The Harp ‘N’ Shamrocks Club held an inaugural “Old Rules” 8-ball tournament at the club to gauge the interest of players during the off season. Eighteen people put their hands up and nominated for the fun competition whilst several others enjoyed the evening by watching and having a laugh with mates. Dwayne Boothey ran the tournament (which was drawn out of a hat) superbly and the only difficulty was encountered by yours truly – trying to watch two tables at once which proved to be an impossible task, so one table ended with results only, and the other with a description of all matches. Table 1-Rob Hannaford v Bob Gray. Hannaford broke, potting a big first up and followed it up by covering the top left pocket beautifully. Gray played safe, and both players were content to do the same for several shots until a real change came over the match when both players decided to “go for it” and were potting at least one ball each visit to the table. An unlucky in-off by Hannaford saw Gray with two shots and he potted his remaining smalls but the black jawed, and Hannaford potted out. On table two Chris Mayes (Jnr) won an entertaining match against Julian Simmonds by one ball.
Terry Young broke in his match against Steve Brooks, nothing down, and Brooks potted two bigs before playing safe and both players were very cautious until Young exploded by potting three straight and then applying a great snooker which everyone present thought was beyond Brook’s capabilities. Brooks proved us all wrong by getting out of the snooker and made it very hard for his opponent who fouled, and the resulting two shots gave Brooks the chance to apply a stranglehold on the game which he did by potting three straight and then playing safe. Young played a great snooker on Brooks who then played an even better shot to apply a reverse snooker, and the resulting foul saw Brooks pot his remaining two bigs and apply another snooker which won him the game due to a brilliant approach shot to the top left pocket with the black. On table two Steve Warren had the fright of his life from Richard McEvoy – winning by just one ball in a long game.
Donny Boyd broke in his match against Bailey Jones but didn’t pot one, and Jones wisely potted a small to start proceedings then played a nice shot to cover the top right pocket. Boyd is never out of a game for too long and potted his first big straight after, followed by a nice block shot to the centre right pocket. Both players then played safety for a couple of shots until Jones potted three straight, putting the pressure on, then Boyd played a great cover shot over the top left pocket, and things were looking grim for the “young gun”, especially after an attempted soft shot fell short – luckily for him Boyd didn’t ask for a foul snooker and missed a golden opportunity to close out the match and it became a real tactical battle until finally Boyd potted his last big but followed it in. From the resulting two shots Jones potted three bigs, then the black to win an entertaining match. Ged Palmer won his match against John Fowler by a couple of balls on table two.
Warren Macdonald was up next against Dwayne Boothey and both seemed a tad out of touch at first with Boothey having potted two bigs and having a cover on the top left pocket after four visits to the table whilst Macdonald achieving a nice cover over the bottom right pocket before potting two and then covering the bottom left pocket to gain a real advantage. Once again players reverted to cautious play for several visits to the table before the whole game changed and both players “went for it” with Macdonald potting two, Boothey three, Macdonald two more before going in-off. Boothey potted one then played a deliberate foul and from the resulting two shots Macdonald potted his last small, the black was run towards the now vacant top left pocket with one shot remaining but his white cannoned into another ball and went in-off – gifting Boothey the match. On table two Chris Mayes (jnr) had a battle on his hands with Peter Brooks but held on to win a tight game.
Jesse Marsland broke against his mum Leanne Marsland and seemed over-awed in this his first singles competition, taking awhile to “settle in”and Leanne broke away early, having potted five smalls and set another over the top left pocket to Jesse’s one, but to the young fellow’s credit he fought back and potted three in a row at one stage then played a very cunning snooker. Leanne got out of it but had an unlucky in-off and it seemed the young man might steal the match in the end until a poor shot at the wrong moment put paid to that idea, and Leanne cleaned up in good fashion. The match on table two saw Steve Brooks play this year’s singles champion in Steve Warren and a very long match was played out with Brooks winning by one ball in the end.
Jordan Boothey played Jock Boyd and this game was entertaining with Boyd in a jovial mood which made for lots of laughter for the players, umpire, and crowd, and it was also very close with the game being neck and neck until Boothey made a critical error. Boyd was on song, but unfortunately snookered himself behind the black with just one big remaining, and with the two shots Boothey potted his last three plus the black and a star was born. Table two saw the Hannaford brothers up against each other, with Mick breaking and Rob cleaning up in very nice fashion.
Dwayne Boothey broke against Leanne Marsland and again nothing went down off the break which seems to be a disturbing trend of late, Marsland tried to play safe and Boothey was away by potting a big then went in-off. From the two shots Marsland started proceedings with a very nice cut to the left centre pocket, potted another, then played a great safety shot to make things difficult for her opponent. Neither of these players are renowned for playing safe for too long and Marsland made the first real error and Boothey potted four straight, then a lovely approach shot on the black jawed, and Marsland played a truly brilliant shot to cover the black and make it real awkward for her opponent. More tension followed until Marsland played too soft at the ball covering the black, foul snooker, Boothey took his chance gratefully to win a good game. Table two saw Ged Palmer fight hard to beat Chris Mayes (jnr) by one ball.
Jordan Boothey went in-off on the break against Bailey Jones who potted three smalls, Boothey potted two, Jones potted two as the “young guns” went at it. A lucky snooker from Boothey saw Jones play one of the very best swerve shots I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing, and from that point the game became a real cat and mouser – good to watch, Boothey applying three snookers in a row and Jones got out of them all but set Boothey up on his last shot and he potted three straight, Jones missed one he should’ve got and bang – all over – the likeable young man was truly making a statement. On table two Rob Hannaford ended Steve Brook’s formidable run in a classic.
Jordan Boothey played dad Dwayne for a spot in the final – went in-off again on the break and Dwayne didn’t give him a look in after that, racing down to the black in ominous fashion and winning comfortably. Table two’s preliminary final between Rob Hannaford and Ged Palmer was also a quick game with both players going for it – the difference being Hannaford touched balls he shouldn’t have on at least two occasions with his hand and Palmer won through to the final by a couple.
The final was the best of three – Palmer broke, potted a small-Boothey also potted one, Palmer potted two, Boothey played safe. Palmer looked in control until an unlucky in-off gave Boothey a sniff and he responded brilliantly, potting four straight – to which Palmer played a great snooker. Boothey gave him a deliberate foul, Palmer gleefully potted two then inexplicably missed one he should’ve potted and Boothey was on the board. Game two – Boothey broke, nothing down, Palmer potted a big each of the first three visits he had to the table while Boothey had to be content to bide his time and when it came he grasped it with both hands, potting two, then three in consecutive visits. These two fine combatants gave their all and the game slowed down a tad with both players making it down to the black, but it was an unlucky Ged Palmer who went in-off on the black to give Boothey the match 2-0. This competition will run each fortnight at The Harp ‘N’ Shamrocks.