A solid field of 24 contested the 2017 North Island Snooker championships held at Petone Workingmen’s Club 3-5 June.
Day one saw all competitors play 3 section games each and at that point all for sections results were in order of seedings.
The tables were playing fast and there was a steady procession of Breaks with 10 players contributing breaks over 40.
After Rain set in on Sat evening Sun was a different matter, the tables slowed and made playing a little more difficult. There were
a few surprises with Matt Scarborough beating Chris Maltby 3-0, Mario Hildred beating Harry Haenga 3-1 and Mark Hannah (the only
player not to drop a frame on day one getting rolled by both Peter Lesslie (respotted black in decider) and Rob Redgrove (3-1) to finish 3rd in section 4. Only two players went
through to the last 16 unbeaten Bayden Jackson HB top Qualifying and Defending Champion Matt Scarborough qualifying in 2nd spot.
The Last 16 was played on Sun afternoon with some very good matches. New comer Ian McDonald from CC taking Bayden Jackson HB to a decider in
what was a cliff hanger with Jackson eventually falling over the line.
Another mention was 15 year old Cody Turner who after dropping only one match in section play looked in good form against Mark Hannah before the tip
came off his cue and he was given 15 mins to re tip but it wasn’t the same and he was force to finish the match with a rack cue. To his credit he maintained his
composure but it wasn’t enough going down 3-1 in a match that was closer than the score indicated. (one to watch in the future)
Peter Lesslie and Craven Teua were also going to be hard to pick with Peter stealing his third match of the tournament on a final frame black ball. Its was
certainly his weekend for black to wins.
Bayden Jackson bt I McDonald 3-2
Mark Hannah bt Cody Turner 3-1
Rob Redgrove bt John Lancaster 3-1
Chris Maltby bt John Starkey 3-0
Harry Haenga bt Darryl Jensen 3-1
Peter Lesslie bt Craven Teua 3-2
Mario Hildred bt Ron Wilkie 3-0
Matt Scarborough bt Sunil Durga 3-0
In the quarterfinals looked a strong line up on the final day.
Bayden Jackson dominated the table against Mark Hannah and was on a 147 in his first visit in frame one when he had a chance to take his 10th black but opted for an easier pink to
ensure the frame was safe only to realise that Mark had fouled off the break so snookers were already required and as a result broke down on 75.
Peter Lesslie after leading Harry 2-1 let Harry in for a very good 76 in frame four to set up yet another decider. You guessed it another Black ball game and yes Peter stole his 4th match in what was a thriller.
Mario Hildred was another who was impressive as he disposed of defending champion Matt Scarborough.
Bayden Jackson bt Mark Hannah 3-0
Chris Maltby bt Rob Redgrove 3-0
Peter Lesslie bt Harry Haenga 3-2
Mario Hildred bt Matt Scarborough 3-1
The semi finals were looking tantilising. Mario Hildred was impressive against Peter Lesslie who while playing well didn’t have an answer to great tactical play and when Mario compiled an lovely break
Of 78 in the 3rd frame it was all over.
The other semi which promised to be a cracker failed to deliver with both players struggling. Messy ball layout combined with a lot of unforce errors saw a match that was hard to predict. At 2-2 however we always
knew that one player would have to step up at take control and on this occasion it was Chris who suddenly found some form and got home 3-2
The final was all Taranaki, Chris Maltby and Mario Hildred. Good tactical play by Chris meant he was in control early on winning the first 2 frames. Mario playing good consistent snooker pulled back the 3rd and looked good at 2-1 however the fairy tale wasn’t to be and Chris piled on the pressure laying some good snookers in the next two frames to run out the winner 4-1. This was great effort for Mario who is soon to head to China to represent NZ at this years world U21s. He can move forward with confidence after his Finals Effort at this years Oceania U21s and now North Islands.
John Hapimana bt Wayne Naysmith 3-0
Harry Haenga: 89 76 61 60 56 55 50
Mario Hildred: 78 48 46 44
Bayden Jackson: 75 61 57 49 48 43
Craven Teua: 74 55 41
Mark Hannah: 73 55 50 46 40
Peter Lesslie: 69 44 44 43 41
Chris Maltby: 58 56 55 47 46 42 40 40
Matt Scarborough: 56 56 49 48
Cody Turner: 54 41 40
John Starkey: 49
Ron Wilkie: 47 43
2017 South Island Billiard Championship
Results and report on 2017 South Island Billiard Championship
The South Island Billiards Championship was played on the weekend of 27th-28th May at Woolston Club, Christchurch
Ten entries was divided into 2 sections of 5 with a couple of players who had not played for a number of years participating for the 1st time for many years… we welcomed back John Fitzgerald and Rob Evans… both who have been playing interclub in Christchurch but not tournament play. Rob played with distinction over the weekend… Section play was over 1.5 hours
Section 1 saw Gary Oliver win all his games and Rob Evans play very well winning the remainder of his. A good win over Geoff Lilly ensured progression to post section play for him. Should be noted here also a good win for Peter Gormley who also beat Geoff Lilly for the 1st time in tournament play.
