“Yeah Jack, the table’s a bit slow, isn’t it?”
Not that Dong Ming Lau was complaining by the end of his frame against Jack Lisowski.
While the world number 12 and six-time ranking finalist was getting used to the cloth, his Shottermill opponent already had a good lead in the biggest night in the Farnham & District Billiards & Snooker League (FDBSL) calendar.
An audacious double and a long blue were among the highlights of an unforgettable night for Lau as he saw off “Jackpot” 51-28 in the second match of the evening. Ryan Mears also won for the second year running, winning 70-38 in the penultimate match.
The night pitted the top break-builders and trophy winners of the 2022-23 season against Lisowski in an evening little on chat, but full of good snooker and memorable moments.
President’s Trophy winner Jake Burtoo had a dream start as Jack’s first two shots were fouls. The Liss RBL B player led 22-12 before Lisowski’s 59 break put the game out of reach, but Burtoo did pull off a stunning long red and superb escape shot late in the game.
There were laughs when Lisowski ignored the one foot on the floor rule in his game against Lau. Paul Lee, who did a fine job officiating the night, sensibly turned a blind eye.
Jack got a helping hand in his 79-38 win against Martin Pollock as the Hindhead player – whose 39 was the highest break in Division Three last season – lost his tip midway, with Grayshott’s Richard Thompson lending his cue for the remainder.
Thompson, who made a season-high 48 in Division Two, went down 121-1 before Mears got one back for the FDBSL.
Raffle winner Marc Lockley produced some nice snooker in an 83-31 defeat, while Comrades duo Ian Etherington and Rob Donohoe went down 65-35 following their winning £200 bid for a frame on behalf of the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Speaking before the event, Lisowski told the Herald he would “go for everything” and thanked the league for watching him and his opponents.
“I do enjoy doing these exhibition matches,” said Jack, who flew to China the following day for a tournament.
“I think the better you do as a player the more exhibition matches you get so it’s nice that people come out to almost see you practise. But obviously you want to impress and it’s nice to play against the best in these leagues.”
Roll of honour
Division One winners: Comrades A; Division One runners-up: Liss RBL A; Division Two winners: Fleet Broadway; Division Two runners-up: Grayshott B; Division Three winners: Hindhead RBL A; Division Three runners-up: Passfield.
Team handicap winners: Sovereign B; Team handicap runners-up: Liss RBL A.
Singles winner: Dong Ming Lau; doubles winners: Nick Booth & Neil Callingham; doubles runners-up: Ian Etherington & Michael Casey.
Highest break Division One: Ryan Mears (81); highest break Division Two: Richard Thompson (48); highest break Division Three: Martin Pollock (39); President’s Trophy winner: Jake Burtoo; President’s Trophy runner-up: Dong Ming Lau; billiards singles: Clive Jones; billiards singles handicap: Andy Brown.
Billiards league winners: Traco; billiards league runners-up: Sovereign B; billiards team handicap winners: Sovereign A; billiards team handicap runners-up: Traco A.