Bil­liards has it all

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Cameron Rowe wants to show that bil­liards can be a young man’s game.

The 20-year-old from Porirua works at Porirua Club and spends much of his down­time prac­tis­ing his tech­nique with a cue – at least two hours a day. In­tro­duced to snooker just six months ago, he saw a small group play­ing bil­liards, wan­dered over to ask what it was all about, and the rest is his­tory.

‘‘I never wanted to go back [to snooker], I knew straight away that bil­liards was for me. I ab­so­lutely love it, it’s tac­ti­cal and you have to have pa­tience.’’

Although there are a num­ber of ver­sions of bil­liards, the one Rowe plays is the most com­mon, in­volv­ing just three balls on a stan­dard­sized snooker ta­ble. Points are scored via ‘‘can­nons’’ and ‘‘in-offs’’ – dink­ing your ball off the other two, or try­ing to sink yours off one of the oth­ers. It can of­ten lead to a cat-and-mouse con­test as play­ers ma­noeu­vre the balls around the ta­ble, try­ing to get an ad­van­tage over their op­po­nent.

Rowe knows he is just a rookie – his high­est breaks are in the 30s, whereas the top play­ers are get­ting at least dou­ble that. There are be­tween six and 12 play­ers at Porirua Club on a Tues­day night – only two clubs in the re­gion play or­gan­ised bil­liards – and while he is the youngest ‘‘ by about 20 years’’, he be­lieves it is a sport young peo­ple should con­sider.

‘‘Any­one can be good at pool or even snooker, but this is some­thing that’s more tech­ni­cal – you’re think­ing about five shots ahead.’’

Rowe’s tak­ing bil­liards se­ri­ously. He knows the rules in­side out and is study­ing for his level one ref­eree’s cer­tifi­cate. He even has the uni­form, re­plete with bowtie, for tour­na­ment play.

At the end of Oc­to­ber, he will play in the Jim Couper Open, a national rank­ing event at Porirua Club. One of the en­trants is from Eng­land, lead­ing a sea­soned field. Rowe will be treat­ing it as a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘I know I’m prob­a­bly go­ing to get thrashed, I’ve got no ex­pec­ta­tions.

‘‘I think I’ll be the bet­ter for it and I just want to have a good time.’’

Cue shots: Cameron Rowe has his sights set on go­ing a long way in bil­liards, and says the older play­ers are wel­com­ing him warmly to his newly-cho­sen sport.

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