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Newspaper Report 27th April 2020

It's rather dubious that a pawnbroker by the name of William (Bill) Kew ever existed. If he did it would seem rather tedious for him to remove the three balls from the sign denoting his trade in order to play a forerunner of billiards in his yard (Bill's yard) and using an implement which was a homophone of his name (cue). The most likely part of the tale is that he had a lookout for the approach of his wife. They exist to this day although the cry of 'mark her' (marker) has long been superseded by the more modern 'he's not been in all night'. It is, however, true that the words 'let us to billiards' appeared in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra.
I prefer the more unlikely origin of the game of billiards which attracted huge audiences long before the introduction of snooker, but which is played now by a relatively small band of enthusiasts. The truth is that the proficiency of the leading billiards players killed the game of billiards as a spectator sport. Professional players learned skilful repetitious sequences of play which led to huge breaks (Walter Lindrum made a break of 4137) an amazing achievement, but one unlikely to pack the next event.
The game is still played to a very high standard today and each player will tell you what a beautiful game it is.
Billiards still thrives in the Ryedale League, but the 30 minute duration of games has restricted the achievements of breaks approaching those of Lindrum whose breaks were made over days rather than minutes. In truth breaks over 100 points are rare but well received and the system of personal handicaps levels the standards between players.
In our current troubled times access to billiards tables in clubs is limited although the tables are approximately 2 metres wide and top referees do wear gloves. Why not resolve to try the game when prevailing conditions again allow access to tables. Any player in the Ryedale league will direct you to an enthusiast who will get you started. You'll develop skills that you never dreamed possible and age is no barrier.


Dear Player
After a hugely successful season, the current medical crisis has caused cancellation of our 'end-of-season' dinner. When we return to normality (and thankfully we will), the engraved trophies will be distributed. This will probably coincide with the start of next season and players will be informed when this might be.
End of 2019 - 2020 results will shortly be available via the 'Advertiser' or in the 'News' section of our website.
I would have been highlighting the contribution that Thirsk has made on their first season, not only in the provision of an excellent venue, but also as individuals seamlessly blending with our long-established league.
Should any player be experiencing problems of any kind, then Howard, Mike or myself should be contacted and don't stop supplying news for the attention of fellow players.
Hoping my stock pile of 'Coors Light' is not confiscated.
Stay safe.
Best wishes
Bob (Ledger)

Billiards League champions Harome B
Eric Wren Shield winners Harome B
James Dodsworth 4 a-side Cup winners Carlton Husthwaite
Len Hale Cup winners Harome A
David Rudd Top 16 champion Mike Durkin
Highest Break - David Greenlay (113)
Highest Break ( 100+ handicap player) Darren Wood (37)
Most Wins Andy Collier (12)

Snooker League Champions- Harome B
Snooker League Cup Winners- Harome A
Snooker Individual Scratch Shield Winner- Richard Turner
Most Wins- Graeme Strickland
Highest Break- Richard Turner (68)
Snooker Singles Handicap KO Winner- Toni Blackburn


