The Woolston Lawn Billiards
& Bat-and-Trap Society

Not so much an ancient game, more a state of mind


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Disrespect was accorded to Clark

Posted by woolstonlawnbilliards on November 29, 2009 at 10:06 PM Comments comments (0)

A few things happened on the day that made quite a difference. One was that it's quite obvious that when you get a bit of skill up, scoring first can quite easily lead to a hiding-to-nothing, which although fun to watch for a bit, begins to pall as a novelty. For example bar a couple of slips each, Karl and Nic and Tim managed to hand out the pastings and all bar one were come from behind charges. It all started seeming a bit routine, which is the death-knell of any game, so it was proposed that the old style of turn-about playing was tried out.

By gum it worked! Turns out those old gaffers knew a thing or two. The games became more competitive and more strategic. Now putting the ball through the ring is accompanied with the consideration of how it will end up. Winning the toss becomes vital, as turn order between equally matched players can affect how a scoring advantage can be built and defended. Each player now has to achieve larger scores in single shots whilst actively preventing the opponent from getting a good position. So today, with more at stake, Tim and Nic each scored a ringer off the shoe and Nic got himself a double cannon from a ringer for three points(shot of the day!). The maximum off one shot is five points; going through the ring off a ball and striking the other two balls in succession. We've yet to see that, but I'm sure it can't be far off now.

Notable with the increased competition was the concurrent increase in swearing, gloating and gnashing of teeth. This can only be a good thing.

Leonard Cohen has Risen From the Grave!

Posted by woolstonlawnbilliards on November 22, 2009 at 10:02 PM Comments comments (0)

Yes, I realise he's not actually dead yet. Sometimes my pop-culture references lose control and start breeding in the sewers.

First up I have to doff my cap to the quality of the refreshments courtesy of The T Shop. A bloody fine Nagwar Darjeeling was enjoyed by all assembled. As the Tea Baron commented, it was dark in the cup like a second flush, but as delicate on the palate as the first flush that it is. Damn good tea, must get some in.

To the pain!

While I don't know the details of competition for the Tom Harrington Trophy to date, I will say that Martoon is looking to be the shoe-in for the season. As one of the Mighty Few to achieve two points from the shoe-off, and one who has pulled off quite a few shots-of-the-day he looks safe. Not only did he parcel out a pair of hidings-to-nothing, but the second one was a perfect game: 21 points in a single break. However, as himself has taken off with the score book to collate a results table... and hasn't actually got around to posting the damn thing, fact is, can't say. Who knows? Maybe there's a dark horse in the starting gate.

Speaking of which! Dark horse in chief Karl got shot of the day today with an oh-so-casually executed ringer off a single cannon. From a distance of three metres he lofted his ball onto the leeward side of mine and shot through the ring without touching the rim! Sterling stuff.

Let's face it: this is pure gloating

Posted by woolstonlawnbilliards on November 8, 2009 at 7:48 PM Comments comments (0)

There couldn't be a better day for play! I would like to tip my hat to CCC Sports Liaison Adviser Martin McGregor. When I was looking for a suitable place to set up a Lawn Billiards pitch, he suggested I look at Woolston Park.

When I had looked at the McCombs Memorial Lawns and preferred the lower lawns he asked me to meet him on site and steered me to the upper lawns. On closer inspection it proved to be more level, but since playing regularly we've found the location is brilliantly sheltered from the bane of Christchurch summers, the Easterly wind.

Today we played in warm, sheltered conditions and took a few breaks from the FIERCE competition. Yes it was FIERCE. I suspect it may have taken unexpected turns had the man with the GROG actually shown his face... As it was Tim Scandrett turned up. Tim was one of the FEW who had actually played the game in it's shonky and DIY state at my fortieth birthday party in 2002, and only needed a slight reminder of how the game was played before pulling off some famous victories.



Karl vs. Nic 21 - 8, a brilliant and well-played victory for Karl

Nic vs. Tim 21 - 14 to Nic

Karl vs. Nic 21 - 0 a hiding to nothing Karl, which included the Shot of the Day to Nic, making the ring off Karl's ball and successfully cannoning into another of Karl's balls for a four pointer.

Tim vs. Karl 21 - 10 in an even match until Karl missed a sitter and gifted a twelve point break to Tim who cleaned up. Last match of the day was:

Tim vs. Nic 21 - 20 to Tim. Just when it looked like Tim had flubbed himself to defeat out of the jaws of victory, Nic went and screwed it up as well leaving an easy one pointer open for Tim to pip the post.

Can one over-use the word 'stalwart'?

Posted by woolstonlawnbilliards on November 1, 2009 at 9:53 PM Comments comments (0)

The stalwart combatants Karl Hitchcock and Nic Farra squared off today in a no-holds barred trucco. Hmmm... no holds barred... the closest we came to grappling was talking about Mickey Rourke. However in a contest with some dizzying shots the trucco was won three chukkas to love by Nic, 21-12, 21-11 & 21-18. The number of long distance cannons, ring cannons and the mighty high lofted cannon were seen on more than a few occasions, as well as that rarely sighted wonder the two point ringer from the shoe.

Feeling Our Way

Posted by woolstonlawnbilliards on October 25, 2009 at 7:44 PM Comments comments (0)

25 October

The game is not only more than it seems, but the hidden skills reported by one who has observed the game close at hand do eventually come with practice. Drop cannons, going through the ring off another ball to long distance cannons; they're all being achieved. No formal play this weekend, just a few friendly chukkas. Surprising skills though seem to be the order of the day. Looking forward to the next lot.

Opening Day

Posted by woolstonlawnbilliards on September 7, 2009 at 7:32 PM Comments comments (0)

A report as written for the (non-existent) Woolston Standard, although that sounds like a jolly good title...

September the 6th 2009 marked an auspicious moment in New Zealand's sporting and recreational history, for this was the day that a few intrepid individuals awakened the old and oft-thought-of - extinct game of Lawn Billiards.

As befits a moment of such prestige the first 2 players to lift their balls in anger and hoist them at the ring were the president and acting vice (Nic Farra and Martin Phelan)

Whilst their combined skills could not quite match their enthusiasm, none-the-less an enjoyable and rollicking game of singles was achieved, much to the delight of the small but exclusive couterie of onlookers.

Much celebration was evident as points were scored or opponents balls cannoned out of the playing arena, and when the final point was won in the inaugural Father's Day Doubles there was even decided whooping and exclamations.

All in all a fine day was had by both competitor and spectator alike and One feels that this bodes well for the future of the Woolston Lawn Billiards and Bat-and-Trap Society.

Get Thee to a Booksellers!

Posted by woolstonlawnbilliards on September 6, 2009 at 7:14 PM Comments comments (0)

Arthur Taylor, games-with-rude-sounding-names guru and homeboy of the Woolston Lawn Billiards & Bat-and-Trap Society, has a new book out. Read what the Daily Mail has to say about it.

Preparation Tension!

Posted by woolstonlawnbilliards on September 6, 2009 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (0)

5 September 2009

Terrible happenings! The last of the outstanding equipment was picked up yesterday, including a ball made from Cypress. It CRACKED in the car on the way to the paint shop! Three times in all. However Bruce Irvine, master woodturner, turned out a replacement from Silver Pine in less than a morning. He tells me it has been lying on the ground in Golden Bay for years, so it won't be cracking anytime soon.