Report on 2012 Clubs NZ South Island Snooker Pairs Tournament
After three days of intense competition, the outstanding Dunedin pairing of Alan Gill & Garry Hale once again took away the title from the Clubs NZ South island Snooker Pairs Tournament at Club Waimea last week. Their domination is shown by the fact that this was their tenth championship in eighteen years, and their fifth in succession. Although the field for the tournament in this 36th year of its existence was one of the strongest in two decades, Gill & Hale went through the contest with the loss of only a single game. Runners up were the Papanui No.1 team of Brent Jones (himself a winner on five previous occasions) and Brian Dunn, who managed to take one frame in the best-of-five final. Garry Hale also took out the prize for the highest break during the tournament, with a well constructed 79 in the first frame of the final.
Local teams, consisting of nine from the Club Waimea and two each from City Club Nelson and the Nelson Suburban Club, strived valiantly against much more experienced players and all came away with at least one memorable victory over higher-ranked sides. Last year’s surprise finalists Gary Calderbank& Lorne Wells, representing the Suburban Club, nearly matched that achievement as they reached the semi-finals before losing out to Jones & Dunn. The best performing of the Waimea teams was Geoff Nieman& Peter Phipps, who fought through to the quarter-finals of the championship before going down two frames to one to a pairing from the Richmond Club in Christchurch. Others to exceed their expectations (and rankings) were Barry Weavers & Brian Comer, who reached the semi-finals in the Flight event, Clare & Mike Shanaher who reached the last four in the Special Flight, and Frank Woodhouse & Burt Gary who won the Plate contest – but only by defeating fellow Waimea players, Julie Dalton & Susie Hopwood.
Considerable praise has been heaped on the Club Waimea Snooker Section for their organization and geniality, accolades which are also befitting the staff and members who made the visitors so welcome.