At the start of the season, Bob Ledger and Tony Kingsley decided who would play first on home matches and, conversely, who would open on away matches. The Carlton Husthwaite Village Hall pair decided that Tony would open on Home fixtures and this scheme worked well until the door opened to Harome 'A's first player on Thursday last. Enter Jonathan Marwood, World No. 10 Billiards player and a man in the form of his life. Ledger couldn't wait to assume marking duties rather than face this Billiards 'heavyweight' who suggested that his appearance was due to the team being one short that week. A fitting substitute and one who amassed over 200 points in 4 visits to the table (49, 67, 39, 56). Tony has had an excellent season, but he, and an appreciative crowd, were left in awe of Jon's artistry. (There are videos of Jon in action on u-tube).
Ledger was left to face Dave Greenlay who holds the League high break of 113. Dave was jet-lagged from a holiday flight, but still made breaks of 48 and 37 to which Ledger could only reply with one break of 23 and two breaks of 24 which did creep him over the line. Wins by Village Hall's Alan Duffield, Toni Blackburn, Mike Durkin and Richard Duffield followed and the home team also took aggregate points by a mere 13 points.
At this point in the season there are only two more matches to play and Harome 'B' held a lead of 4 points over CHVH. No surprise then that the Carlton team retired happily to their local to speculate on the possible shake-up in league positions which their 12 - 2 victory might bring. Billiards Secretary, Mike Durkin, then received the Harome 'B' result on his phone. They too had won 12 - 2 with the affable Nigel Taylor being the only winner for the Wass opponents. Worthy of mention are John Thompson's victory over Leo Butler by 5 points and Howard Mayne's win over Darren Wood by a mere 3 points. Another round in the local re-established the Carlton equilibrium!
Snooker's 'scratch' competition saw the quarter finals played in Thirsk and Sowerby Institute's superbly appointed two table venue.
Mike Durkin 2 Paul Fawcett 1
Jim Greenlay 2 Paul Hogg 0
Richard Turner 2 Mike Alison 0
Richard Duffield awarded match by Dave Ambery (to whom condolences come from the league).

On Tuesday 25th February a winner will emerge following two semi-finals and a final again held at the Thirsk and Sowerby Institute.
Jim Greenlay v Richard Duffield
Richard Turner v Mike Durkin

Richard Turner and the Committee extend a warm welcome to spectators from the area who will be made most welcome. If you are a snooker player or merely a fan, a visit to the Institute is a 'must'. The snooker facilities are just part of the club ambience and an expansion in League play is envisaged.
This venue also hosts the snooker league cup final on 9th March when lowly CHVH 'B' face Harome 'A'. Such are the foibles of the game that the former club occupies a 'supporting role' in the League table under.
With only three more matches to play in the league, defending champions Wass hold a single point lead over Harome 'B' with Harome 'A' a further 2 points behind in third place.

RDBSL newspaper report 17th January 2020

With every Billiard League in the UK crying out for young players, the Ryedale League is fortunate to have three teenage prospects keen to compete. Recently, two of these gladiators met when Nawton's 15 year old Liam Wood played Harome's 14 year old Henry Marwood. The talk in local Billiard circles centres around how well these two cue and how Liam posted a score which established players often fail to achieve. As if one young Marwood were not enough threat, father Phil is to release 13 year old Percy along with brother Henry for Harome's forthcoming clash with Carlton Husthwaite Village Hall. I can reveal that none of the Carlton players are queuing up to be cueing up against these two. Hurry back 113 break Dave Greenlay; these two present double trouble when sibling rivalry hits the green table.
The thanks of the league go to Richard Turner and to the committee at Thirsk and Sowerby Institute for sanctioning improvements to their two table venue. A lot of imagination has gone into the project and the planning probably preceded the grandiose schemes which are in place at the Alexander Palace currently. Will a waitress service at Thirsk replace the 'help yourself' at Carlton, Richard? Billiards secretary, Mike Durkin, is keen to bring the Jim Dodsworth 4-a-side competition to Thirsk to be played under ideal conditions.
Having mentioned Mike, we must applaud his handicapping skills which were displayed to the full in Carlton Husthwaite's 7-7 draw with Wass recently.
The first four games read:
Brian Rudd 191 Leo Butler 190
Ian Rudd 188 Gary Thornton 188
Peter Wise 170 Gordon Thornton 174
Tony Fox 168 Nigel Taylor 169
The aggregate points went to Carlton Husthwaite (3 points difference!)
The non-handicapped snooker competition is proving a great success with many players welcoming the three game format The bumper entry seems to deny the cynicism that only the very low league handicapped players would emerge.
The snooker League cup shows just how unpredictable the game can prove with Carlton Husthwaite 'B' leading the table whilst propping up the regular league table. It's just possible that the two Carlton teams will meet in the final of the cup, but Wass and Harome 'A' may have a say in that.
League Cup (3 out of 5 matches played)
Carlton Husthwaite 'B' 14
Carlton Husthwaite 'A' 11
Harome 'A' 9
Wass 8
Thirsk 7
Harome 'B' 5
It's well worth comparison with the league places.

