Friday, April 27, 2012

Minigolfer's Bar Billiards side-tournament in Worthing

Bar Billiards at The Swan pub in Worthing

Following the conclusion of the practice session for the BMGA British Masters minigolf tournament at Splash Point Mini Golf in Worthing, attention turned to the evening’s side-game entertainment.

‘Traditional’ events for us to play while away on tour include Air Hockey & Tat Challenges, but in Worthing a group of us decided to hunt out a Bar Billiards table for a mini-competition.

I had used the excellent Bar Billiards table map resource at AEBBA to locate a number of pubs and tables in the area and we decided to pay The Swan Inn on the High Street a visit.

Bar Billiards at The Swan in Worthing - The well lit and nicely positioned table

We arrived and immediately saw the table in a good location to the left of the entrance. We ordered our drinks and decided on a format for the matches. The pub is a competition table and according to the notice board next to the table it's a location for matches in the Worthing & District Bar Billiards League.

Bar Billiards at The Swan in Worthing - the rules & league information

In the first match-up Chris ‘Who’ Harding of the Midlands Minigolf Club took on Scott ‘Donkey Gringo’ Lancley of the Kent Minigolf Club. Both players had played the game before, but neither had picked up a Bar Billiards cue in a number of years. After a quick rules reminder the game was underway and Chris built-up an early lead against Scott. The final result of the match was a 1,550 to 460 win to Chris, cleaning up the last two balls so no sudden-death shot was required.

Bar Billiards at The Swan in Worthing
Chris lines-up a shot in his match against Scott

My opponent was Paul ‘Johnson Paul Johnson’ Johnson who would be playing his first-ever game of Bar Billiards. In a very closely fought match-up there were quite a few white pegs knocked over by me before the final shoot-out. The final ball available was the red, but unfortunately for Paul the scores stood at 870 to 460 at the shoot-out stage and even if he had sunk the red he’d have only managed to reach 860.

Scott in action as Paul looks on

The third/fourth place play-off match saw Donkey Gringo take on The Johnson. Paul did manage to score 200 with his last shot, but it wasn’t enough to win and the game ended with a score-line of 710 to 520 in Scott’s favour.

Chris takes on a sudden-death shoot-out shot

Paul 'Johnson Paul Johnson' Johnson takes on a sudden-death shoot-out shot

The final match was a battle between me and Chris and saw me receive a new Bar Billiards nickname – The Black Peg – due to my innate ability to wipe out a half-decent break by knocking over the dreaded black peg. The final was won by Chris 840 to 700 to make him the side-tourney champion of Worthing.

The evening also saw the official handing over of the Midlands Minigolf ClubCaptain’s armband to Paul ‘The Overtaker’ Johnson who takes charge of the MMGC from departing Captain Chris ‘Who’ Harding, who has led the team for a number of years and captained the MMGC to national tournament victory in the 2008 BMGA British Club Championships in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The Captaincy Handover for the Midlands Minigolf Club

A shell-shocked Paul 'The Capitan' Johnson with his new MMGC Captain's armband

Following the Singles contest a Doubles match saw me and Scott reprise our team from last year's BMGA British Doubles Championships as ‘Team Sqonkey’ to face-off against Paul and Chris, who were known as ‘The Capitans’.

With Scott carrying our team we picked up the win 560 to nil after The Capitans had wiped-out a score of 350 in the sudden-death shoot-out at the 200-hole. In this match we had decided that each team had to go for the 200-hole on the final shot.

I play a shot

The Swan Inn was a nice spot to spend a Saturday night and there was a DJ and Disco going on, which provided a nice soundtrack to the competition. It’s also the first time I’ve played a game (of Bar Billiards, or anything) to the song “Nellie the Elephant”!!!


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