Section 2 had Peter de Groot winning all his matches… Lyndon Bradford and Peri Lilii getting through to a last section play match decider for the 2nd qualifier. Bradford proving to be the more consistent player and coming out on top. In this section also was Dennis McCaughan from Dunedin who travelled up to play, a member of the CBSA because there is no association in Dunedin, Dennis has travelled up and played in quite a few tournaments in Christchurch and always a pleasure to see him.
So the draw for post section saw Semi-finals of Oliver v Bradford and de Groot v Evans.
Plate quarters ( 1 hour matches) were Lilly prevailing over McCaughan 310-69 and Gormley beating Lancaster 150-137
Plate semi’s (1 hour) the evergreen Peri Lilii played Geoff Lilly with the Lilly (with a Y) getting up by 270-146 and Gormley beating Fitzgerald 142-111
Plate final (2 hours) was a classic encounter with the lead switching many times between Gormley and Lilly. A 45 break right towards the finish gave the victory to Lilly but it could have gone either way right up to then.
Main semi’s saw Oliver with the aid of breaks of 50, 51, 59, 57 in the 1st hour build a good advantage over Bradford, not to be outdone Bradford outscored Oliver in the 2nd hour of the semi but the differential was too much and the final score of 602-404 probably flattered Oliver.
2nd semi saw de Groot playing Evans. Unfortunately for de Groot early on in this match he broke the ferrule on his cue and lost his touch… a change of cue did not help and Evans was able to play comfortably throughout the match knowing that de Groot could not hold the table and break build as he normally does. Evans winning 577-228
The final looked to be like being a good one, Evans having beaten Oliver in Interclub this year and playing well. Oliver just starting to hit his straps a few weeks out from the nationals. Oliver got in 1st with a break of 79 and several breaks around 30-40 mark. Halfway mark was reached with Oliver leading by 250 points. Oliver then made a 40 break followed by a 116 break and proceeded to double baulk Evans. Oliver made another break of 70 later on and cruised to the bell with the final score of 701-261
The high break of the weekend was 140 by Oliver and this was his 18th South Island Billiards title equalling the record set by Dave Meredith.
A massive thank to the Woolston Club for the hospitality, CBSA and Bill Earle for the sponsorship towards prize money and the referees (Rob Merrychurch, John Fitzgerald and Chris Anderson) who turned up and made some old players (me for one) very happy to get a break from those duties along with playing. Thank you also to the players who entered, see you guys at the Nationals in July…
2017 North Island Billiards Championship
played at the Otaki RSA on 27th & 28th May 2017
There were several surprises in section play. Capital City's Mark Hannah caused the first upset of the Tournament with his confident win against Waikato's Darren Taylor. Darren Taylor failed to qualify. Capital City's Ross McNab now has the nickname "The Giant killer" when he played very well to get a victory against Derek Gibb (CC).
Local Lad Mark Hannah has always shown promise in Billiards, his Dad- Robbie Hannah, a wonderful Billiard player himself having been the Otaki RSA Billiards Champion 39 times, has coached his son in both forms of Cue Sport, Snooker & Billiards. Adesh Shekatkar flowed when beating Derek Gibb in their section play match. Another very popular qualifier was Russ Delahunty who also with his computer, recorded the results and set games in motion so his performance was indeed meritorious. Mark Taylor was also in a tough section, but he did play very well and earnt his place in the last 8.
Quarter finals (2 hours) had Zac Guya (CC) getting up against "Giant Killer" Ross McNab (CC) 351-198, Mark Hannah(CC) bt Russ Delahunty(CC) 353-273, Wayne Carey (AK) bt Derek Gibb(CC) 286-150, Adesh Shekatkar(WK) bt Mark Taylor(WK) 518-337.
In the 2 hour semi's, Mark Hannah stayed with Zac Guya for some time with Guya's experience helping him to conquer Hannah 350-256. The other semi had Adesh Shekatkar always playing better than Wayne Carey and the score didn't reflect the dominance Shekatkar had while winning 400-349.
The 2-hour final had the current Waikato Champion Adesh Shekatkar taking the early lead with the popular Zac Guya, a past North Island Billiard Champion, trailing most of the time. Guya's long losers weren't happening and these let him down badly but the reflection of the final score showed just how close the game became, Shekatkar winning 368-353 and getting his name for the first time on this time honoured "North Island Billiards Championship" Cup. Highest break went to Derek Gibb with a nicely constructed 111.
Adesh Shekatkar, originally from India, with a high tournament break in his home Country of 278, is an exciting prospect for NZ Billiards as he got his NZ Citizenship on 5th April 2017. His results will be closely watched when he competes in this year's NZ Billiards Champs at the Woolston Club at Christchurch in July.
Also worth mentioning is that the ... whisper is out ... that a few of the Snooker players will be dabbling in Billiards after this year's NZ Snooker Champs . a wonderful thing to happen and once they get the "BB" - (Billiards Bug) they could quickly climb the ladder and some may become "dual NZ Reps" which some of our "greats" have already achieved.