Had a couple of hours with Wayne Holbrook at Silktown yesterday afternoon and played really steady. I was really glad to see Wayne stop potting and play proper Billiards for once.
He set his stall out right from the start to avoid Spot Red potting and to concentrate on all round play. He did very well his half ball in-offs are now spot on he hardly missed one, he did stun the ball a few times which missed balls but he hadn't played for a week.
He played some lovely cannons and his middle pocket shots have improved, he just needs a little work on playing the ball thicker to control the shot. In fact it's something I have only just realised that for the last 4 weeks since playing Norman at Derby he showed me a long in-off shot which he plays quite thick with drag and a little running side since I have practiced that shot which occurs frequently and allows you to hold the object ball in the middle of the table for another shot.
In fact since then I have started to improve again getting loads of high 30 breaks every time I play and just over the past two weeks several 40 breaks. I know I had several 50 breaks by simply potting the red off it's spot back in April and march. But I don't count them as they are simply not Billiards. Mark Carrington had several against me in the 40's red ball pot's any decent player can do that.
Wayne noticed I was playing the loser differently I had a 28 break which was entirely long losers all around the pink area. I didn't notice that I came quite close to the loser limit of 15.
I showed him the shot after the game and he simply could not play the shot. he managed to practice it and until he was hitting it regularly. He seem quite happy as it will give him some extra control of the balls which is what this game is all about.
I also managed to sneak out for a knock at St Pauls, Stalybridge in the evening Phil Vidler and Roy Nelson (Captains of both Teams) were having a game of Billiards I had spent an hour with Phil a few weeks back and showed him the half ball shots and he has improved I can see a distinct improvement in his game, he dispatched quite a few half ball shot during his game he managed to win against Roy who is also improving a lot since he has got over his illness and put a little weight back on.
I played Phil next off our handicaps he is on 25 I'm on -50 first to 100. I played really well it's a very tight table very old the bags are really difficult the slightest touch on the side of a bag and the ball pops out. I got a couple of 15 breaks and then knocked a really nice 48 I was at the top and just had to tap a red 3 inches into the bag again to leave perfect top with his ball just by the side of the black spot and guess what missed the pot by 2 inches. What an idiot!!!
Not only was it a crap shot but I really felt I could have gone on and made a really massive break as I was cueing really well. and despite the breaks I was still 4 behind. I went on to win by a lot 100-61 finishing with a 29uf. I was really happy and played Roy next game. I can't understand how in the next game neither of us could get going I won but it was a real struggle the balls never went into a decent position. God it's maddening this game buzzing one minute, hopeless the next. I suppose I should be happy I know I am adding a few shots and breaks every week.
Looking a my diary I can see a definate pattern of increased breaks, I have played a lot over the past month or so but this months breaks are 3 shots more than last month on average. That's only 6-9 points but it makes a massive difference to go from regular 20 breaks to regular 30 breaks is a big leap in percentage terms.