Western Districts Invitation Snooker
The November 2011 Te Atatu RSA Western Districts Invitation Tournament was thoroughly enjoyed by spectators and players alike. The distinctive Geoff Makapa memorial trophy, blessed in a moving ceremony on the Saturday by Stan Kukutai with Geoff’s partner Pora at his side, gave the whole weekend a special flavour.
Following the official welcome from President Bob Pettis and the trophy blessing, fourteen teams settled in for two days of concentration, elation, frustration and friendly rivalry. Several of the players had taken part in the tournament between 1990 and 1999 when the original trophy went missing, so it was pleasing to see so many of Geoff’s friends return to honour his memory. Word had travelled beyond the original spread of written invitations and we attracted players from RSAs in the Western Districts and Birkenhead. We already have an entry from Te Aroha for next year’s event!
On Sunday, qualifiers went on to contest the main trophy with Bernie Steward and Bob Seath reaching the semi-finals before bowing out. The Plate final was between two Te Atatu teams, Simon Dawson and Naresh Patel against Harley Anderson and Keith Strang. Simon and Naresh gained the win. The trophy event was won by David Tauhore and Glenn Crowther from Birkenhead RSA, over Graham Ford and Darryl Reynolds from Titirangi RSA.
A special thanks to Bernie Steward for running the tournament as well as playing through the two days, always an unneeded distraction when trying to concentrate on the game. Also a big thank you to Dianne McKenzie for taking on the role of photographer for the event.
While accepting the trophy win, Dave Tauhore, a former Te Atatu member, made particular mention of the warm and friendly welcome always given to visitors in Te Atatu RSA, not just from the players, but also from the membership in general. At the end of the weekend everyone felt as though they were already part of this RSA’s extended family. With this in our favour, he said we have already revived one of the best snooker tournaments on the annual circuit.
The snooker itself was a sustained display of accurate and confident play mixed with the occasional small but costly mistake. The five frame final summed it all up as each of the players started tightening up and playing uncharacteristically hesitant shots. At the end of the fourth frame the black was potted to make it two frames each, the white ball felt lonely so then dropped in the pocket behind the black to change things to a three frames to one frame win. We all wanted more except for the winners who could finally take a deep breath.
I would also like to thank Vice President John Newberry for hurrying back from the Auckland District Golf tournament to close the weekend and farewell our visitors until the next contest.
BOB WOOD (Snooker Section Chairman)