will appreciate the comparison, although there weren't as many 6 shots as Stokes played!
We started practicing on the wonderfully fast, left hand table at Chandlers Ford Central, and traded high twenty breaks for the first few minutes. It was all a side show however, as I joked with terry on our highest breaks - mine being 150 and Terry's being 151!
Terry then got to 50 odd with all round play and a touch of top-of-the-table to get the feel of his favourite table. You could see his relief when he got to 70, as he knew that he was cueing well for the Usher Cup semi final that evening. When he got to 102 we both knew that this was not a run-of-the-mill practice session.
When he got to 148, I joked again that he must go on and beat his highest. Well he did that, and then went on to make 10 hazards or more four times in the total break. In my humble opinion he only got out of position three times, and only played three bad shots in the whole 40 odd minutes it took, but recovered with some superb touch cannon play. When he got to 189 he just had the red ball under such control, that he didn't need to play any difficult shots, just in-offs into the middle pockets, pushing the red up and down the table with unnerving accuracy.
When he passed 200 I said, "come on, 250 or 300 now". He was even fielding his own in-offs on the right hand side of the table he was so relaxed. 250 was passed, but he lost my white, so unfortunately the magical 300 was out of reach. But on he went to the fantastic heights of 270. Even Terry remarked that now in his 60s he’s getting better. My late father at the age of 75 was getting better and beating his highest break, so it shows that with a little dedication and belief, that we can all get better at this wonderful game!
Terry's team mate John Mullane said it was within Terry to make another 150, but Terry couldn't quite believe him. Well after that wonderful exhibition I think a few more 200s are on the cards, and maybe even that elusive 300... Well-done Terry!
The matches were played over a 4-hour, non-handicap, timed format and some superb billiards was played. Mullane and Azor put on a fine display, scoring a total of 1762 points between them, with both men making centuries. Azor made his first, a fine 106, and led the ex-England amateur number one by 99 points at the two-hour mark. In the third hour, Azor still led, but this inspired Mullane, and helped by a 108, pulled away to eventually win by 136 over his good friend
Commercial pilot Martin Goodwill (some will remember his name from the 90s, when our own Dave Burgess had some great battles with him) played some of his best billiards against Terry Ward, and several who watched him said the Martin of old was back, but unfortunately he met the man in form Rob Hall and it was game over!
The semi final draw was made on the day, and pitched Mullane against Darren Kell, and Mathew Sutton against Rob Hall. The games will be played at the Joseph Whitworth Centre, Darley Dale, in the Derwent Valley in Derbyshire, over the weekend of 13th & 14th April 2013, for what will surely be a superb feast of billiards. We wish John every success
Hi Paul .. I won it . . the match (300 up scratch) was hard fought, with my opponent potting (and flukeing!) everything .. I was unwell, throat like sandpaper and nervous, but managed to win by nearly 50! No significant breaks. I am grateful to all the players of the Soton and District Billiard League. This marvellous win for me would never have happened had I not been playing in our League every week !!
The Parkstone Billiard League started in 1906, and like our Gordon Lewis Trophy, in the past this was the one to win! In 1964 I asked my dad to enter which he did and won, also defending and winning in 1965 . . now after 50 years, I've won it for him !!
Pics are of me with the shield and a black and white photo of my dad who also won two club championships the same year. The third picture is of dad still winning later on in life !! Regards Mick K.
Well done Mick, I knew you could do it and we love your enthusiasm in our league!
Mick Kunzi (Top) with the Walter Child Clark Shield
Our very own Terry Azor has qualified to play for the full England amateur billiards team. He will be jetting his way over to Northern Ireland to face sides from Northern Ireland, ROI and Austria in a competition played on the 21st and 22nd of November.
He was picked after getting into last years top 10 listing of amateur EABA tournament players – he actually qualified at the number eight position, so well done Terry! John Mullane also qualified but unfortunately could not take his place due to other commitments.