My friend was playing a Knockout 1/4 final at Oldham last night. Neither of us had been to the club before but we managed to find it in an old Mill in Oldham at the back of the bypass.
The club was really strange it was like stepping back 20 years to when snooker was at its height of popularity. The place was full. It was mainly Asian players but what a fantastic atmosphere everyone was just playing snooker, no kids or drunks about just snooker players doing what they do. Mark played his game and lost 2-0 he played average but he was thrown off my the table which was the nicest and fastest I have seen for a long time.
I refereed for them the tables were all Riley Aristocrats with shaved Strachan cloths and silver legs all brand new and stunning. We had already decided to stay and play after the game regardless of the result. We managed to get a table I had told Mark I was only playing Billiards this week due to the EBOS event, he is a good lad he understood and I have a sneaking idea he is actually beginning to like the game more than he would ever admit.
He set his stall out straight away with a couple of 30 breaks, he was playing with the spotted balls and of course being a touch player with a light grip the fast cloth suited him. He took me to the cleaners all night, I didn't mind it was lovely to see him play the game well, his touch around the black spot is great if just spent a little more time watching a few videos to understand Top of the Table fully he would be as good as anyone.
He managed two 40 breaks, 3 x 30 breaks and a few 15-20 breaks, I really struggled on the table I was scared of hitting the ball, as slight knock sent the ball 15 feet. The speed off the cushions was staggering I was a little disappointed and only managed a couple of 25 breaks. I just goes to show I really should start playing on some decent tables as you dont have to hit the ball hard just a slight tap does the trick, also getting side on was so easy the balls really took side as you didn't have to force anything at all.
I really enjoyed the evening I think next year we will play from Oldham it's only 8 miles or 15 minutes the clubs a little scruffy and there is no Bar but that doesn't bother me or Mark as we rarely drink at all. There are also some good players in the club including Michael Wild who we have both played he is about 10th in the Pontins rankings at the moment.
Anyway I know you read this blog so I will say it "Well played Mark that was the best Billiards I have ever seen you play. Keep it up."