Bar Billiards

Bar Billiards Update – My Final Game of the Season…..


I have no idea how I got 3,600 people visiting my last bar billiards update about playing the Manes and getting through to the Plate Final. I assume that my two loyal readers were so excited by it that they kept visiting it on different computers. Actually, how on earth have that many people read it? Anyway, this bar billiarding week started for me on Tuesday when I turned up at the White Lion on Tuesday evening for my weekly training session with Zak and others. I’ve learned a lot of new shots from him and maybe one day I might actually be able to consistently play (or at least play it once) his signature break off shot.

The omens were good, I was undefeated on Tuesday evening playing four different players which included two in the top tier of the Norwich Bar Billiards league. If I was humble I wouldn’t have gone on and on about that. But I’m not and so I have. I was particularly impressed when Zak commented to me after a successful 200 shot that “that was the bravest shot I’ve ever seen you play”. It’s like a civil servant telling a Minister that he’s being brave, I thought that I’d better not be that reckless in an actual league game. It was my last Tuesday of playing for a while and I’ll miss it a lot, it was one of my favourite regular events. Playing in the league is good, but training nights are not far behind (they just don’t have the food).


Anyway, the game last night was against Cottagecore and we’re doing very well in the league and so a victory should have meant promotion, although not guaranteed it just yet. They’re one of the friendliest teams in the league I think, but I was horrified to be drawn third in the singles. This is a dreadful draw position as it’s when the food comes out. I’m delighted that Chay, who did very well to recover after our football on Monday evening, timed it perfectly. The Cottagecore kindly allowed us to have a break for food just before I played, meaning I was well nourished before the food came out. I couldn’t possibly play knowing that the food had just come out and I couldn’t have any.


Butter chicken and rice, very delicious! Thanks to Chay for preparing it and Oscar for paying for it.


My gameplay in the singles match was acceptable, but my specialist Zak trained shots didn’t come off and so I resorted to grinding some points in as my usual strategy. I will admit an element of luck here as it went to the end game and I managed to miss the final shot. Fortunately for me, their player knocked over the 200 pin and so I stormed to a victory that wasn’t entirely deserved if I’m being honest. But, a win is a win and I drank to that.


I was playing with the iron nerved Guy in doubles and if we won then that would be enough for us to win the entire game. Guy and I both lost points by knocking pins over, which is rare for us (very rare for him), and the quality of the other team was high so we were once again forced into an end game. Fortunately for us, the 200 pin was knocked over again on the final shot and so we got a victory. But they all count!

Here’s Roy in the above photo celebrating after the team’s victory. Incidentally, the brilliantly talented Guy nearly threw away a 1,600 lead and I’ve never seen him look so stressed. But only briefly, his man of steel look appeared back again nearly immediately. Emma did some shouting as well to add to the excitement, it can all get quite exciting this bar billiards thing.

Roy has excitedly (I may be exaggerating with that word) signed me up for next season, or at least the bit of it that I might be about. I’m going to attend whatever games I can, not least as there’s food available. And, I’m very grateful for having played this season as I’ve been travelling in previous years so haven’t been able to commit to joining a team. It meant a huge amount for Emma to invite me into the team and for Roy to find a space for me, that was so very kind as I was so very much looking forward to playing. I’ve surprised myself with my win rate (which I’ve rarely mentioned), but that’s the joy of having the cool and calm captaincy of Roy.

“You’ve brought us to the brink of greatness this season @Julian. Now we have to finish the job alone.”

Andrew posted this on our group WhatsApp this morning and I mentioned that it would appear on the blog. Last year the Serengeti came last in the league, won one match and got kicked out of the cup, whereas this year we’re heading for promotion and maybe even victory in the Plate final which is being held in December. If the team now lose their last two league matches and Plate final without me, then I’m going to decide that I was a critical factor in the transformation. If they win without me, I’ll accept it might not have been me  🙂

Or as Wes posted this morning:

“”He joined. He played. He won some frames. He left.” Not all heroes wear capes, etc.”

I like the direct line. And David, who has been trying hard all year to be less irritating, added:

“Don’t forget “he ate some food.””


Anyway, that’s the end of that for the year for me and I’m very excited to hear how the team gets on and delighted to have been part of things this year. And Roy will be delighted that I’ve decided to stick with the Serengeti next year, although that’s inevitable since no-one else will have me. Back to matters of relevance, I’ve met lots of new people, eaten a lot of food, played brilliantly and aspire to be as a good as Zak by the end of next year. If anyone is interesting in joining a team then they should definitely consider it, there’s a Facebook group for the league and I’m sure if someone posted they were interested that some team might pick them up. And thanks to everyone in the Serengeti for putting up with me and for Roy making clear that I was good enough!