On the 3rd of
August 2002 a display of Billiards was seen in Queensbury Conservative Club
that would have graced any venue in the world.
The recently crowned world
Billiards champion and a host of local champions took time out to put on a show
in aid of a local youngster who needs a high degree of care to offset the
effects of his disabling condition. The boy in question is called Ryan Jackson,
it is hoped that enough money will be raised to fund a trip to Disneyland.
The players on show were Chris
Melling the former world Eight Ball Pool champion and Mike Russell the current
world Billiards champion along with Steve Crossland and Mark Hirst.
As you can imagine short
Billiards exhibition matches do not allow these types of players to show their
absolute best and yet Mike made four centuries, one of them just short of a
hundred and fifty. Mike showed many glimpses of his true capabilities, with a
number of delightful shots. Including a long Jenny down the left cushion and
many short Jennys from hand. I was impressed with Mikes touch, once in
the top of the table position, time after time he played cannons, leaving a
perfect angle to pot the red and continue his break, in different circumstances
I have no doubt that a massive break would have been made by him.
Chris Melling made an
appearance in a game of Snooker versus Mike Russell. Chris potted some lovely
balls and made a fifty plus break, his opening red was worthy of the Crucible
Theatre itself. I spoke to Chris in the interval, he said that type of
long pot is one of my favourites, when they go in of course.
Another highlight was a break
well into the 120s by Mark Hirst, who seemed delighted with his effort
and was heartily congratulated and warmly received by the spectators for his
contribution, made as it was against such a high profile and distinguished
opponent as Mike Russell.
The evening was a great
success and a real treat for the connoisseur of cue sports, Billiards in
particular. Mike Russell showed what a true professional he is and also what a
The only dampener on the day
was the sad news of the passing of Jack karnehm, the former top Billiards
player and one time BBC Snooker commentator. I would like to take this
opportunity to express how we were touched by the news and to say that Jack
will be missed by those who knew him and by the millions who heard his voice in
the boom time of world Snooker as a commentator.
I hope that it doesnt
seem bad taste to borrow his own words, famously spoken towards the end of the
first 147 break in the 1983 world Snooker championship, good luck
mate. A minute silence was held in his honour.
Finally on a more positive
note, Brian Watson the organiser of the event in Queensbury, informed us all
that the target figure had nearly been reached with ticket sales and raffles
etc, so the event was a great success. The hospitality at the club was warmly
appreciated and makes me wish that this event could take up a regular spot at
the end of each season.