Tony Kingsley is no stranger to disappearing tricks, you've only got to share a table with him in the 'local' to realise this! It was, however, on Carlton Husthwaite's billiards table that Tony performed the rarest of feats possible in the three ball game. All three balls disappeared into pockets in a single shot of value 10 points. To break this down;
Pot Red 3 points
Cannon 2 points (player's ball strikes both other balls)
In-off Red 3 points (red struck initially gives the in-off a value of 3)
Pot White 2 points (the opponents ball also falls)
Exhibition players do set this shot up to baffle onlookers, but from open play it's rare in the extreme. The shot was sportingly acknowledged by opponent Charles Rivis despite the fact that it drew Tony level on points exactly.
Billiards is a superb game to play, but the vast difference in scoring ability between advanced players and newcomers can act as a deterrent for younger players. How refreshing then to see 14 year old Henry Marwood playing with Dad Phil for the Harome team. Henry has already recorded a win and is keen to play again. Wisely, it's a requirement that homework is completed first and offers of help from league players have politely been declined (for both homework and billiards). Uncle Jonathan played recently for the UK Billiards team and he may well be the next source of inspiration. The word is that he may even give start!
Also new to billiards is Thirk's Richard Turner, again snapped up by Harome and possessing a cue power which will soon allow the addition of billiards to his expansive cueing CV. Richard currently has the highest league snooker break of 68, but James Greenlay looks threatening with 6 reds and 5 blacks for a 41 break which should have continued.
Watch also for James Craig who has joined the Carlton Husthwaite 'A' snooker team and who has already taken major scalps. Snooker secretary Howard Mayne will be watching!

RDBSL Newspaper report December 2019
One never knows quite what to expect on a visit to Harome these days. Players are just getting used to facing 14 year old Henry Marwood, but 13 year old brother Percy recently filled in for his sick brother on the billiards table. His opponent was 86 year old Alan Duffield but age concern was not on Percy's agenda. Percy accumulated more than 50 points on his own merit in defeating the octogenarian. Percy played well throughout and each successful shot was rapturously received by the gathered spectators. There are all the indications of a forthcoming sibling rivalry!
That same evening, Carlton Husthwaite Village Hall's Tony Kingsley was hoping to produce a clean sheet for the first half of the season by recording his tenth win of the first half. His opponent Dave Greenlay looked like becoming his tenth victim until a fluke from Dave initiated a break. How big could that break be with only 10 minutes left to play? Eight minutes later we knew the answer. Dave amassed a brilliant 113 break which now heads the break table. It is worthy of note that Dave did not rely on specialised techniques such as top-of-the table or nursery cannons. Every person in the Harome Hall could have played the shots Dave played, but no one there could have pieced them together with such mastery of cueing. There were audible gasps at times from those watching.
Strange to note that three Harome A players are experiencing tough seasons. It's not feasible that the current form of Tom Marwood, Charles Marwood and James Greenlay will continue. All three are top players as is Norton's Mark Rymer whose smoothness of cueing is envied by lovers of the three ball game.
We stay at Harome for snooker results and congratulate Graeme Strickland and Steve Wood on their fine performances so far. Graeme has won all of his nine games and Steve has won 8 out of his ten games. In fact Steve is also showing superb form in his billiards matches and his approach has become very positive.
Slightly less positive are the results of Carlton Husthwaite B who languish at the bottom of the table despite fielding experienced players. They last fell to Wass by a 0 - 6 scoreline. Fortunately, Howard's axe has fallen and Snooker Secretary Howard Mayne has implemented revised handicaps which will make the second half of the season more competitive. Billiards Secretary, Mike Durkin is sharpening his axe at this very moment!
Thirsk and Sowerby captain, Richard Turner, still holds the highest snooker break with 68 and he has also suggested a league merit to establish the leagues top player when handicaps are removed. His initiative is applauded.
A very Merry Christmas to all players and supporters.