35th BAPTO Blackball Pool Challenge by Liam Barrett


The 35th Annual BAPTO Amateur Blackball Pool Challenge Weekend 2011 kicked off officially on Friday morning last week, although players had begun arriving at Lyons Robin Hood Holiday Park in Rhyl the previous afternoon  and much pool had already been played before the competition proper began.

More than 550 players and guests attended the event representing the 81 registered teams and filled the camp accommodation. This is testament to the continuing strength of pool, despite the fact it seems to have fallen from favour with many pub companies and operators. The BAPTO is the UK’s longest running pool championship and is firmly aimed at the grass roots players that compete and enjoy their pool in pubs and clubs across the UK.

Each year since BAPTO moved to Rhyl, Lyons Robin Hood have improved the camp facilities and this year a newly built sports bar with nightly entertainment has proved popular with the players. New for the event has been a 14:1 competition with funds raised being donated to this year’s chosen charity, Help for Heroes.

The competition was played on SAM Atlantic pool tables, this year in a new, limited edition cabinet design. The SAM Atlantic Champion BAPTO Edition in stunning Silver Sunrise finish is available through Home Leisure Direct in the first exclusive supply agreement for BAPTO Tournament tables. SAM Leisure’s ability to customize cabinets, embroider cushion cloth and brand accessories takes pool table supply to another level. Hainsworth Smart cloth was used throughout and Super Aramith Pro balls with the new Pro Cup Cue Ball.

The Atlantic Champion Pool Table is the finest contemporary professional English pool table available. It features a diamond honed slate playing surface, a cabinet constructed in marine ply veneered with a high impact, mar and burn resistant laminate and strikingly contemporary but robust legs with easy level feet. The Atlantic’s professional secret is its aluminium extruded top rail and unique “ProActive” cushion system which provides the most accurate and consistent ball response possible. As well as delivering the unparalleled playing performance, this system makes reclothing easier and prevents any possibility of cushions being fitted incorrectly.

The BAPTO £11,000 prize fund was, as always, distributed well down the table to reward as many players as possible. The 2011 Team Champions are ‘Normans Snooker’ from Manchester who pipped ‘Fingers & Four Thumbs’ from Wisbech in the final. The Plate winners were ‘Team Europe’ from Leicestershire with Potaholics of Powys Runners up. In the Mixed Doubles, Scotland’s Andy & Shona Lucas edged out David Atherley & Kerry Griffiths from Nottingham 3 frames to two.

In the Singles events, Bristol’s Shane Thompson was imperious conceding only 2 frames in his last 3 matches to lift the trophy ahead of Sammy Donaldson. The Ladies event, with yet another increase in numbers this year, was won by Shona Lucas, Kim Carney from Basildon was runner up.

The geographical spread of the winners proves the continuing appeal of pub pool with team and singles entries this year from every corner of Britain. The state of the economy had lead to fears of reduced entries in 2011 but BAPTO were rewarded for their hard work in promoting Pool with numbers on a par with last year and universal praise from players for the quality of the event.

Comments (1)

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Super report, which says it all about the pleasure this competition brings to so many tallented, friendly individuals, whose talent keeps coming to the fore at Rhyl.

Nomad – White Lion Worksop lost to ACCA AA in Plate Event.

Karl Goulding
14/09/2011, 16:03

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